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  1. #31
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    Do you mean Jeremie Boga, Jenks? I heard about him once or two. From what I hear he should be among the better Chelsea youngsters in his age group but I can't say that I have followed him. Have you? And if so is he another hyped up talent in your mind or does he seem legit? He just recently turned 16 so it's maybe slightly too early to give such a judgement or what?
    I haven't followed him per se, but I do try to watch as much of the U18 and U21 Leagues in England as possible, and he is always a stand-out player for Chelsea, despite being much younger than the rest. But he does stand out due to his skill, he hasn't just developed early physically, as is sometimes the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deco 20 View Post
    He was by far the youngest player when Chelsea's u19 team faced our u19 team and he was one of the best players on the pitch, scoring one and creating Chelsea's first goal.
    Indeed, and he was only 15 at the time too.

  2. #32
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    Well, that sounds promising. We will have to wait and see. But as I stated previously then I am not fearful of France not producing world class talents/very talented players it's rather whether they can function as a group, get their act together and perform as a group. Finding a leader on and off the field or at least figures who have such capabilities would be a start.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenks View Post
    Indeed, and he was only 15 at the time too.
    16 and almost 2 months

    (Born in early January, the game was February the 20:th)

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DucdeOrléans View Post
    Apart from that then I am looking forward to the France-Spain game. Could be a really good chance for France to make another statement after the 1-1 draw away from home. Honestly speaking I don't think that the difference in quality between France-Spain is as huge as some people in France and abroad have claimed until recently. Even during the EURO's where France were abysmal the tie was more even than the result showed (2-0). Spain scored a quick goal from a header by Alonso after a personal mistake before Alonso sealed the game from the penalty spot in injury time. Spain won the game deservedly but had France turned up that tournament they could have caused much more damage. That Spain win was the only Spain win to date in a official game/excluding friendlies against France. So the 1-1 result last autumn was hardly a surprise. France if anything have the individual class, technique and physicality to defeat this Spain team. The problem during the EURO's and more or less since 2006 have been the lack of team chemistry, a great manager in the mould of del Bosque and a defined system. All which is in Spain's favor. But after Deschamps appointment things are looking more bright and the team chemistry and the implementation of a well-defined system is at least a work in process now while it was totally absent until very recently. Playing with promising youngsters like Varane, Sakho and Pogba from the start is a great choice since they will form the future of the team.
    Copying my post from the World Cup qualification thread.

    3-1 win against Georgia while using this following lineup, which I was personally fond of: Lloris, Jallet, Sakho, Varane, Clichy, Matuidi, Pogba, Valbuena, Ribéry, Benzema & Giroud.

    Valbuena was amazing and easily MoM. Varane and Pogba had very good debuts as well. Benzema need to get his act together though.

    The highlights: (Wenger and Lizarazu were two of the 3 commentators)

    Last edited by DucdeOrléans; 23rd March 2013 at 04:07 PM.

  5. #35
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    really hope the spain game is on tv here, but probably wont be

    France are in a good position to qualify

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by impeh View Post
    really hope the spain game is on tv here, but probably wont be

    France are in a good position to qualify
    Where do you live? There are always streams if anything or betting sites where you can watch the game for free in reasonable quality if you place a small bet.

    It would be a disaster for France not to quality for the upcoming World Cup whether they qualify directly or not.

    I believe that a good result against Spain is very possible. France were the better team in the first meeting and equalized deservedly. Moreover Spain have only won once against France in a official game, excluding friendlies, and that was during EURO 2012 where France were abysmal.

    Anyway it will for sure be a open game and the odds reflect that as well.
    Last edited by DucdeOrléans; 24th March 2013 at 08:24 PM.

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    A acceptable performance against the reigning world and European champions in what was a fairly even game.

