The French volleyball players, Olympic champions a month ago in Tokyo, fell from above and into the trap set by the Czech Republic in the round of 16 of the Euro-2021 in Ostrava on Monday, beaten dry and eliminated prematurely.
The seven match points saved by the band at Earvin Ngapeth will ultimately only postpone by several minutes the deadline and the defeat of the France team even before the quarter-finals of the European Championship, against this same Republic. Czech who had taken out the French at the same stage of the competition at Euro-2017.
“We no longer had the mental freshness”
It was in Katowice in Poland that we didn’t have the mental freshness for another three years, while on Monday evening, it was in the hall of the Ostrava ice hockey team, in front of a close audience. of 4,000 people, standing for nearly a quarter of an hour at the end of the third set (and the match) that the French failed.
– the L’Équipe channel (@lachainelequipe) September 13, 2021
“We didn’t play our game, we got frustrated. We know that this is our big weakness: when we are supposed to be favorites, we are not good. We get frustrated quickly. It’s been like that for years, we have to find the solution, ”explained in the mixed zone the passer of the Blues, Antoine Brizard. This is no excuse, but after the summer that we lived, we no longer had the mental freshness to succeed in pushing them around, “said Brizard.
First round too easy?
Yet the French adventure at Euro-2021 on the shores of the Baltic in Tallinn had started perfectly, with five victories in as many games, and only one set lost against Germany. A first round too easy? “Everyone was afraid of that, that we arrive in the round of 16 against an opponent from a pool that was better. There was all of the trap match, ”added the passer.
The first experience under the era of Bernardinho therefore ended prematurely, while the French were aiming for the last four of the competition and a third podium this summer after bronze in the League of Nations and gold in the Olympics. “Today, we came across a well-prepared team. And faced with the first difficulty, our team looked for solutions. What to do? We made a lot of mistakes technically, ”said the new coach.