Wednesday, June 9, 2010

France vs Uruguay FIFA World Cup 2010: Domenech has Reasons to be Worried

France coach Raymond Domenech is now feeling the heat ahead of France’s opening World Cup fixture against Uruguay in Group A on 11 June. Following some shaky performances in the recent friendly matches, France has a lot to be worried about.

Specially, the Les Bleus defense has come under huge criticism recently. The humiliating 1-0 defeat at the hands of China last week has worsened the situation. Last month, France defeated Costa Rica 2-1 and drew with Tunisia 1-1.

Domenech’s worry could easily be doubled by adding the fact that two front line Uruguayan striker: Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez- have been in excellent scoring form. Forlan got his name in the score sheet in both of Uruguay’s recent friendly wins against Israel and Switzerland. The Latin Americans scored 7 goals in the two matches while conceding only 2.

Defense was always a strength for France in their triumphs in 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. In the presence of Marcel Desailly, Laurent Blanc, Thuram and Lizarazu in defense and Fabien Barthez in between the posts, France was rock solid in defending. Even, Thuram, Sagnol and Gallas played a key role in 2006 when they reached the World Cup final in Germany.

The current defense line up also features quality players, but the players look little bit shaky and they must improve on their recent performances, if France wants to replicate their 1998 success this year. Two centre backs Gallas and Abidal have to transform their club form into international stage. Injury has made the task a lot tougher for the Arsenal star Gallas who missed lots of action since picking up the injury during a Champions League match against Barcelona.

However, the good thing is that new captain Patrice Evra has had perhaps his best season with Manchester United. Bacary Sagna and Clichy also have the quality to rely upon.

Though there are many who are only concerned with France’s shaky defense, their attacking was not impressive at all. Henry and Anelka were not even close to their best in the recent friendly matches. They must add firepower to their attack if France wants to have a good start in the World Cup. Midfielder Franck Ribéry, who has spent another successful season with Bayern Munich, must transfer his superb club form into international stage.

One thing needs to be mentioned here is that France did not have good start in their last two World Cup campaigns. In 2002, as the defending champion France lost their first game to a lesser known African side Senegal and eventually got out of the tournament from the group stage. Four years later, Les Bleus kicked off their mission with a goalless draw with Switzerland.

France has been drawn in Group A alongside South Africa, Uruguay and Mexico.


  1. If France can regroup and play as a team they should get through the first group but they need to be sharp as Uruguay can be unpredictable and change the tempo of the match at any given time.
    I believe if they don't draw Uruguay will come through with the win.