David Ginola says France must stick to their game plan against Spain in the Euro 2012 quarter-final clash, rather than be defensive.
France were favourites to qualify from Group D in first place, but stumbled to a 2-0 defeat to already eliminated Sweden in the final group game, setting up a tricky last-eight showdown with the reigning European champions.
Vicente del Bosque’s men have been struggling against defensive teams after labouring to a draw against Italy and a slender win over Croatia in their Group C encounters, but Ginola believes France cannot adopt the same conservative tactics.
“It’s not possible to adopt a style of play similar to the one that won Chelsea the Champions League (semi-final) against Barcelona. We don’t have the players capable of doing that,” he told RMC.
“We have the quality to lift ourselves up against Spain, but the players must want to do so. I would play with two wingers like (Franck) Ribery or (Jeremy) Menez as we did against Ukraine.
“We have to do things simply. We realise that the likes of Xavi, (Andres) Iniesta, (Sergio) Busquets, or (Cesc) Fabregas will not hesitate to play one or two touch football to spread the ball around.
“We have the technical quality. Against Sweden, we had too much of the ball because there weren’t enough solutions.
“We played separately, trying to do things more individually than as a team. We dribbled with the ball, and then we relied on the players who wanted it more.
“Everybody wanted to make the difference on their own. We need to have a different attitude against Spain, who are a great team to watch.”
After a 23-game unbeaten run, France were brought back down to earth with the loss to Sweden.
However, Ginola is confident the squad can pull together and return from the tournament with the trophy.
“There are many judgement and criticisms of the France team. Unfortunately, I find it to be very French,” he said.
“It’s true that Les Bleus didn’t show their good side against Sweden, but we must wait until after the game against Spain before making any conclusions.
“France fans have the Knysna (2010 World Cup) episode in mind again. We’re awaiting some redemption from Les Bleus. I was surprised to hear (France FA president) Noel Le Graet say that they were happy just to be in the quarter-finals.
“That was just a bit of shtick because we have a squad that can go all the way. We truly have the means to do so. The quality is there, the problem is that we fell back down against the Swedes.”
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