Monday, July 15, 2024

France leaks forcing Deschamps to keep Euro 2024 plans hidden

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Jul 2024

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France coach Didier Deschamps has been “covering his tracks” to prevent his tactical plans from leaking at Euro 2024, midfielder Adrien Rabiot revealed on Monday.

Les Bleus are preparing to face Spain in the last four on Tuesday, their fourth semi-final appearance in six major tournaments under Deschamps.

Reports in France suggested Deschamps only told his players the starting lineup for Friday’s quarter-final against Portugal when they were en route to the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg.

It has since been claimed that team news and tactical details were leaked on several occasions throughout the tournament, leading Deschamps to keep his own players in the dark.

Rabiot confirmed that was the case, telling reporters at a pre-match press conference: “It is more in relation to hiding things from you than in relation to us.

“Inevitably, there is collateral damage. It’s difficult for the coach, when he’s trying to implement his strategy because the information leaks out when training is barely over.

“It is not nice to see that when you really work hard on something, that at the end of the session, the media have already caught wind of it.

“It’s a shame for us and also for you because when it leaks, it tips off the opponents about things we’re trying to work on. We’re trying to keep things up our sleeve right until the last minute, right until kick-off.

“The coach has been trying to cover his tracks. He’s worked on different formations with us.

“But even if he changes the formation at the last minute, we know exactly what we need to do in each of these formations. You always must have the ability to adapt.”

France are not the only team to have been affected by media leaks while in Germany, with England boss Gareth Southgate lamenting the way the Three Lions’ switch to a 3-4-3 formation became public ahead of their quarter-final versus Switzerland.

After England advanced via a 5-3 penalty shoot-out win, a frustrated Southgate said: “Our tactical plan for the game was shared three days before.

“We live in an amazing world where it’s so difficult for us because any element of surprise you might have is gone three days before. It’s quite incredible really.”

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