After two defeats in four months in the Nations League, how do you beat this Danish team? Didier Deschamps knows that on Saturday night (at 17:00 in France) in Doha he will face a big challenge. On the eve of the match, the Blues coach recalled how Christian Eriksen’s team could have given the Blues a headache. On the other hand, without revealing many clues about possible changes and, in particular, about the return or not return to eleven Raphael Varane.
After victory over Australia (4-1), you were satisfied by mentioning some adjustments that need to be made in the investment plan. Are changes expected, especially on the right side?
DIDIE DECHAMPS. Mamma Mia. So many questions. I can do everything. In addition, in a detailed analysis of the match with Australia, in addition to the goal scored, there are three more situations (loss of beauty and two situations that need to be better resolved). Everyone will have their own feelings. Some will say it’s just Australia. Four situations, it may be too many, it is also not much, but it needs to be adjusted due to the positioning of some players. This may be accommodation, the responsibility of one player (…). Even if we put in a lot of attacking qualities, the ideal is to be dangerous, score goals and leave no action. Perfection does not exist, but we try to get as close to it as possible. It goes through various choices, discussions, additions. It is also logical that we have something to improve. From there to change, I leave you the initiative of these various debates. Left, right, whether you think it’s better or not. I will choose.
Ousmane Dembele wants to erase 2018 (he disappeared after the first game) and 2021 (injury in the second game). Do you feel it is animated by the desire for redemption?
Not redemption, no. He was still part of a group that was successful. (In 2018) he was more of an actor in one game than in the entire competition. After that, there were serious injuries, but he became a more built, more mature player, although he is still a very happy person. Due to daily demands with his club, he is better off. The fact that he played the first title match testifies to this. He has this ability to create huge problems with his speed and percussion, trying to cut losses as much as possible. He makes a great pass to Kilian’s head.
Varane ‘could have played the first game’
Does it pose a risk in defensive withdrawals?
Ask me if I will play it directly or not (laughs). He has made great strides in this aspect. He has more important requirements in the club, after which I discuss them with him. You should be in a better position to put in less effort. There were two situations against Australia when I told him to improve. In Dortmund, he played in the center of the triangle, he knows how to do it. These efforts I prefer that he make them in the direction of the opposite goal, but he will also have to go in the other direction.
Is the return of Raphael Varane at eleven important to you?
He could have played the first game. He was in shape. It’s not yesterday’s session (Thursday) that will change a lot, but the 2 x 30 min standoff was well digested. He was good for the first, but no less, if not more, he is good for the second. Subsequently, it is a choice associated with experience. He has experience. But the most important thing is that he feels good both in his head and in his body. And I know that he is. I will make a decision soon.
You have struggled to beat Denmark in recent months (1-2 losses in June and 2-0 in September). How do you explain it?
I have said several times that he is underestimated. She brought us a lot of suffering, we must reverse the trend, not to mention revenge or something like that. We know the Danes, they know us. The photo tomorrow will be different again. The Danes always have the opportunity to change the system in all matches and introduce different difficulties.
How do you like the atmosphere in the group?
We have very, very good conditions. Social life is important, it doesn’t make you win matches, but it can make you lose them. From the very first day in Clairefontaine, despite the changes in the band, things were going well. They were warned anyway. With a week of preparation, they do not have time to get bored and find time for a long time. They already want to be ready for the second game.
Is there a staffing problem on set pieces?
We have specialists with Antoine, who is used to shooting them, and Kylian too, who does it with his club. The opponents are making their preparations. As for Australia, on the contrary, there were beautiful babies. Centimeters are hard to fill. But when you see Kilian’s goal, the defender was 2.02 meters ahead. It is a matter of time and aggressiveness. There can always be some modifications of the enemy in terms of defense systems (protection in the zone, individual or mixed).
A potential round of 16 looms against Argentina. What inspires you?
We will focus on Denmark first. This second match could be decisive, also for Argentina and Mexico (Saturday at 20:00, editor’s note France). We are not going to show off, put the cock higher than it is, but we already have the opportunity to qualify on Saturday. But I hope with all my heart that you will have to ask me this question again.