If we listened to the specialists, all “footologists” of the earth, the French match against Poland would come down to a simple equation like an acceleration of Mbappé: deprive Robert Lewandowski of ammunition, isolate him, quarantine him, impose a penance on him like he never has known.
The serial scorer of the country of Frédéric Chopin, fox of surfaces, slow poison of all defenses, is a snake, an eel that must be locked up in an invisible cage. Some coaches of other teams qualified in the round of 16 speak something like this: “Bridle Lewandowski and the case is in the bag”.
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As always, I am suspicious of this type of simplistic tactic which could even lead my players into a form of overconfidence, not to say deadly. So I decided to prescribe a much more deterrent potion to the Blues. To win against our ” friends “ Poles, you have to put yourself in electric mode, play on mobility, precision, make a team that you consider slow and uninspired dizzy. The Poles have a way of putting themselves in the position of the hedgehog, abandoning the game to their opponents, and waiting for the end of the match, hoping for a stroke of genius from their number one sniper, the ” Rand Robert “. We will therefore have to assume being the dominant ones, but in humility, which is not always won with these Blues who display, of course, a good state of mind, a form of playful camaraderie, a freshness, which would reinvigorate the most cantankerous of supporters, but which could also mask an overconfidence.
The geopolitical match: France-Poland, rough relations, complicated by the Ukrainian equation
And that, believe me, there is one who understood that it was necessary to play this card thoroughly, it is Czelaw Michniewicz, the Polish coach. This smart guy predicted, in the press, that he would see a France-Brazil in the final of this World Cup, just to brush us in the direction of the hair, to make us the trick of the crow and the fox, of the “How pretty you are, how beautiful you seem to me”. Here, during the pre-match chat, I’m going to recite this fable from La Fontaine to them, remind my good lads that they’re not crows and that they must pluck the fox, that vile flatterer. I know, you don’t pluck a fox, you skin it, but it’s an image that will speak to my troops. And, above all, I don’t want to offend the animalists who are also supporters of the France team.
So, to return to the purely sporting aspect of this high-risk match, I would remind the youngest that each World Cup playoff match is a lottery, an event where chance, luck, plays a more important role than we don’t believe it. This chance, it will be necessary to go to seek it with the teeth, will I chant this handbook to my little guys. The teeth ? I know, it will be better with the feet. In other words, you will have to twirl like butterflies in front of an iron defense, a little heavy, curled up on itself. Intrude into the Polish bunker. It will be necessary to multiply the technical prowess, without playing the kamikazes, while keeping the lucidity of old veterans. All these ingredients form an improbable, uncertain alchemy. It is therefore necessary to maintain a Sioux caution. Those who prophesy a victory for the Blues with their fingers in their noses are birds of bad omen. Fortunately, my executives, those who were present in 2018, know how much battles will now be won in pain.
My turn to send a message to the Poles. Dear friends, never forget that Emperor Napoleon 1er, after having promised to reconstitute the kingdom of Poland and to restore its independence to it, managed, at the Treaty of Tilsit, in 1807, to create the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. He is a bit like the liberator of Poland. For this historic match, since the two teams had not met for almost twenty years, you will therefore face fighting brothers, heirs to a common history. The Grand Army had, in fact, many Polish officers. Their names are even engraved today on the Arc de Triomphe. All this is, of course, very far from our concerns. But if this historical digression could convince the rough Polish defenders to avoid bad shots, deadly tackles, I’m interested. No blues for the Blues!!!