a real fiasco to start


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A real headache. With the clubs that did not want to release their players, Sylvain Ripoll had his work cut out for him to establish his list for the 2020 Olympic Games, postponed to this year because of the Covid-19. After a first list unveiled, the coach of the Bleuets had to redo one, where we found in particular André-Pierre Gignac, Florian Thauvin and Téji Savanier in the middle of the youngest. With a short preparation and a small victory against South Korea in a friendly Friday (2-1), everyone was impatiently awaiting the first match of the Olympic tournament of this French team, this Thursday against Mexico (10 am). And not everything went as planned.

Organized in 4-3-3, this French Olympic team struggled to get the ball out cleanly against Mexicans positioned high enough and with a big pressing in place. Despite a few chances, the Bleuets suffered in the first period with sometimes around 35% of ball possession. The second act could therefore only be better, but it was much worse. Defensively, Sylvain Ripoll’s players were more than excited. Typical example to illustrate the tricolor problems: this recovery in the axis of Sagnan failed under Mexican pressure, which leads behind an opportunity, but the defender made up for it by saving France on its line (17th). And we didn’t see any improvements after the break.

Defense at bay

On the opening scoring of Mexico, Caci is much too tender against Diego Lainez and does not attack him, when Clément Michelin is behind Vega at the time of his header (47th). Jaime Lozano’s men then took advantage of the disorganization of the French defense to quietly double the bet (54th). And what about the last two goals conceded, with this quiet movement of Antuna before hitting from the left in the box (80th) or this totally failed pass from Melvin Bard, just come into play, for Aguirre and the goal of 4- 1 in added time (90th +1). And overall, we did not see any serenity behind, perhaps because of this Mexican laundry which worked well.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the defense to blame. In the midfield, Lucas Tousart, Téji Savanier and Enzo Le Fée were too often late and Mexican circles were more enterprising. But what also worries is the French attack with elements of experience like André-Pierre Gignac and Florian Thauvin. The captain, positioned at the forefront, was too often lonely and was not dangerous. And what about the former Marseillais, who has clearly lost his explosiveness and the quality of his left paw. The young Arnaud Nordin was rather active but the Mexicans quickly understood how to hamper the Bleuets: a two or three pressing on a player.

Disappointing attackers

The only satisfactions on the French side: the good returns from Randal Kolo Muani, who got the penalty, and Alexis Beka Beka, who showed good things in the midfield. But it was far too little, and Sylvain Ripoll will have to find solutions to change all that. “We are obviously disappointed with the result but also with the content. We would have liked to play a more balanced game. But for that it would have had to be much better and we must recognize the quality of this Mexican team. To compete, we should have played a very big game, that was not the case. The score clearly reflects the difference in level. We have to do a lot better, we did not recover the ball well, we did not know how to get in the direction of the road, nor find the attackers ”, let go of the coach after the game and therefore less direct than his captain André-Pierre Gignac, who did not mince his words after the game.

“It is more than deserved, it is necessary to say what is. They put everything in their basket and we put a little too nothing. I think we are lucky not to come away with five or six goals. We lacked experience, concentration, aggressiveness, everything. We’ll have to put our heads right to qualify, because I don’t want to return to France after the third match. (…) That’s it, we entered the competition and it will be complicated, because we have matches every three days, but we have to find a solution ”, blurted out APG. It’s time for work, and the Bleuets do not have much time before the meeting against South Africa on Sunday (10am French time).


Source: Foot Mercato : Info Transferts Football – Actu Foot Transfert by www.footmercato.net.

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