Possibly one of the great disappointments of Euro 2008 may be the national team of France, although it arrives at this tournament as finalist of the last world championship, the truth is that there are many doubts about the performance of much of the players who will be in the team of the controversial Raymond Domenech, who has returned to generate a controversy with the absence in the squad of Juventus Turin´s striker David Trezeguet, whose excellent season in the Italian Serie A-he scored 20 goals- is not enough to compensate his bad relationship with the French (with Spanish origin) coach, who is able to make the call of the players according the Signs of Zodiac. When we say that there are many doubts about the performance of some players, it is because there are some players, whose presence in the French team should be at least questionable.
On the one hand, the goalkeeper is questionable, because Gregory Coupet has had many problems this season, since he had an important injury and he had a hesitant return to competition without the enough confidence and security, but he has gradually played better and he will arrive to the EURO with a correct level. Now then, we will see his play in this Euro, because, although he already is 35 year´s old, he has never played a great competition with the French selection, so it is a mystery if he will bear the pressure of play representing his country. Of course, if Coupet presents doubts, what can we say about Mickaël Landreau, whose play with the French National team is not good, as he has shown in several occasions as the game against Scotland during the qualifying´s round for this Euro or in the friendly game against Morocco this year . Besides he had an irregular season with PSG, so we believe that it is unfair that this goalkeeper is in the squad and we think that the second goalkeeper of the French team should be or Sebastién Frey (he is the excellent -safe, sober, with authority and experience- Fiorentina´s goalkeeper, although he has a problem with Domenech, his disastrous debut in Kiev against Ukraine) or Steve Mandanda of Olympique Marseille, who has made a tremendous season and if he continues in this level, he will be one of the best goalkeepers of the world.
Besides the goalkeeper´s doubt, the French fans will have another problem with the defensive line, because they will see three players, who did not make their best trajectory´s season. On the one hand, we will see Willy Sagnol as the right back of the team. This Bayern Munich´s player had many problems during these season, because he had some injuries and so it is doubtful his physical state in the Euro and therefore If we will see the real Sagnol, that is to say an experienced and good player both defensively and when he attacks and passes the ball. But this is not the only “bleu”´s defensive problem, since Domenech wants in the team 2 player, who played horrible during this season; we refer to the FC Barcelona´s player, Liliam Thuram and Eric Abidal. ¿Is there anyone who can understand the Thuram´s transfer to FC Barcelona? ¿How is it possible that this player with 36 year´s old have one of the best salaries of the FC Barcelona´s team?. This is another “big” management of the Joan Laporta-president of FC Barcelona- and Txiki "Mr Press´s Conferences" Beguiristain(the sport director), yes this hypocrite duo, who say that Frank Rijkaard is the guilty of the bad season-Mr Laporta, ¿why do not you apply your famous sentence “que n'aprenguin” and you learn to manage the club correctly?-. Thuram is since 2 years on holydays in Barcelona, he is playing poorly and slowly, so we can not expect much from this veteran during the Euro.We can say the same of Abidal, who has made a bad season; he started well but he gradually played worse and he finished very bad, being a player without confidence, slow and he committed a lot of mistakes, so I do not understand his presence in the Euro. The other defensive position is quite open between Julien Escude-he had a season without the necessary continuity in Seville because of the injuries-,William Gallas, who finished not very well his season in Arsenal, Méxès- he is an overvalued player for me, cause he is a too soft in order to be a good defender- and the 2 Olympique Lyon´s central defenders, Sebastien Squillaci-good player- and Jean-Alain Boumsong, who has many number to play, because he has recovered his level thanks to his return to Le Championat after an irregular period with Juventus.
