“Tonight we enter the world of uncertainty, of the lottery, of such close matches, so undecided, so ” the hard “, that the smallest detail will weigh in the destiny of a team. We saw it in the first quarter-finals, where everything was decided in extra time, in those moments of high dramaturgical but also physical intensity, when the legs become heavy like lead, when victory goes to those who have the best performing substitutes. For Croatia, it was a man from the bench who equalized against Brazil and allowed his team to eliminate Neymar’s band. For the Netherlands, he was a substitute who scored twice and gave his teammates a chance to doubt Messi until the end of the night, until the fatal penalty shootout. It was not enough to qualify the Batavians, but it is a sign that the Blues should not take lightly. The bench of substitutes, those that we casually call the “hairdressers”contrary to appearances, has become essential for any team dreaming of the scepter of king of the world of football.
However, in this area, I must admit that we have a serious handicap compared to the English. At home, on paper, the list of substitutes, those called to enter during the game, when the tension and fatigue reach the extreme, is breathtaking. To name a few, Rashford, Sterling, Grealish, Alexander-Arnold, all are stars, top players in the English league, considered the Olympus of the football world. However, on the French side, it is obvious that we have a flagrant deficit on our bench. I won’t name names, but during the last qualifying group match, lost against a very good Tunisian team, the whole world saw the gap that separates the starters from the others. We talked a lot about the fact that I didn’t have a B team, so no plan B, and that against the British, this deficit was bound to weigh heavily at the end of the match. I also know that in case of defeat, the controversies will fuse.
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Avoid the catastrophic scenario of penalties
I will be attacked by all those who want to see me clear off, take my legs around my neck, at the same time as my protector, Noël Le Graët, the president of the FFF. In case of elimination, I can write you in advance the scenario to come. I will be the man who has neglected the dark side of competition, the role of second knives, of the invisible, those who, without noise, without pretension, come to save the world with a miraculous stroke of the paw, à la 119e minute of extra time, before the final whistle, the one that sends us back to the underworld of the losers. Faced with this evidence, I have no other solution than not to hang out on the lawn, and to win quickly, to put the English on the grill, without calculation, to go on the attack, to be in a logic of samurai , without this horrible ambition that we have seen too often with these coaches who bet everything on penalties at the end of extra time, this guillotine of the lawns, spectacular, cathartic, of course, but where everything is decided on a throw of the dice, a bad position of a foot at the time of the shot, a badly laced shoe, a sudden distraction, the fear that grips, paralyzes and sends the ball into the clouds. The greatest champions have experienced this disappointment. It is therefore imperative that we avoid this catastrophic scenario.
In the head to “DD”: “How to counter the English wave”
Paradoxically, this manufacturing defect of my team, if I can say so, could well be a strength. We are entering into tactical considerations that I can only mention in this column. By repeating over and over again that my bench is a group of broken arms, of losers, I push the opponent to believe that he will win in overtime, and, therefore, that he has no reason to deploy his offensive game during the first 90 minutes of the match, having only to wait for the arrival of my “hairdressers” to sweep the Blues. The famous “Wait and see English… So my challenge is simple. The whole world will discover that my “hairdressers” do not shave for free, that they are my secret task force, those who will surprise the world. You smile ? Trust me, I have motivated them like never before so that the 5 or 10 minutes they will deliver at the end of the match will make them stars, Brechtian heroes, those who we never see but who wear the cape of invincibility. They are also my guarantee of survival at the head of the Blues. The “hairdressers” therefore have the most beautiful mission: to mow the roast beef, with all due respect. »
In the head of “DD”: “Kylian Mbappé, the new Pelé”World Cup, quarter-final: England-France, 8 p.m. (TF1 and Bein sports 1)