Monday, December 11, 2017

Tough for France to cope with Euro 2016 pressure – Wenger

France have the quality to win Euro 2016, but may find it difficult to handle the pressure of playing at home, according to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Didier Deschamps’ side are among the favourites to win next year’s tournament on their own soil and the Gunners’ boss is impressed by Les Bleus’ new generation of stars such as Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann.

Wenger, though, feels it will be a tough hurdle to get over the expectation levels as they do battle against the likes of world champions Germany and holders Spain for European glory.

“With the generation of the Pogbas and Griezmanns, they have great potential,” the 66-year-old told Le Parisien.

“But it will also depend on how they deal with pressure. Brazil cracked during their own World Cup, England went wayward in their own Rugby World Cup, France did not win the their Euros in basketball…

“Sport has become so vital in our society that the players have more and more pressure on their shoulders. That is multiplied when you are playing in a competition at home.”

Wenger was also asked about Paris Saint-Germain’s chances of Champions League success, with the Frenchman stating Barcelona and Bayern Munich are the teams to beat.

“They have the ability to dream about it,” he said. “It will be without a doubt difficult to beat Barca and Bayern. Those two teams are above the rest and PSG are just behind, but the season is long.

“It is always a pleasure to run into Laurent Blanc and president Nasser [Al Khelaifi ]. I am very happy that their club is getting good results.”

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