Should we extend Didier Deschamps without controversy?

We’ll say it right away, so it’s over: Didier Deschamps deserves to stay in charge of the France team with his record, if that’s what he wants. How could it be otherwise when talking about the coach who led the “Blues” to the finals of the World Cup twice in a row, who was the central figure of the country’s football for three decades? Should we just give him this extension, which will be decided in the next few days, without any discussion other than the length of his contract? Has the success of recent years silenced any kind of opposition, even the slightest? After all, we can also welcome the results while wondering about the path and what the future holds. A problem for the rich, we agree.

Some voices rise in this direction, all the same. Christophe Dugarry was the first from a defensible point of view, but was clouded by his proximity to Zinedine Zidane, who has repeatedly shown his attraction to the position. The former striker said: “When you lose, you owe an explanation, at least you owe a discussion about the preparation for the match. Team the end of December. On the final day of the World Cup, the most disastrous part of the French team in the last fifty years, the game and the analysis of these 80 minutes must be done. »

“The game”, speaking of Deschamps Blues, is this eternal debate between the followers of efficiency (Regragui summed it up well during the World Cup) and the defenders of the aesthetics of minimal unity. By the way, anyone who has seen Zidane win the Champions League with Real Madrid knows that the arrival of the appointment of the former number 10 will not solve this question. We can also talk about the selection of players, all those centers and the lack of defenders that reduce the options, or the lack of a creative midfielder with a little volume that can shoot Griezmann.

TABs, pebbles in shoes

Another food for thought, arguably the only criticism that can be leveled at Deschamps at the World Cup, is the way the Blues handled the fateful penalty shootout. The coach always believed that there was no point in preparing for this particular training session, because the emotional context in training and in a match with 120 minutes in the legs is not the same at all. He reiterated this when asked about the topic from the 8th final during the World Cup.

For once, the facts prove him wrong. Hugo Lloris failed to make a save, or even came close to making one, and the Blues crashed out of training twice in a row against Switzerland after Euro 2021. It is a mistake not to learn from the euro. “We were very weak in that, it made everyone strange,” notes coach Jean-Marc Furlan, who knows the coach well because he graduated with him. He’s more of a prep junkie. He explains his method as follows:

Most of the time I play small games in training, sometimes I end up with goal kicks in a draw season. It tells me who is more comfortable, who knows how to change at the last minute depending on the goalie, etc. I’ve been focusing on that all year, and if we ever have to go through it in a game, I don’t need my staff to make decisions about pitchers, I’ve already seen them. »

It served him at the end of last season with Auxerre, for example. In the play-off stage, the Burgundians were promoted to Ligue 1 by first defeating Sochaux and then Saint-Etienne in a penalty shoot-out. So it is useful. “The Blues team, who are professionals to the end of their nails, cannot continue to treat this subject on foot.

“Is 10 years not enough? »

On the other hand, if he continues well until the European Championship in Germany, Didier Deschamps will complete 12 years at the helm of the Blues. Eternity on a football scale, true dominance. In the hole, according to the prism, from where one wants to observe something, the idea of ​​a certain confiscation of power. “Ten years is a long time, it’s true, Furlan admits, even if he wants to continue his classmate. Very important post. For all French people, the coach of the French football team is in the spotlight. 10 years not enough? In any case, the question arises, it is obvious. »

DD now has 138 appearances on the Blues bench, beating Raymond Domenech’s previous record (79) long ago. One man’s choice is enough to make and break an international career. “The main thing is the French team, it is above all else,” the man always said. “You can’t say it belongs to everybody and keep it for twelve years,” Dugarry replied implicitly in an interview. Unless you get results that put millions of people on the streets.

French supporters in a Paris bar during the final match against Argentina on December 18, 2022. – JEANNE ACCORSINI/SIPA

Sidney Govou was asked by Z., an unknown couple with whom he was very close SoFoot a few days after the finale, he realized he was itching for a change, with DD’s grumblers leaving in the more or less distant future, highlighting the group’s next renewal. “I think that the change of the next generation deserves the change of management and therefore the coach. If I was with Deschamps, I would tell him to stop,” the former OL player observed.

Will these elements be considered when concluding the debate between Didier Deschamps and Noel Le Graet? Probably not. The only concern of the FFF president is to find a compromise between his mandate not ending in 2024 and the wishes of the former OM head coach. In Brittany on December 29, which is not definitive, according to the NLG Team This Friday we meet Deschamps’ agent Jean-Pierre Bernès, who hopes to make a breakthrough before the FFF’s executive committee and the federal assembly on Saturday. I don’t have time to talk about Lloris’ preparation for peno sessions.

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