    I did not expect that with players like Cabaye who is not good enough to play for the national team and thus should not be playing at all, Evra who should have been dumped long ago, Jallet who is not good enough to start in such high profile games nor Koscielny who I likewise never rated. Especially the latter should be benched in favor of Sakho who could potentially form a great pairing with Varane like they did against Georgia. Debuchy was missed on that right back. There was plenty of space for Jallet to utilize but his delivery was woeful and a level below that usually shown by Debuchy. Not to mention his mistake that lead to the goal. Evra offered absolutely nothing going forward which limited the danger Ribéry created who was superb again along with Valbuena and created danger every single time he got the ball. But he should probably have scored on that chance in the first half.

    Benzema was shockingly bad yet again. He has not scored for the national team in nearly a year now. Was booed of the field as well.

    Valbuena is a cracking player that I have underestimated. Was a constant danger under difficult circumstances.

    Matuidi is already a cracking player and among the very best on his position while Pogba, despite his obvious brain fart, has a huge future. I was really impressed by his overall game in his only second appearance for the team.

    The team should probably have scored at least once given the big chances but Valdés was MoM and saved absolutely everything. Fitting to crown the return to Stade de France with such a performance.

    Overall there is a lot of talent in the squad and potential but a few issues must be corrected before the team can win major titles/compete for them again.

    Firstly Varane who is frighteningly good considering his age, need a fixed partner. My pick is Sakho. Clichy has done enough to be considered the first choice. Evra is not good enough and never performed well for Les Bleus not to mention his off-field problems and disgraceful behavior as a captain nevertheless. A shame that Abidal has been unavailable for such a long period of time and probably never will return again.

    Debuchy should be preferred as the right back option for now at least. He offers so much more overall than Jallet although the latter is a solid replacement.

    Pogba and Matuidi have shown their worth for both club and country and are both young and they will only grow as players. Cabaye, as mentioned before, is not good enough. The team is clearly missing a player of Zidane's, Iniesta's, Xavi's, Pirlo's etc. stature to lead the team and control the flow of the game. Pogba could maybe become that kind of player in the future. He does not need to emulate those above mentioned players. Assuming the role required and missed is enough.

    Ribéry and Valbuena are very good options on the wings. If just Benzema started to score regularly the above team, with a few corrections and more experience could pose a real danger for any team.

    As of now I would pick this team when not playing against Spain who are the only national team that has a significantly bigger percentage of the ball possession when playing against France.

    Lloris

    Debuchy-Varane-Sakho-Clichy

    Matuidi-Pogba

    Valbuena-Ribéry

    Benzema-Giroud

    A very offensive team indeed but since there is currently not a midfielder that is significantly superior than Cabaye another goal threat might as well be used in the form of Giroud. Especially given Benzema's lack of goals. Ribéry cannot nor should he be able to carry all the weight on his shoulders against a team of Spain's quality.

    Lastly then Arbeloa is a horribly annoying player with all his dirty tricks that nearly always go unpunished. Committed yet another penalty that was not spotted - this time against Pogba. Never seen a player who is better to fool the referee than him which says a lot.
    Last edited by DucdeOrléans; 26th March 2013 at 11:25 PM.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DucdeOrléans View Post
    A acceptable performance against the reigning world and European champions in what was a fairly even game.

    I did not expect that with players like Cabaye who is not good enough to play for the national team and thus should not be playing at all, Evra who should have been dumped long ago, Jallet who is not good enough to start in such high profile games nor Koscielny who I likewise never rated. Especially the latter should be benched in favor of Sakho who could potentially form a great pairing with Varane like they did against Georgia. Debuchy was missed on that right back. There was plenty of space for Jallet to utilize but his delivery was woeful and a level below that usually shown by Debuchy. Evra offered absolutely nothing going forward which limited the danger Ribéry created who was superb again along with Valbuena and created danger every single time he got the ball. But he should probably have scored on that chance in the first half.

    Benzema was shockingly bad yet again. He has not scored for the national team in nearly a year now. Was booed of the field as well.

    Valbuena is a cracking player that I have underestimated. Was a constant danger under difficult circumstances.

