Monday, September 24, 2018

France could win the World Cup with the handbrake on

David Nugent in Editorial, World Cup 11 Jul 2018

322 Views
Embed from Getty Images

France are in the final of World Cup 2018 after a 1-0 win over Belgium in the semi-finals on Tuesday night. A 51st-minute header from Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti was enough to give Les Bleus the victory.

Some will have judged the game as a tactical battle, while others will have seen it in a less flattering way. However, either way, France will have the chance to win the World Cup on Sunday for only the second time in history.

Didier Deschamps keeps the handbrake on

France are very much a team built in the image of boss Didier Deschamps during his career. Eric Cantona once dubbed Deschamps as ‘the water carrier’, as he did all the dirty work for the more talented players.

He worked hard, but he was very cautious in his approach. While France have some fantastic attacking players in the likes of Antoine Griezmann and of course Kylian Mbappe, their approach to games is very measured.

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, for example, is playing within himself, or as the title suggests with the handbrake on. However, France is unlikely to change that successful style, as they have made it to the final.

French team built on solid defensive foundations

Deschamps team for all the undoubted attacking talent in their squad, the team is built on solid defensive foundations. First-choice centre-back pairing Samuel Umtiti and Raphael Varane ply their trades at Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, where both have endured mixed fortunes.

However, the pair has worked superbly in tandem for Les Bleus in Russia. Both are highly-rated, and the World Cup has shown what they can do when on top form.

A special mention should go to Benjamin Pavard, who is primarily a centre-back covering at right-back. Although Eden Hazard gave the defender some problems early on against Belgium, the youngster stuck at it, and the winger’s influence waned as the game reached its conclusion.

One vital part of the current French set-up is energetic Chelsea defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante. Everybody in football knows the little man’s qualities, and they have been on full display at the World Cup.

He is the sort of defensive shield that every self-respecting team needs. If his defence are in trouble, more often than not Kante is there to help them out. With Kante in front of the French backline, they look even more formidable.

France the favourites to lift the trophy

Les Bleus always looked like a team capital of going all the way in Russia and lifting the World Cup. They had an insanely talented group of individuals, who had also have massive experience of big events in club football.

Didier Deschamps side remains favourites to win the World Cup at odds of 4/6, which is unsurprising considering the talent they have in their ranks. Les Bleus could well win the World Cup with a cautious, but successful style of play. Some have even compared the current style of play to that of Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.

When thinking about World Cup winning teams, you think that they must have been amazing teams. However, not many teams who have won the World Cup are considered vintage teams.

The teams that lift the trophy often achieve their success by expert planning, excellent organisation and tactical understanding of their coach, rather than brilliant attacking football. Of course, we would all like a team that plays expansive, attractive football to win the World Cup.

However, the world or indeed the World Cup does not work in that way. France have not played the most attractive football in the competition, but they have a talented group of players and a boss who has found a winning formula.

Deschamps is unlikely to change his tactical thinking for the final. Somehow France could get to their desired destination without ever taking the handbrake off.

Will France be lifting the World Cup on Sunday?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

avatar
 
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Live Scores

advertisement

Betting Guide Advertisement

advertisement

  • Football_888sport betting �
Become a Writer
More More
Top