Two wins, a draw and a qualification for the quarter-finals. What did you think of Les Bleues during the group stage?
“The main thing is done with the qualification and the first place. It’s good to have started with two wins in order to run the third game. In the content, there were good things and others that can be improved. The competition is long so I hope they will gain momentum. »
Where can they improve?
“On the technical aspect like what could be done in the first half against Italy [5-0 à la pause]. French football has a solid technical base and I think that there are still areas for improvement. »
France scored all of their goals in the first half (8). How to explain this drop in speed on returning from the locker room?
“It’s hard to say, if we knew that there are a lot of clubs and nations that would be happy. Afterwards, physically in competitions like the Euro, we don’t prepare specifically for the first two or three matches. There are a lot of girls who play in Paris or Lyon and who had a big season with few cuts. Afterwards, there was no doubt the heat and the fact that the good start to the match made it possible to slow down. »
Advantage Malard against Sarr
Marie-Antoinette Katoto was injured during the match against Belgium. During this meeting, Corinne Deacon chose to replace her with Ouleymata Sarr before aligning Melvine Malard against Iceland. How did you find these two players?
“Marie-Antoinette Katoto is a big loss because she is the attacker for the France team. She is a complete player with a lot of qualities. She is athletic, she weighs on the defenses and in addition she scores a lot.
I found that Melvine Malard made a very good entry. She is a complete player, who despite her young age (22), has passed a level this year at OL. She established herself as an important girl. Against Iceland, I found that she didn’t ask herself any questions, that she tried to help the team because she likes to participate in the game. She did it rather well. »
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And concerning Ouleymata Sarr?
“In her calls, she can be interesting because she goes quite fast. But technically, it’s a shame that she couldn’t carry out certain actions. I find that she scored fewer points than Melvine if we have to make the comparison. »
Clara Mateo showed her advantage when she played. How do you judge his performance?
“I found him very interesting with several assists. She is often on the move, she proposes and she recovers a lot of balls. She immediately projects forward as we have seen on Malard’s goal against Iceland where she delivers the decisive pass. She is fair. »
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France will play the defending champions in the quarter-finals. What kind of match should we expect?
“I don’t think it’s going to be an open game. The Netherlands have experience. Admittedly, they have just lost Martens to injury. But they have Miedema, one of the best strikers in Europe who is coming back because she had the Covid in the last two matches. It’s a nation that has grown in recent years and has always been smart in the game. But I think the team is less strong than in 2017, the year they were European champions. The defense is perhaps their weak point and with our attackers, if we get to the depths, we can make the difference. »
With the game of Diani and Cascarino in particular….
” That’s it. If I were the Netherlands, I would try to leave them as little space as possible. But if their block is low, it’s going to be a little more difficult. »
Germany and England have been a hit since the start of the competition. How do you situate the level of France in relation to these selections?
“It’s quite homogeneous on these nations. England have been working well for several years. Germany has always been at the highest level with players who make a difference in their clubs and who win titles. These two teams are above the others. In addition, England is driven by its public. With the knockout phase, a completely different tournament begins. Anything can happen. »