Regarded as one of the best teams in world football, France has their eyes fixed firmly on the FIFA World Cup next summer in Russia. Les Bleus is perhaps still feeling the blues after their loss to Portugal on home soil in the 2016 European Championship final and can redeem themselves at the Greatest Show on Earth in Russia. Head coach, Didier Deschamps, leads the charge and should feel excited about one of the most talented and gifted group of players since their 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 squads.
Deschamps now has a very young team to manage, but there is a lot of experience throughout the spine of the team complemented extremely well by the fresh impetus from some of the most talented young players in the world. The quality, potential, dynamism, power and athletic ability of the squad is unbelievable and presents quite a challenge for the 48-year-old World Cup winner to find the right balance. The problem on hand for the former Marseille and Juventus midfielder is a dream for any coach, but inconsistency has threatened their objectives. Their scoreless draw at home against minnows Luxembourg is another example of their hot-and-cold nature. The shocking result coming three days after a scintillating 4-0 thrashing of traditional powerhouse, Holland.
He may not admit his shortcomings in terms of selection. However, by all indication, the former Monaco boss remains uncertain over his attacking options. At the back, the French are in safe hands through goalkeeper and skipper, Hugo Lloris, and a defensive unit led by Raphaël Varane and Laurent Koscielny. The likes of Samuel Umtiti, Kurt Zouma and Aymeric Laporte provide great competition in central defence while Layvin Kurzawa and Djibril Sidibe seem to have cemented their places as first choice full backs. Benjamin Mendy, Lucas Digne and Sébastien Corchia have the entire season to prove their worth.
In midfield, the super gifted Paul Pogba is central to Deschamps’ plans alongside N’Golo Kanté and Blaise Matuidi. Les Bleus has other great alternatives such as Corentin Tolisso, Tiemoué Bakayoko and Adrien Rabiot while Morgan Schneiderlin seems to have been left out in the cold. Despite their excellent and exciting attacking options, only one player stands out as first choice, which is Antoine Griezmann. The Atlético Madrid forward is the protagonist in the final third, but too often has found himself with different partners in and around the penalty area.