The coach of the France team, necessarily satisfied with the victory of his team (4-0) against the Netherlands, expects confirmation on Monday against Ireland.
At the Stade de France
The results of an idyllic evening
“A perfect evening? I don’t know but it was a very nice evening with this atmosphere, the full stadium and a very good start. We were very effective with this very diligent first period. To finish it at 3-0 is not nothing. This led us to manage in the second half while continuing to be dangerous. And Mike (Maignan) stopped the penalty. It’s true, the evening started well and ended well. It’s a very good start for us in this qualifying phase, against this opponent, even if I’m not going to hide the fact that they lacked important players. This should not take away the merit from the France team. »
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The successful match of Kolo Muani
“Kolo is full of confidence. He has this capacity for movement, percussion, dribbling. There was good intelligence between the three attacking players, with Kingsley (Coman) and Kylian (Mbappé), who have no fixed position. It created a lot of difficulties for the opponent. With this quality of speed in addition, it was a very good thing in our offensive animation. Kolo has been very interesting in everything he has done, he has this ease of running, in dribbling, he is able to pick up, to be in depth, to play on one side or the other… he confirms after his World Cup. He is very interesting, he is a different profile from Olivier Giroud or Marcus Thuram.
The pretty Mbappé-Griezmann duo, symbol of a perfect understanding
“Fortunately, I don’t know what is being said or written (about Griezmann’s disappointment with the captaincy). Between what is happening and reality… These are two players who get along well, who have always worked well together and who have the same objective: that the French team continues to perform well. The disappointment (of Griezmann) lasted two minutes. Antoine, with Kylian, there is not the slightest problem, like the whole group for that matter. All the positive waves that this group has released since Monday, the main thing was to transcribe them on this match. Is it a symbol? Maybe for you. Anyway, it’s a very good thing. They can be passers, scorers, it brings diversity. It is more difficult for the opponent to block us when the danger can come from everywhere.
What he thinks of the “Mbappé generation”
“The younger generation, I take it with its positive sides. They want everything, right away, I had already heard in 2018 that young people wanted to take power… They don’t ask themselves questions, at 18, they go to the big clubs abroad, they are competitors and have relays to take (in the French team with the departure of the old ones). They have different codes, different centers of interest, when he sings (during hazing) I don’t understand everything (smile). You have to adapt, and it’s not up to them to do it, but to the staff. They have great potential, need to be supervised. They have everything to be at the top level and don’t want to waste time. This will ask for confirmation. »
The success of Maignan, decisive on penalty
“It’s Mike, I had no doubts about his ability to respond. Whether it’s his qualities as a goalkeeper, his mentality, because he’s a leader, I have total confidence in him. It went very well, in addition with this penalty saved (at the end of the match, in front of Depay). I had no concerns. Doing a match like that right away, replacing Hugo (Lloris), it’s not easy, but he has everything to take over. »
His vision on Konaté-Upamecano
“They are both young but play at Liverpool and Bayern Munich. The World Cup has done them a lot of good. They know each other, have their habits, are complementary but on the individual potential, they are two very good defenders, fast, strong in the duel and not bothered with the ball. That’s a lot of quality. They assume it. At the Stade de France, 80,000 people, that has no influence. It requires confirmation, but they are already competitive. »
His view of the potential of the Blues
“The bar is high (with older generations). It’s a back-to-school match, against the Netherlands, despite some absentees, with the emotional side of being there (at the Stade de France). This group gives off a lot of strength, but you always have to be vigilant. On the potential, there is a significant reservoir, not in all positions, and a real collective strength. I want it and I have to keep it. »
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Tributes to alumni hailed before the match
“I was in the locker room (at the time of the tribute), and afterwards they (Lloris, Mandanda, Varane, Matuidi) came to see us after the match. I was able to chat with each of them and even if there is modesty on their part, it will remain their locker room. To see them there again, after many years in the group, is special. They had a smile, are proud of what they had and others will take over. It was important to pay tribute to them in a packed Stade de France. It was a very nice evening. »