France Coach Didier Deschamps is not something to worry about. That’s not part of his personality; he is a pragmatic and positive guy who always tries to look at the bright side of things. However, even he had to wonder what the heck was going on right now?
Two months before the start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where his team will attempt to become the first defending champion to retain their title since Brazil In 1962, France was experiencing more turmoil than ever before. Even being judged against the history of French football, which has seen a lot of tasteless stories in the past, this is unprecedented. Everything that could go wrong right now is going wrong, and there are too many sources of turbulence going on at once.
First of all, it’s the atmosphere around the team. In Monday, Kylian Mbappe continues the fight against the French Football Federation (FFF) over the players’ image rights agreement. The FFF (and its president, Noel Le Graet) first said in June that they would amend the deal under pressure from Mbappe, who has already complained about it in March, but nothing was done. So Mbappe announced on Monday that he would be opting out of Tuesday’s activities and photo sessions with national team sponsors.
The panic was so intense that an emergency meeting between Le Graet, Mbappe, Raphael Varane, Hugo Lloris and Deschamps were called, and a solution for image rights was found. The agreement will be reviewed and revised to provide players with more leverage and compensation. But while Mbappe won the battle with the League, aided by the team’s captains, it exposed cracks inside the “Blue House.”
Le Graet, who has a very strong relationship with Deschamps, is also in the spotlight. Media reports At France accused him of sending inappropriate text messages to the female staff at the FFF and cover up, or inaction, many incidents in French football over the past few years.
Le Graet, who is 80 years old and still has two years left in his role as FFF president, is refusing to step down, but tension around him are also building indirectly around Deschamps and his players. The head coach summed it up himself last week: “The atmosphere was heavy.”
The past few weeks have also seen stories about Paul Pogba appeared in the media. The Juventus the midfielder is currently under police protection in Italy following recent revelations about a group of his childhood friends try to get money from Him. His brother, Mathias, is being held in prison and waiting for a decision on bail with 4 other men – they were all known to Paul – after accused of extortion.
Pogba is injured with a torn meniscus, but the incident is having a negative impact on him and the France team. His teammates are worried and Deschamps is hoping that his number 6 will be possible back from his knee injury in time to be fit for the World Cup, but he will also be able to overcome the trauma of threats and intimidation he has experienced. No one knows how Pogba will return to Deschamps and the France team.
There are also plenty of minor injuries piling up in the squad expected to play in Qatar. Deschamps could put an entire team on the field with players currently absent, and what kind of team it would be: Lloris in goal; Ibrahima Konate, Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe and According to Hernandez fight back; a midfielder of Pogba, Boubacar Kamara, N’Golo Kante and Adrien Rabiot; with Karim Benzema and Kingsley Coman forward. And there will also be subscribers.
At least six of these players – Lloris, the Hernandez brothers, Kante, Pogba and Benzema – are in Deschamps’ strongest squad. They are not all long-term problems, but their absence is a huge blow considering France’s upcoming UEFA Nations League matches – against Shirt on Thursday and during Denmark on Sunday – is the last two games before they start their World Cup campaign with Australia on November 22
It is a nightmare for the France head coach, who has not seen his players since the last international break in June, when his father passed away surprise and Les Bleus It was terrible without him. (They lost to Denmark and Croatia at home and drew Austria and Croatia.) France are at the bottom of Nations League A group with 2 points from 4 matches and cannot face the shame of being relegated.
The rest of the squad is of course still elite, with the likes of Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, Aurelien Tchouameni, Jules Kounde and Varane in training. France also boasts impressive depth, with players in top form such as William Saliba, Mike Maignan and Olivier Giroudas well as promising young talents like Randal Kolo Muani, Youssouf Fofana and Benoit Badiashilewho is called up for the first time.
However, even among the players gathered at Clairefontaine, there are concerns, whether it is in terms of fitness – like Antoine Griezmann present stuck playing less than 30 minutes per game in Atlético Madrid – or confidence (Christopher Nkunku struggling to find form with RB Leipzig.) Things are tough for Deschamps and for France right now, but like the manager told his players on Monday: the only way is up.