#Nations #League #prepare #World #Cup
A summer like no other is on the horizon, if the notion of “normal” still means anything. The appearance of Covid two years ago led decision-makers in European and world football to rethink their calendars even before this year 2022, which has long been profiled especially for its Winter World Cup. One more parameter to manage for Didier Deschamps and the France team in their defense of their hard-won world title four years ago.
The preparation will go through the defense of another title, a little more incidental, although the players seem to (officially) cling to this League of Nations before the first game against Denmark. Benjamin Pavard didn’t seem to be faking it when he said in front of cameras at Clairefontaine on Wednesday that he “still wanted to win this title.” On the other hand, we can doubt his sincerity when he says that he tries hard not to “think too much about the World Cup”.
With all due respect to the Masters League and Benjamin, we have too many miles on the clock to see anything other than a penultimate rehearsal for Qatar on this summer tour. However, a question arises: whatever lessons we draw from these four games, will they still be of any value in the fall? The holidays, leg mowers and psychological dynamics, good or bad, will have passed by, and in September the DD only have two Nations League games left to adjust their group according to the different states of form. How then to take advantage of this start of the League of Nations to prepare for the 2022 World Cup?
Reanimate some executives in crisis
If the smell of blood has led more than one to smell a possible rise in tension -which DD was quick to calm down- between Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappé after the extension of the young striker at Paris Saint-Germain, the reasons for concern are perhaps more on the field than off. Starting with the state of form of the rest of the team’s managers. Less than six months before the World Cup, a small list of great blue players on the street or at best irregular that Deschamps will have to revive.
- Griezmann: The short hair effect did not last long for Grizou, back at Atlético de Madrid after a painful journey through the desert in Barcelona. His 7-goal season in Diego Simeone’s MMA team does not bode well, even if we are talking about a player we are used to seeing perform more easily in the Blue in recent years. Hoping that this year defending more than necessary with the Colchoneros will make him want to play higher with the EDF. More goals and fewer tackles, please Antoine.
- varana: In addition to being among the players who know how to be good at Azul even when things are less strong at the club, Varane had the least complete season of his career. It is true that defending with Harry Maguire is at least as difficult as swimming with 100kg weights on your feet. But the Blues stopper has played ten fewer games than in previous seasons, due to repeated injuries, and his level oscillates between good and bad. However, the superstition team will be delighted to learn that the last time Varane had a season with fewer than 30 league games was in 2017-2018.
- Kante: electric battery into alternating current, one wonders if N’Golo hasn’t flirted with exhaustion by being too nice. Tuchel has put him on the bench many times, but Deschamps is counting on him. It’s up to him to revive him enough so that he refrains from giving dice passes to his rivals as in the second leg of the C1 quarterfinal against Real Madrid.
- Pogba: Calf injury for too many months and at the end of the cycle at Manchester United. Most worrying of all in that he is absent from the longest rally before Qatar and his form in December will depend on the performance of his club. The probability of having a Pogba at the level of 2018 is less and less as the days go by.
- (Bonus) Rabiot: very good start to finish eternal hope, no ugh to Juve, are we still waiting for something from Adrien?
By continuing to try new
In the continuity of his March list, Didier Deschamps recalled Christopher Nkunku and Jonathan Clauss, the hits of the year in the Bundesliga and Ligue 1. A midfielder by training, the former returned earlier in the week to his transformation into attack. “My positioning on the field is closer to the goal. I was more motivated to finish actions or be in the last pass. Mentally, I have passed a milestone. I’m a bit more of a killer. Which can make him a good complement to the trident Mbappé, Griezmann and Benzema. The next games can help him find his place in this attack, where it is not said that the regulars, specifically Benzema, chain the minutes without counting.
As for Clauss, it will be a matter of continuing to show that he is the only right back to not be just a default option. Remembering him for DD makes one rebounder happy: Benjamin Pavard. The Bayern defender now falls under the category of central defender. “I’ve always said it was my job since I was little,” said the Munich resident. The bad news is that the competition is stronger in the center where Koundé and, more recently, William Saliba have appeared.
In the rookie category we can also always count on Moussa Diaby, five selections on the clock. Count on it in any case: “I’m trying to integrate little by little and confirm that I’m here for good reasons,” said the Bayer winger on Wednesday afternoon, unconcerned that he had not yet opened his file at Blues. “I don’t think I’m playing big on this rally,” he continues. I want to reproduce what I do in the club, bring my percussion, have a little more influence in the game, it will come little by little. However, be careful not to stay too long. The World Cup is fast approaching.