To be honest, I was quite hopeful before the tournament about our performance levels and general attitude.
We were playing not too badly, we were on a run of undefeated matches, including against top opposition, our best players were starting to care and perform (Ribéry and Benzema particularly). And most of all : we seemed to be a cohesive unit
How disappointing it has been since. The draw vs England was not too bad : we were erratic for the first 30 minutes, but largely controlled the game after Lescott's goal. The players seemed to really care and want to win, and Les Bleus were largely acclaimed for their attitude on the pitch, if not the final score which was disappointing given how poor England were. Then Ukraine, an excellent all-round performance : generally good defending, good attacking, many opportunities carved, two very well-taken goals... Nothing to complain about.
And finally Sweden. The cracks finally appeared and quickly transformed into huge wounds as we surrendered. The sense of entitlement came back as if it was never gone.
There are talks about a 2-year suspension for Nasri, and 4-match bans for Menez, Ben Arfa and M'vila. The most depressing thing is that I genuinely think they don't really care.
I'm very disappointed... Blanc had made some very good work until now, but it has been largely undone by a lack of collective awareness from (mostly) our attacking midfielders who, if you look quickly at the line-up, seem to have a cumulative IQ inversely proportional to their huge wages.
Just a special positive mention to :
- Lloris, who was generally brilliant in spite of defending behind a generally good but unfit Mexes and that shambles of a player Rami
- Ribéry, albeit being average he tried a lot and couldn't be faulted for having a bad attitude, as opposed to several teammates.
- Cabaye, for being very good for the 3 matches he played in (no wonder we surrendered possession against Sweden, he was not here battling for every ball).
Thanks ursus, I've just read the Liberation article.
It's reported a bit like a tabloid, however it makes an interesting read - mostly because I care about our national team.
As you said, you have to wonder how they were educated in terms of professionalism. I went to several PSG games this season and during 2012 Menez was brilliant for the club, making a lot of runs behind the defense, willing to take a lot of knocks (and win penalty kicks) and generally sacrifice for the team, helping to rack points at a quicker pace.
I was first sceptical when PSG bought him, and I thought he proved me wrong after the turn of 2012.
Seems his "old demons", to paraphrase Malouda, caught up with him...as well as Nasri, Ben Arfa and the other usual suspects.
Well, in the 90's you left out Cantona, Ginola, Loko, etc. and still had the quality to win a World Cup & Euro 2000... Perhaps there's still enough quality out there so that Nasri et al can be dropped for good.
Merci, TNFF for the commentaries above. Yes, I thought that goalkeeper Lloris did okay. His demeanor seemed fine, and I guess he did his best to keep a bit of a smile and brave face on a team that was (again) ready to implode.
I do hope that this was Nasri's last. If Blanc leaves (will he?), I suspect, what, we'll have a new FFF Manager who will give Nasri a chance again....The point is very well made by itzagonga that France got on just fine without Eric Cantona and then Davide Ginola. No manager should be beholden to self-centered, self-interested, petty, immature, mouthy louts.
Should have denied three or four of them any berths on the plane flight back to Paris. Make 'em walk back would be my choice.
May I ask for viewpoints and assessments on the play of (still) OSC Lille player Mathieu Debuchy. The bits I saw had him doing very well.
I recently was directed by a friend to a YouTube video of Debuchy visiting his old youth club to do a training session with the boys there now. I liked this video. It brought back memories of just exactly what my youth club (changing room, bumpy pitch, old coach) looked like. Debuchy seemed the decent fellow as he offered tips, pats, encouragement and ran about in drills with the lads.
I hope he was not involved in any of the immature behaviors. Maybe he can be part of a new, better French side.
Last: It has been reported that another of the poor behaviors on full display for the disbelieving French back home in France was Giroud? (Menez? I think Menez) doing some very poor gesture or insult of full disrespect to team captain GK Lloris in that final match with Spain. Can anyone clarify what took place there? Thank you.
as a gooner nasri's behaviour wasn't at all surprising. i hope fckarl is wrong about giroud. i thought debuchy was second only to the surprisingly more mature ribery on this ultimately very disappointing team which i expected to go further, much further - i should have placed more importance on the potential influence of nasri on team disruption. cheers, mark