It is in a very heavy climate, with several affairs occupying the media scene, that a French team decimated by injuries takes to the pitch at the Stade de France to face Austria with the hope of finally winning a game in this League of Nations. This final home meeting before the World Cup should allow the Blues to unite their crowd with football for an evening.
It would almost be the return of some kind of lightness to say that today’s event for the French team is a simple football match. It should be normal, but lately, between the troublesome court cases, the many serious revelations about the functioning of the French Football Federation and, to a lesser extent, the sling launched by Kylian Mbappé, supported by directors, it has not pushed on. FFF must revise its agreement on image rights. “A simple, logical and legitimate request” with words from Raphaël Varane, who will wear the captain’s armband this Thursday night against Austria. “The atmosphere is what it is, I am cut off from the outside world. What interests me is what I see and what I have to do with my playersswept Didier Deschamps at a press conference on the eve of this meeting. No matter what happens, the goal remains the same, it is the quest for achievement. » It is in this heavy climate that the world champions must find the ground and, if possible, the taste of victory three months after taking the road to vacation with two defeats, two draws and even more doubts in the suitcase.
“You shouldn’t be surprised, we’ve been talking about congested schedules, player fatigue for years and this season is even more intense than usual. » Raphaël Varane, evening captain
However, it will not be necessary to count on this last gathering before the World Cup to be certain. Blue’s face this week shouldn’t look like it did last June or next November. The consequence of an avalanche of injuries, eleven in total, which forces the coach to deal with a very reorganized group, including five newbies (Alban Lafont, Adrien Truffert, Benoît Badiashile, Youssouf Fofana and Randal Kolo Muani). “The number of injured is enormous.Item found. Don’t be surprised, we’ve been talking about congested schedules, player fatigue for years, and this season is even more intense than usual. It is a context that we must prepare and adapt to. » Thus, six of the eleven holders in Vienna during the first match, which was disputed in June, will not be in the match for the second match, while Deschamps could opt for a return to a system with three central defenders that were given up during the last three meetings of the Tricolors. “It’s not the wounded that will make me change my mind, the trainer explained. It makes me think, yes, but the approach is always the same: Put the players individually in the best position. This does not prevent you from being able to switch from one match to another or during the game, which is for example what Austria did recently. »
Only the Blues are too poor, especially in the midfield sector, where the six players who were present at the last European Championship are not part of the group this week (Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté, Adrien Rabiot, Corentin Tolisso, Moussa Sissoko , Thomas Lemar), so it is believed that the next two games will allow for tactical adjustments. What prompted Varane to highlight the line about the importance of watching “a collective state of mind. These two meetings will be for the purpose of having common benchmarks and being stronger together. » An opportunity to perhaps see Aurelien Tchouaméni confirm his new status as a manager in selection, and why not pair up with his Real Madrid team-mate Eduardo Camavinga, back with the big boys after a two-year absence. Another also to see Olivier Giroud, who is three goals short of equaling Thierry Henry in the history books, reminding us that his profile could be useful in Qatar. On a more pragmatic note, Deschamps’ band, who are still winless in this League of Nations, also know that success this Thursday night would allow them to leave last place in the group to Austria before the trip. Sunday, and perhaps move from relegation to League B for the next edition. A trifle on the side “big challenge” (Deschamps), which awaits him in November. Although in a context where French football disgusts more than it enchants, a win against Austria at the Stade de France, where the Blues have lost their last two matches (Denmark and Croatia), would look like a very small bracket of consolation before they plunges back into the sad reality.
By Clement Gavard