Should we be worried about the relative ineffectiveness of the Blues in attack since the start of this European Championship? Didier Deschamps hardly likes looking in the rearview mirror, but he could still find reasons to be reassured. As a titled player in 1998, he knows that the Blues had hardly been dashing in the first round of the World Cup. And as a crowned coach in 2018, he remembers his offensive wisps going round in circles against Australia, Peru and Denmark. Until this historic eighth-final, ignited by the spark Mbappé, who had rocked a badly handled meeting.
The scenario of this Euro strangely resembles the first acts of the Russian World Cup, except that Act IV of this Monday, June 28 will be played in Bucharest against Switzerland, less feared than Argentina of 2018. Will see -We then finally the Blues score real attacking goals, without relying on two arbitration decisions of penalties, a goal against his camp of Mats Hummels and two magic paws of defensive back Paul Pogba to feed the scorers? This is the question posed by this round of 16 to which the coach and his team were careful not to provide any answers.
→ READ. Euro 2021: the Blues have earned their ticket to Switzerland
Interpreters graduated in Deschamps dialect know that the boss’s silences generally hide intense cogitations. Especially since the subliminal language of the video posted on Sunday morning, 27 on the Federation’s YouTube channel, is eloquent. We hear Didier Deschamps talk about everything except the offensive sector, while images parade behind him where we see him in training surrounding the shoulders of Kylian Mbappé, then talking with Kingsley Coman.
Presnel Kimpembe in support of his Parisian partner Kylian Mbappé
At the last press conference, Saturday June 26, it was the Parisian Presnel Kimpembe who was instructed by the coach to reassure his PSG teammate. “The competition is not over yet. Scoring isn’t going to be a problem for Kylian. He got himself some chances, he didn’t put them to the bottom but it will come ”, he predicted.
Why not believe it? A similar prediction by Antoine Griezmann a few days earlier about Karim Benzema has come true. In addition, the arguments advanced against the number 10 of the France team – his races would have suddenly become predictable, his dribbling would surprise less – do not go the distance. This potential Golden Ball, scarecrow of French and European defenses, has been one of the most scrutinized players in the world for three years. However, the game of the great players is constantly dissected, which does not make them so much less formidable.
Only one goal in nine matches in blue
Still, the statistics offered by UEFA do not lie. Kylian Mbappé did not score, but he also shot very little and received little offside whistle. He has not scored in 382 minutes in blue since his last achievement in the preparation match against Wales and has only found his way to the goal once in his last nine caps.
Will this change against the Swiss? The efficiency of a spark also depends on the content of the gas in which it occurs. The only Mbappé can not explode a defense on his own and his offensive partners were not so flamboyant. Beyond the empty passage of a single, it is therefore the entire device that raises questions. The attack with three flat attackers in the first game, no more than the one with the only Benzema in tip, have so far made a splash. There would be a question of a third solution, this time with Kingsley Coman as a runner-up attacker to reinforce Griezmann to feed the Benzema-Mbappé duo. Answer at 9 p.m. Monday.
Five blue players threatened with suspension
Five yellow cards have been distributed to players of the France team since the start of the Euro: Benjamin Pavard, Antoine Griezmann, Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe and Hugo Lloris. If they are warned against Switzerland, they will miss the possible quarter-final on Friday July 2. The yellow card counter is reset to zero at the end of the quarter-finals.
Switzerland never beyond the eighth. A great football nation until the 1950s, Switzerland then disappeared from the shelves for fifty years. For the past fifteen years, it has been present again and again, but has never passed the round of 16. Neither in the World Cup, nor during a Euro.