Handball, a frustrated but calm Blues can think about 2024

The Blues, who lost to Denmark in the final of the World Championship with a score of 34/29, will have to digest this silver medal with a bitter taste and quickly turn to the horizon of 2024. This team lost the match, but not the will to play, and above all, a group of players full of talent was formed during this World Cup. In this final, look back at the final and the future of this French team with actors Martiniquais Mathieu Grébille and Réunionnais Melvyn Richardson, and analysis by our adviser Patrice Annonay, coach of France’s Tremblay goalkeepers, Parisian women. 92 and France U20 team.

It’s a headache… hard to accept… We were under the impression that nothing could stop this brilliant French team until the blowout against the unstoppable Danes in the final knocked everyone out a bit.
But after the KO, the stunned boxer gets back up, and that’s the motto of the blues. Melvyn Richardson and Mathieu Grébille just don’t cut it. The wake-up call in Stockholm yesterday was rough and both players were contacted as they unloaded their luggage at Stockholm airport.

We haven’t slept much, it’s true. It’s still a bit difficult, but this is sport, so we faced a very good team. It takes time to analyze and see what went wrong, it’s still a little early and hot, because the little details are being played out. We have to admit that Denmark played a better game than us

Mathieu Grébille, left winger of the French team

Eric Cintas

Frenchmen such as Nikola Karabatic and Mathieu Grébille were stunned by the defeat

Same story from Reunion “We played late, the night was short, we didn’t sleep much, but this is sport, you have to go on like that. We have had a glorious run. We will focus on digesting this and restarting the next goals with the French team.
We sense a certain weariness in their voice, but we are not discouraged, as if we had to turn the page quickly.

However, with Patrice Annonay returning for this final, the Blues could have had a physically boring approach. This was especially evident in the first half and at the end of the match:

“Denmark’s win makes sense against a French team that lacked clarity and precision in attack, as the aggressive forward won several duels against the hellish defensive base Mathias Gidsel, Rasmus Lauge Schmidt and Simon Pytlick, and finally the goalkeeper saved. He saw little in the match. Against the Swedes compared to the defence, I found the defense indifferent, maybe it was due to the physical freshness, because the Danish backline looked clearer and fresher than ours. Our defenders were a little isolated, less grouped and sometimes caught up in the pace of the Danish backline. After all, it all comes together.”

Mathias Gidsel flies, Mathieu Grébille is injured

Mathieu Grébille, who is often sent to the front line in defense, notes the shameless success of the Danish shooters, undoubtedly one of the keys to their success:

“There were times when we could have come back, there are some referee decisions that don’t help us. Sometimes we are good in defense and even if our keeper sees the shot, they find perfect shots in the top corner. There are days when everything works. Once they’re confident and read their game, it’s hard to stop them. We lacked a little bit, everything was going well against Sweden, it was the opposite there. We can always do better, we would like to do better.”

We started the match less well, there was a goalkeeper who made decisive saves, we lost a few balls, it is difficult to talk about the match without analyzing it. It wasn’t far, we didn’t deserve it, but the Danes played very well

Melvin Richardson, France right back

Eric Cintas

However, this French team has had an almost flawless course, with eight wins and only one defeat, which came at the worst possible time. Guillaume Gille has real potential for the next two international events, Euro 2024 in Germany next January and of course the Paris Olympics.
France’s Patrice Annonay is undaunted, the lessons to be learned from this World Cup are good:
Positive things offensively and we find a new playmaker weighing in with Elohim Prandi, Remili and point guard Nedim Remili starting to find their feet with Dika Mem, albeit a little late in the competition. On the plus side, the corners, Ludovic Fabregas, Arnaud Tournat and Luka Karabatic, are very efficient and solid, with a nod to Remy Desbonnet who knows how to get pace in goals.. »

Melvin Richardson was nearly perfect in the 7-yard practice

Taking the individual analysis a little further to our two overseas players, the results are also green for Patrice Annonay:

“Mathieu Grébille was used all over the pitch, alongside Luka Karabatic, in defense at number 2 and 3, a bit less as a winger, but overall his ratio is positive. He was able to benefit from playing time and his role as a Swiss army knife served him well. It is his honor to relieve the injury of Hugo Descat and become the vice world champion.
Melvin has shown great consistency at 7m, he has shown great stride and confidence which will ensure he will still be an important player for the team for years to come. We can count on him. In the last penalty, I think he should have kept his speed with the first feint rather than hitting Landy directly, but that’s next. »

Of course, the silver medal goes to the loser in the final. Along with the blues, the Spaniards in bronze showed big smiles on the podium. Does this medal taste bitter? This is for Mathieu Grébille:

“I am very proud and honored to share this adventure with the group. It wasn’t planned at the beginning of the season, but life shows us that you never know what can happen, and I really went on an adventure. I’m glad I was able to contribute as much as I could and share those moments with the kids. That’s why we do this while dreaming of wearing the blue jersey. Even with this bitter taste in the mouth, having a chance to win worlds and medals is exceptional. Now we can aim for gold.”

Melvin is less talkative :

“The group is living well, there is a good atmosphere between us and we will come back stronger and more motivated because we are competitors, we want to win and we have a team that will do great things.”

Mathieu Grébille, Melvyn Richardson and the Blues are sadly wearing their silver medals after this World Handball final dominated by Denmark.

Winning the Euros is how you best prepare for a big competition like the Olympics, I don’t think the calculations will be done. These players are mature and can still serve France for years. I think the base is solid and well formed.

Patrice Annonay, 1st handball consultant

Eric Cintas

Come back daily and quickly

But with little time to breathe, the two players will have to start racing again. This is often the case in handball, the players do not go on vacation, unlike the players returning from the World Cup..

“We do it again this weekend in the Coupe de France against PSG in Chartres and we will have very little time off in a very busy and emotional second half of the season. There are a lot of games to win, the Champions League would be a very good thing for me,” said Martiniquais.

What about Melvin, who is still under pressure at Barcelona and chasing a third Champions League title

“We went on very quickly, the goal is to win all the titles. We will have to prepare and fulfill the goals of the club, because this is FC Barcelona, ​​we have to do it, it is demanding, friends, I would like to win everything.
I’m working after the match, the Olympics are far away, the Euros too, I’ll focus on my club first

Mathieu Grébille and Melvyn Richardson’s paths will surely cross in this European quest at the club. Barcelona are unbeaten in Pool B of the Champions League and will host Norwegians Elverum on February 9, while Psg are second in Pool A and travel to Zagreb, Croatia on February 8.

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