    Matuidi is already a cracking player and among the very best on his position while Pogba, despite his obvious brain fart, has a huge future. I was really impressed by his overall game in his only second appearance for the team.

    The team should probably have scored at least once given the big chances but Valdés was MoM and saved absolutely everything. Fitting to crown the return to Stade de France with such a performance.

    Overall there is a lot of talent in the squad and potential but a few issues must be corrected before the team can win major titles/compete for them again.

    Firstly Varane who is frighteningly good considering his age, need a fixed partner. My pick is Sakho. Clichy has done enough to be considered the first choice. Evra is not good enough and never performed well for Les Bleus not to mention his off-field problems and disgraceful behavior as a captain nevertheless. A shame that Abidal has been unavailable for such a long period of time and probably never will return again.

    Debuchy should be preferred as the right back option for now at least. He offers so much more overall than Jallet although the latter is a solid replacement.

    Pogba and Matuidi have shown their worth for both club and country and are both young and they will only grow as players. Cabaye, as mentioned before, is not good enough. The team is clearly missing a player of Zidane's, Iniesta's, Xavi's, Pirlo's etc. stature to lead the team and control the flow of the game. Pogba could maybe become that kind of player in the future. He does not need to emulate those above mentioned players. Assuming the role required and missed is enough.

    Ribéry and Valbuena are very good options on the wings. If just Benzema started to score regularly the above team, with a few corrections and more experience could pose a real danger for any team.

    As of now I would pick this team when not playing against Spain who are the only national team that would have a significantly bigger ball possession than France.

    Lloris

    Debuchy-Varane-Sakho-Clichy

    Matuidi-Pogba

    Valbuena-Ribéry

    Benzema-Giroud

    A very offensive team indeed but since there is currently not a midfielder that is significantly superior than Cabaye another goal threat might as well be used in the form of Giroud. Especially given Benzema's lack of goals. Ribéry can't nor should he have all the weight on his shoulders against a team of Spain's quality.

    Lastly Arbeloa is a horribly annoying player with all his dirty tricks that nearly always go unpunished. Never seen a player who is better to fool the referee than him which says a lot.
    Pretty much agree with everything there.

    Although watching PSG earlier this season Sakho looked absoloutely woeful & i understand he's benched now. But then again it's the first time i've really seen him, so someone seeing him over a period of time would be a better judge. I wasn't impressed though.

    Gourcuff still not performing?

  9. #39
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    It took a 4th bookable offense for Matuidi to finally get booked...Should've been sent off in the 1st half...He was poor despite having played well for PSG

    Valbuena & Ribery were the only dangers for Les Bleus...Pogba was rightly sent off for being too stupid to tone his act down after being booked just seconds earlier but I understood his frustration at not winning the penalty when Arbeloa clearly held him - I'd like to see that called more often in matches, far too much BS on corners are let go and then arbitrarily called...Holding should be a pk, everytime...Of course, even the TF1 commentators knew the Pedro pk should've been called in the 1st half as well...The referee was pretty poor in what was an entertaining match

    Arbeloa is a douche, everyone knows this and Xabi gets away with too much too...Iniesta was terrific, Navas was a genius sub and Valdes was MOTM...Lovely run and goal by Pedro...Mixed bag from Monreal who was involved in the goal but played well over all...Shocking miss from Xavi early but in general, Del Bosque has to be concerned about the lack of goals as Villa wasn't much of a threat at all on the night...They need answers in front of goal

    Gourcuff is moving into the wasted talents column...He's been a massive disappointment at Lyon - there's concern he'll never turn the corner after some injuries
    Last edited by FCBarca; 26th March 2013 at 11:32 PM.
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ode to Django View Post
    Pretty much agree with everything there.

    Although watching PSG earlier this season Sakho looked absoloutely woeful & i understand he's benched now. But then again it's the first time i've really seen him, so someone seeing him over a period of time would be a better judge. I wasn't impressed though.

