Monday, July 15, 2024

France ´surprised´ by Griezmann struggles at Euro 2024, admits Rabiot

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Jul 2024

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France midfielder Adrien Rabiot admits everyone connected with the team has been “surprised” by Antoine Griezmann’s struggles at Euro 2024.

France will face Spain in a huge semi-final clash in Munich on Tuesday, as they bid to reach their fourth major tournament final under Didier Deschamps.

However, Les Bleus have been strongly criticised for their failings in front of goal at the tournament, netting just three times from chances worth 8.07 expected goals (xG).

Their three goals have been two own goals and a Kylian Mbappe penalty, and they are the only team in European Championship history to attempt 50 or more non-penalty shots at a single edition without scoring with any (86).

Griezmann, one of France’s star performers in their run to the 2022 World Cup final and the joint-third highest scorer in Euros history with seven goals at the competition, is among the Bleus forwards to have struggled.

He has failed to score from 11 shots worth 1.94 xG, missing all three of the big chances – as defined by Opta – to fall his way, leaving Rabiot lost for an explanation.

“We are all surprised when we know Antoine’s qualities and what he did at the World Cup, where he was undoubtedly one of the best players,” Rabiot said on Monday.

“I don’t know how to explain it, maybe he’s not as well physically. We expect a lot more from Antoine because he is capable of doing much more.

“We can win without Antoine, we have a high-level team, but obviously it would be easier if he was at the top of his game.”

Mbappe has also struggled thus far, his one goal coming from 20 shots amounting to 2.74 xG, and he recently suggested Paul Pogba’s absence from the France midfield had forced him to change his game.

Rabiot sees no reason why he or his fellow midfielders should feel insulted by those comments, saying: “Why would I feel targeted?

“Paul has these characteristics, you have to adapt. As a midfielder, we also adapt to different strikers. It’s a question of adaptation.”

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