The French team reached the semi-finals of Euro 2022 but came up against Germany at the gates of the final on Wednesday (2-1). RMC Sport takes stock of Les Bleues de Corinne Deacon, between hopes for the future and shortcomings of the present.
The promises of youth and play
This is the great positive point of this Euro 2022 in England: the French team has grown with this course until the semi-finals. Despite the cruel elimination against Germany (12-1) on Wednesday in Milton Keynes, the Blues have formed a close-knit and united group. And the young guard brought its passion, its ambitions and its thirst for titles.
>> Relive the semi-final between France and Germany (1-2)
A blue revival embodied among others by Selma Bacha, Clara Matéo, and Melvine Malard. The first two really burst the screen during this European championship. Confirming all the hopes placed in them. At each of her entries, the Lyonnaise dynamited the game, took her chance without asking any questions: she breathes football and can really become an essential part of the tricolor system of the future.
For her part, Clara Matéo shone with her inspirations, her passes in the interval, creating uncertainty in the opposing defense and allowing for a different solution. In terms of the game, there were some interesting things, very convincing periods with good combinations (the first period of France-Italy or the quarter against the Netherlands). Too bad it was not seen in the semi-finals, where the players of Corinne Deacon missed a little something.
Lack of offensive density
She should have been the star striker of this Euro. Coming out of an exceptional season with PSG, the best of her career, Marie-Antoinette Katoto was ready to break everything and bring Les Bleues to the title. Unfortunately for the France team, the injury of the Paris Saint-Germain striker has reshuffled the cards. Corinne Deacon had to adapt her offensive system designed for “MAK”.
If Delphine Cascarino and Kadidiatou Diani were essential, even too much which moreover made the game of the Blue predictable, behind, the density of the French attackers is not important enough to carry the Blue after a competition. For comparison, the Germans were able to afford the luxury of playing without Schuller and Bühl this half.
Melvine Malard (22) has shown some interesting things but still has to assert herself when the level rises. And Ouleymata Sarr completely missed her Euro. We will therefore have to find a solid alternative for the future and a real plan B. Looking ahead to the 2024 Olympic Games, we can think of the new Real Madrid player Naomie Feller.
An interesting midfield but lacking impact
She may have found herself quite alone at her post. Very generous and combative, Charlotte Bilbault gave the change in the quarter and semi-finals without saving herself. But she seemed quite alone in the world of sentries. Because it is a deficiency of this list: he will have missed another “6” of international level.
If there is an absence on which we can possibly come back, it is that of Amandine Henry in midfield. As we know, relations are very complicated with coach Corinne Deacon, but her high-level experience and her influence over the second part of the season would have brought some stability to the tricolor midfield. And allowed Grace Geyoro and Sandie Toletti to focus on torchbearer tasks.
Defense: stability a guarantee of serenity
This was the most surprising point of this beginning of competition: the change of central hinge operated by Corinne Deacon until the quarter-finals. Starting in turn Aïssatou Tounkara and Griedge Mbock Bathy alongside captain Wendie Renard. This created uncertainty in the tricolor rearguard.
Lack of automation, approximate alignments which were settled once the central defense did not move. Unquestionably, the best hinge remains Mbock-Renard. These two know each other by heart, and they were able, unsurprisingly, to raise their level pretty damn high from the cutthroat matches.
Wendie Renard was solid against the Netherlands and the Germans. He will have missed this goal on set piece which could have changed the destiny of the Blue.
On the sides of the defense, if they were successful at the start of the competition and in the quarter-finals, Sakina Karchaoui and Eve Périsset showed certain limits defensively when the level rose. His challenge with the Chelsea Blues will certainly allow Périsset to take a step forward. For her part, Sakina Karchaoui will be able to refine her agreement with Selma Bacha to have better complementarity on the left side.
Peyraud-Magnin, the last solid rampart
It was her first major official international competition as a starter. Although touched by a personal drama at the end of preparation, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin achieved solid performances during this Euro with the exception of a few risky outings in group matches.
Author of beautiful parades against Italy (his best match in the blue jersey) and Germany, the door of Juventus proved that she had the shoulders to keep the tricolor goals.