Monday, June 19, 2006

France's Bleus.

Watching France v. South Korea last night, I couldn't help noticing how much the game was a good illustration of France's current (and hopefully temporary) malaise.
In the first half, the French clearly were leading the game - scoring after just nine minutes. It seemd as it the old glorious band was back. Unfortunately, there were unable to hold on to it and in the second half, not only did the Koreans scored but "les bleus" seemed to lack the needed energy, force or power to react quickly enough and the Koreans seemed to push them hard.
Interestingly enough, the day before, a Korean supporter said that while the French were technically superior, they were also too old to keep it up. I think he may have been right:
Indeed, the French team is an ageing team - the country's oldest ever international team with an average age of 30 years and 289 days. In fact, Zidane, Lilian Thuram and Claude Makelele all came out of retirement to ensure France qualified for the tournament.

The other problem seems to be that the players don't all get along so well. The tension between Zidane and coach Raymond Domenech was quite visible at the end of the game. How Gallic! would have thought Caesar.

This reflects France's need for change, in politics as in sports, the nation needs a new generation to take the lead. In fact, it seems that nothing can happen in France before the next presidential elections next year... and maybe nothing can happen in soccer before the next World Cup either.
Michel Platini, the great French soccer star, once said, "A football team represents a way of being, a culture.". No kidding. Isn't Bleus French for "blues" anyway?

NOTE: of course, it is not all lost yet, France could still qualify by beating Togo on Friday.


At 05:55, Anonymous k-bing said...

France had hideous spacing and poor passing. Speak all you want about changing the political situation in France, but the fact is, this is why they lost the game.

At 19:04, Blogger Joker & Thief said...

Well, but age may also have to do with "hideous spacing and poor passing", don't you think?

At 01:54, Anonymous k-bing said...

too old? the clips from the togo game looked to have the old crew in much better form, witness henry and vieira with goals. sk was just a bad game all the way 'round, and i'm not sure why fr left their experience in the locker room on such simple things. these guys have been 'round long enough to know. in togo clips i saw much better spacing between players that leads to more opportunities to advance the ball, which leads to shots. good luck next round!!


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