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“How to counter the English wave”

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“I don’t hide from you that I don’t like these periods between two World Cup matches. Almost a week apart between our victory against Poland and this game on Saturday against the children of treacherous Albion. It’s good for recovery of course… But there is this general euphoria, this magical parenthesis during which the players walk on water, believe themselves invincible, relax their attention a little on the essential, the fight, and can get lost in the trap of won encounters in advance. However, the opponent is not a Tom Thumb of football, but an ogre with a gargantuan appetite. It is a team which is reconquering lost territories, in a form of symbolic, sporting revenge, of course, but which is driven by an engine even more humming than our Blues, who could well fall asleep on their two ears, c that is to say their two stars as world champions.

So I have before me a complex task, first of all to analyze, to dissect, the game of the “British”, to look for their weak points. They have few. Undoubtedly a rather slow defense, but held by old veterans who have a unique sense of placement, a formidable heading game. We praise the extraordinary offensive capacities of my team, with the trio Mbappé, Giroud and Dembélé. However, at home, the danger will also come from an armada of ultra-fast infantrymen, great technicians, devourers of space, led by a certain Harry Kane, their center forward, a kind of Benzema from across the Channel, head of orchestra, surface fox, insatiable scorer. To counter the English wave, we will need an iron defense.

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However, all the commentators point out that, in this sector, we have a certain fragility, and sometimes even feverishness. All my work will therefore consist in preparing my players for a rough battle, in transforming my rearguard into a squadron of samurai ready to die for the fatherland. I have two days to do this mental preparation. However, this aspect of the competition, at this stage, is not studied on the blackboard, but in the depths of the guts of my little guys. We will therefore have to go upmarket in terms of warrior spirit. Translation: to be at the same time Buddhist monks, impossible to distract, and angry warriors, ready to board the football ship of His Gracious Majesty, forgive his king, can we say gracious? God save the King? We, our King is called Kylian Mbappé. He terrorizes all defences, seems to cross them with the soul of a knight on a mission.

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He too is in conquest mode. He wants all the thrones. We only see him on the buildings of Doha. This overexposure is a high-risk factor, because it can induce, here again, a form of relaxation, a scattering of energies. Mbappé has become the soul of our team, that’s for sure. The English have understood this well and will implement a secret plan, a 12-digit code, to neutralize it, which we will have to decipher, but above all, the ten other blue players will have to not fall asleep while waiting for the miracle of a stroke of genius on his part. Warriors, focused, humble, that’s pretty much my credo so that we can eliminate the historical enemy. I won’t talk about the Hundred Years War, about Joan of Arc, whom their occupying army burned like a witch. No I won’t tell them “Avenge Jeanne”. Although, you never know. It could boost them. No, let’s be serious, I’ll try to keep them under tension. But then again, being energized does not mean being tense. Do you see the nuance? »

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