    Gourcuff still not performing?
    Yes, Sakho has not played consistently this season and suffered from injuries which has effected his performances and thus stability. Moreover Ancelotti has often preferred Alex to partner Thiago Silva. But I am yet to see a very bad game from Sakho for Les Bleus or when playing regularly for his team. He was a absolute beast for PSG when still a captain and literary carried the team through his stable defending and leadership. He just turned 23 recently and I see him and Varane as a potentially great young pairing. I might be harsh when it comes to Koscielny who apparently performs well for Arsenal but somehow I have never really been impressed with him and he has a tendency to make the most simple mistakes. There was one situation today late in the game where he took the ball from Navas after a great interception only to be seconds away from losing the ball in a very dangerous area had it not been for Matuidi's interception. Just from memory I recall similar situations in his other games.

    But overall then Sakho has not performed close to his usual level/potential so I am not surprised that you were not impressed when seeing him play for PSG.

    Gourcuff has played one game for the national team in the last 2 years and was left out for the EURO's. He needs some kind of revival to be considered again since he has stagnated completely. In other words another wasted talent like Nasri and M'Villa. Although I have not lost all the hope for the latter.

    France probably has the best collection of defensive midfielders but what is lacking is a player in the mould of Zidane/Xavi/Iniesta/Pirlo. In the modern game you need that kind of player(s) who can control games for you and the flow of it. There is currently not such a midfielder available which is a great weakness. Even the current France team with all its talent and potential would be significantly better with that kind of player. Pogba could be that player though in the future if he continues his progress. He only turned 20 a few days ago and has been impressive for Juve in this first real season as a senior at the highest level.

    Also with all due respect for Benzema and Giroud then they are not worthy to clean the boots of legends and world and European champions such as Henry and Trezeguet. Luckily there seem to be a few talented attackers on the youth teams.

    Also Spain has the luck to pick their squad from more or less 2 teams (no other than FCB & RM moreover) who have played next to each other regularly and for years. France does not have such a luxury nor any other national team I can think of - maybe aside from Italia who has a spine of Juve players. But that's not even comparable to what Spain enjoys.

    I mean 10 of the 11 Spanish players who started yesterday play for 2 Spanish clubs. 7 from FCB (Valdés, Piqué, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Villa) and 3 from RM (Ramos, Arbeloa, Alonso). Had Alba been fit the entire starting eleven would have been made up of players who play next to each other every single week. This is a HUGE advantage that is often forgotten.

    Just compare that with the starting eleven of France. In total the starting eleven had played 286 times for France. Ramos alone has played 100 times for Spain....

    Varane had played 1 game for France before the game, Koscielny 8, Jallet 4, Pogba 1, Matuidi 11, Valbuena 20 and Cabaye 20. That's more than half the team. 65 games in total. Only the remaining 4 players (Lloris, Evra, Ribéry & Benzema) had played more than 20 games before the game.

    Not to mention how many times those players have played together on the national team or at all as they don't have the luxury to be teammates on a weekly basis.

  11. #41
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    Ribery was France's best player as usual, the midfield won the ball well but couldn't distribute it and Benzema hits 1000 straight minutes without a goal... Overall a very good display though, as they could have easily scored 2 or 3 goals against the reigning world and european champions.

    What I didn't get is why Toulalan and Rami didn't play. They would both be in my starting eleven, and they'd provide experience to the squad. Could it be that they've behaved poorly or is there another reason? I really can't see why Toulalan is omitted, and the only reason to start Koscielny ahead of Rami is if the latter is injured (is he?).

    IMO France should play with this midfield/attack:

    Benzema*
    Ribery - Pogba - Valbuena
    Toulalan - Matuidi
    * Only because he'll be needed for the World Cup in Rio, he wouldn't even be on the bench based on his performances.