It is a pity this Raymond´s decision over these 2 FC Barcelona´s players, because I think that the French team will have less chances to make a good competition with them in the squad, whose level is very good in the offensive line, since on the one hand, Domenech may have the marvellous Patrick Vieira, the boss of the team, who, after an injured period, arrives 100% to this Euro and with excellent mentality after the Scudetto´s title. He will be the key player of the team, because he has everything: he leads, defends, attacks, he has arrival to the area, he is tough, smart, so he is a super class, who will be very well helped, either with a defensive partner as Alou Diarra, who,after an unfortunate period in Olympique Lyon, has returned to his best level this season with Girondis of Bordeaux, or as Portsmouth FC´s midfielder Lassana Diarra, or the experienced and always solvent Claude Makekele, or with a partner who combines the defensive and the technical play as Jérémy Toulalan, who is playing very well in Olympique Lyon and possibly he will be the Vieira's successor as director of the French game, or with a player more technical and offensive as the sensational Samir Nasri, who is a wonderful player, playing as playmaker or as offensive midfielder and although he did not start this season very well and even Eric Gerets did not rely on him-I did not understand the Gerets´s decisions over Nasri(he started the game in the bench) in the decisive Champions League´s game against Liverpoo-, but he gradually has played better and he finished the season in an excellent level, being the key player of Olympique Marseille, assisting and scoring important goals in the last game of le Championat, so he had a decisive paper in the qualify of Olympique Marseille to the next Champions League (we'll see the future of this little genius and if the Euro serves as a springboard to sign for another big team with more stability and calmness-Arsenal could be his destination and his price between 16 and 20 million euros-). The French playmakers will be helped by good players in both sides, Domenech can opt on the left either for the competitive Floriant Malouda, who is an experienced player with quality and he is able to perform defensive and offensive task, or for a skilled and fast Hatem Ben Arfa – this player is 21 year´s old and perhaps he is too erratic to play all the game with the French team, but he can be an excellent player for the last 20 minutes of a game-. On the right, we will also see good players, since in this position we will see, Franck Ribéry, who is the star of the team, the Zidane´s successor, according to some medias, but for me it is absurd to compare Zidane with Ribéry, because of course Ribéry is a good player- he is skilled, with mobility, competitive, with good shot, he runs and plays without fear-, but I think he is very overvalued by the medias. The Ribéry´s substitute will be a very good player, Sidney Govou, who is a very elegant offensive player, experienced, with great mobility, skilled, smart, with good shoot and vision of the game, so he is a very interesting and dangerous player, especially because he will play the second half of the games when the rival players are tired.
Lastly, we will refer to the French striker line, where we have some questions over the play of some striker, cause we do not understand the absence of “Trezegol” and the inclusion in the squad of Thierry Henry, who played a horrible season in FC Barcelona-this another "great" Laporta´s management, ¿who can pay 24 million euros for a player with 30 year´s old and with chronic injury in his back? Only Laporta, the man, who criticized the expensive transfers of the former presidents ... ahhh Jan Laporta, ¿what´s the matter with the famous salaries of the FC Barcelona´s players (the salaries should have a small fixed part and the rest, it would depend on the results)? ¿this rule was only for your first year? ¿it is only for some players?well, we will speak in other article about this disastrous president-. Henry wants to make a, at least one, good important tournament with his national team during his career, but we think that he must wait for another occasion and if France wants to make a good Euro, Henry should have a testimonial paper, being the striker of the team Karim Benzema, who arrives to the Euro after a sensational season with Olympique Lyon, showing a great smell to score, that if we join this characteristic to his mobility, smart and power, we have a marvellous striker and he should be the “9” of the French, but we will see what will it happen, because we know Domenech´s preference: the veterans as Henry and apathetic as Nicolas Anelka, who always plays for an important team, he disappoints (he only scored 2 goals this season with Chelsea). As alternates for these 3 strikers Domenech will have Djibril Cisse- he played well this season with Olympique Marseille- and the Saint Etienne's young striker Bafetimbi Gomis, who is skilled, with mobility, fast and strong - anyway it is doubtful that these last 2 strikers come to the euro and if they go, they will have a very secondary role.
In short, it is a good team but we do not believe that it can win the title-even it is doubtful that we see the French team playing the 4th finals of the competition-except that Domenech is brave and entrusts to Frey or Mandanda as the goalkeeper of the team and do not play Thuram, nor Abidal, nor Henry nor Anelka.