Football

Should France stick with barren Benzema?

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Ahead of a crucial week of World Cup qualifiers for Europe's biggest hitters, a striker who leads the lines for arguably the biggest club on the continent is under pressure at international level.

Karim Benzema has started the season in fine form at club level, scoring twice in three La Liga games to help new Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti make a 100% start to life at the Santiago Bernabeu.

For his country though it's a different story altogether. Benzema has gone a staggering 1,155 minues without a goal for France, with his last strikes for Les Blues coming in a brace against Estonia just before last summer's European Championships.

That tournament proved to an umittigated disaster for both Benzema and France, with Laurent Blanc's side never really convincing and Benzema failing to fire on their way to quarter-final exit at the hands of Spain.

Since that disappointing campaign former World Cup winner Didier Deschamps has arrived as coach of the national side, with varying degrees of success. Sweeping changes have seen France emerge as genuine contenders in a qualifying group featuring Spain, with Olivier Giroud's goal earning Les Blues a point away to the defending champions last year.

Despite that impressive result Benzema has continued to look like a player devoid of confidence in a French shirt and that impression should come as little surprise, with the Madrid marksman now at 16 games without a goal for his country.

Benzema's struggles have in recent games finally started to have a paralysing effect on Les Blues, who have now gone four games without scoring. France's friendly against Belgium last month was a perfect example of this delicate problem for Deschamps, who saw Benzema miss two gilt-edged chances.

France are gifted with creative players such as Ballon D'Or winner Franck Ribery, Samir Nasri and Matheiu Valbuena, so there is a regular supply line for a player of Benzema's undoubted talent to take full advantage of.

With France's hopes of reaching Brazil at a crossroads has the time come for Deschamps to make a change? Well he is certainly not short of options.

Giroud is a striker in fine form following a superb start to the campaign with Arsenal, while also possessing the ability to link play with a vibrant midfield that makes him such a favourite of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.

Deschamps also decided to call Andre-Pierre Gignac for upcoming trips to Georgia and Belarus, after finding consistency in the last six months in attack for Marseille. Another player with strength and self-belief to match, Gignac again offers more than Benzema purely in terms of bringing others into play.

With Benzema's confidence fragile Deschamps has a tough decision on his hands, but with a place in next summer's South American showpiece up for grabs there is little room for error.

In a typically-divisive French dressing room Deschamps should send out a clear message this week, any player in his squad needs to be at the top of their game to command a place in his talent-rich side.

Giroud has proved a point with his stylish start to the season in the Premier League and deserves the chance to carry that form into a run of games for his national side!

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Topics:
Real Madrid
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World Cup

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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