    One last thing: I can't believe Benzema was chosen ahead of Ribery as the best French player. He's not even half the player Franck is.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deco 20 View Post
    Ribery was France's best player as usual, the midfield won the ball well but couldn't distribute it and Benzema hits 1000 straight minutes without a goal... Overall a very good display though, as they could have easily scored 2 or 3 goals against the reigning world and european champions.

    What I didn't get is why Toulalan and Rami didn't play. They would both be in my starting eleven, and they'd provide experience to the squad. Could it be that they've behaved poorly or is there another reason? I really can't see why Toulalan is omitted, and the only reason to start Koscielny ahead of Rami is if the latter is injured (is he?).

    IMO France should play with this midfield/attack:

    Benzema*
    Ribery - Pogba - Valbuena
    Toulalan - Matuidi
    * Only because he'll be needed for the World Cup in Rio, he wouldn't even be on the bench based on his performances.

    One last thing: I can't believe Benzema was chosen ahead of Ribery as the best French player. He's not even half the player Franck is.
    I agree and you pretty much point out the same things as I did earlier, namely the lack of goals from Benzema, Ribéry carrying too much weight on his shoulders, the midfield having many successful interceptions but when it came to the distribution/control of the game they struggled more than usual. But it obviously has to do with the quality of the opponent. Busquets, Alonso, Xavi and Iniesta are not easy to play against and by far the best midfield on the international scene. Nevertheless Spain did not create much as was the case in the first game that ended 1-1.

    With better finishing in front of goal, as you say, France could have scored at least 2-3 goals and got something from the game. Ironically the team had a really good spell after the sending off of Pogba and created one huge chance that Evra should have scored on and a very good chance from Ribéry.

    Anyway drawing 1-1 away from home against them and losing 0-1 in a game where there were plenty of chances to score is a very good feat for a France team that has only been managed by Didier since summer and where 7 of the players who started yesterday only had played 65 games in total for Les Bleus before the game. Not to mention that many never played next to each other (Varane/Koscielny). In comparison Sergio Ramos had played 100 games for Spain before the game alone...

    Rami is injured if I remember correctly and Toulalan is not better in my opinion than Matuidi. France also have countless of options on the defensive midfield position - more than any other nation I can think of.

    Benzema has been shocking indeed but at least he seems to acknowledge it. At least when talking to the press. I am sure that he will start scoring regularly again but a player of his caliber need to perform much better against teams like Spain when it matters the most.

    Ribéry has been the best French player for years now. He is absolutely phenomenal and could play for any team in the world. He has consistently been one of the best if not the best performer in Bayern München when playing and you can spot the difference of that team when he is missing.

    He played a great game yesterday but he should probably have scored on that chance in the first half. Only bad thing there is to say about his performance.
    Last edited by DucdeOrléans; 27th March 2013 at 11:42 AM.

  13. #43
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    Yes, but I feel both Matuidi and Pogba are a bit reckless, and having a true defensive midfielder behind/next to them would mean Pogba could focus more on distribution and shooting while still helping out in defense when needed while Matuidi would have a solid player covering him. This way he could even get forward a bit more too.

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    Ducde, really good to hear your opinions. As a newcastle fan over the years and especially now i've enjoyed the french NT. Cabaye always looks brilliant for us yet he seems to go missing for the NT, maybe he needs to be given the playmaker role. One of the best french talents coming through i've seen was digne (lb) for Lille. I think the current French team are underrated and have some fantastic players. Maybe just need the players playing off the striker to score more goals as well, particularly in the bigger games because if Benzema doesn't score I wouldn't be too worried about anyone else scoring if facing France.

  15. #45
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    Biggest problem for Les Bleus, much like many of their civic issues, is teamwork - missing a leader on the pitch...Deschamps is proving to be a worthy successor to Blanc but when times get tough, teams usually need leaders to keep the team focused on the goal and I think France still has the glaring absence of leadership on the pitch
    Paolo Maldini - "In my opinion, Messi should win the Ballon D'Or each year. He's an unbelievable player."