Didier Deschamps opted for a new system, abandoning the 2018 World Cup pattern for three matches. But this 3-5-2 (which is actually a 3-4-1-2) is it suited to the qualities of players available to the coach?
Central Defenders: A Tank to Use
This is one of the posts where the tricolor pool is the richest. Didier Deschamps regularly convenes Raphael Varane, Clement Lenglet, Kurt Zouma and Presnel Kimpembe since the World Cup, when we must not bury Samuel umtiti. Dayot Upamecano took advantage of this gathering and this new system to celebrate his first two selections in A, and Lucas Hernandez was used in the axis. By adding Aymeric Laporte, and the youngest like Jules Koundé or Boubacar Kamara, the coach has more than enough quantity and quality to opt for a three axial defense. Provided that they do not forget to participate in the game, which most of them are able to do.
Lateral: The question mark
This 3-5-2 system relieves them of certain defensive responsibilities, which will suit some. But conversely, they logically have an increased offensive role, with the mission of occupying the two flanks on their own. In Sweden, their contribution was insufficient. Against Croatia it was a little better: the first goal came from the left, via Ferland mendy ; the second from the right, following a recovery of Moussa Sissoko. For the moment, no indisputable holder emerges. And a question remains unanswered: Didier Deschamps dare to entrust this position to a more offensive player, type Kingsley coman. It would be surprising, because the tricolor side often came back very low to form a defense to 5 on what we could see on this rally.
Environments: The right profiles to find
One thing is certain: in this scheme which strongly resembles a system with 5 defenders, Deschamps must find axial midfielders capable of projecting themselves forward. With a Kanté-Nzonzi duo, France started with seven defensive players, which gave the infamous start to the match against Croatia. Fortunately, some absent have the profile to provide more: Paul pogba, of course, but also Tanguy Ndombele, Corentin Tolisso or Houssem Aouar. Adrien rabiot may be able to bring projections, if he lets go. And if there is one example to follow, it is the one Eduardo Camavinga, who perfectly fulfilled this role during the half hour he spent on the lawn of the Stade de France.
Playmaker: Griezmann in his element
Didier Deschamps often thinks about his systems to Antoine Griezmann, to place him in the axis, at the heart of the game, in this role that he likes (and that he does not have at FC Barcelona). The 4-2-3-1 of Euro 2016 and the World Cup suited him well. He had Olivier Giroud as a fulcrum with which to combine. In the new 3-4-1-2 of the Blues, Griezmann turns into a real No.10. Thus, the game rests a lot for him, and he has to have a good night (not like in Sweden), and he has game solutions. The two attackers cannot be enough, we need calls from the side, and some projections of the middle.
Forwards: Wingers left out
It is not the system that suits him best, but Olivier Giroud can play in a two-point system. For Kylian Mbappé it is also very good. He has the freedom to walk on the front of the attack, and does not have to make the defensive withdrawals imposed by the 4-2-3-1. In general, this 3-4-1-2 eliminates the wingers and makes some victims. Kingsley coman is the main one, and we can add the world champions Ousmane Dembele and Florian Thauvin, sidelined by injuries since the World Cup. On the other hand, it is good news for a pure axial like Wissam Ben Yedder, and for Anthony Martial, who stabilized at No.9 at Manchester United.
Mbappé, Deschamps sends Leonardo back to the ropes
Griezmann at the height of Zidane
The Blues make the show