Report on Kos, Bac, Olly, Grenier and Wenger on duty for France

Being a regular of
the Gunners Town team for the first means that there is a lot of pressure on
me. And after a long time of doubt mixed with fear and cheese (typical French
style), I chose to speak about a subject as important to me as Arsenal: the
French National Team.

Well
actually, the French Team AND Arsène Wenger to be honest. As you know, the Boss
has always an eye (if not both) on “Les Bleus”, especially because he
is working as pundit on French TV TF1. And Wenger’s punditry can be both
fascinating and frustrating. Yeah, I know, like our favourite team I can hear
you saying.

Wenger
commentating is kind of relaxing duty for him : no need to care about tactics
or injuries (except, maybe, when Abou Diaby is sitting on the bench), no fear
of a refereeing hijack by Mike Dean, no stress because of an incident when
zipping his jacket. Talking freely about tactics and player (but not about
transfer business, certainly not), Wenger can be very specific or visionary,
and even sometimes, very rude. His famous “this team has no soul”
about Holland in 2012 is a vivid memory for me. 

But
Arsène remains Arsène: silent man, using words like using English pounds: with
much much (much) care. For a French football fans, describing Wenger talking on
TV is a kind of private joke; invariably answer a question with
“yes”. The reason is Wenger’s temper, no doubt, but also the guy who
is commentating with him, a French-speaking boring journalist, who always
repeats nonsense about a certain Spanish La Liga team and their Argentine
“genius”. So basically, here is the kind of conversation the French
can hear during an international game: 

Journalist
(ecstatic): “So, Arsene, what do you think of this French Team and the
lack of creativity that the likes of a Lionel Messi or Andres Iniesta
would solve without a doubt because they are the football geniuses that we
don’t have in France since we lost Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry. I
think I forgot to lock my door before leaving maybe I’m talking too much, do
you know that your tie is beautiful?”

Wenger:
“Yes”

Anyway, I
initially wanted to talk about our French players on their international
duty. As you know, they lost against Uruguay (1-0) and Brazil (3-0). Laurent Koscielny,
Bacary Sagna and Olivier Giroud were all starters for the first game. Laurent
and Baky did a good job, both working on the right of the defence (Centre for
Kos, flank for Sagna) and I assume this is one of the best duets Arsenal can
put on the field. I think it can be interesting to remember that Koscielny, at
the start of his career, was initially put on the right of the defence (right
back with Guingamp, right centre-back with Tours and Lorient). Giroud was very
quiet, only receiving two good balls during the game. None of these three
players were part of the game against Brazil, except Giroud as a substitute in
last five minutes. And to be honest, the defence was lacking without a
‘boss like Kos’.

A few
words about Clement Grenier, who played the last quarter against both teams. He
was in a good shape against Uruguay, injecting pace and delivering a few
good balls forward, but totally inefficient against Brazil, playing as
offensive midfield each time.

Nothing
more to say about this, except we don’t care about friendly games due to FIFA
stupid asking. Yes, the French Team has lost two games, but after a long
season, all the players need to rest. Most important thing is none of Arsenal’s
players were injured.

A bientôt.

Vincent Fabre


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