The French national team’s draw against Georgia in Tbilisi on Friday was their second 0-0 result in as many matches.
The stalemate, following on from their identical result against Belgium, raises questions, not necessarily on the quality of their defence, but rather on the attack, which struggles to score in what would some would consider easy situations.
The problem is not that they lack creativity or inventiveness in their play, as their midfield comprises of players such as Valbuena, who is the main source of play for his club side, Marseille, and Franck Ribery, who’s recent nomination as UEFA Player of the Year speaks volumes for his ability to create chances down the left side.
Indeed, they had moments of brilliance in both matches and got close to scoring several times but failed at the crucial moment on every moment.
Even the full-backs joined in the attacks against Georgia, providing additional width for the play, especially right-back Bacary Sagna who seemed to spend as much time on the right side of the opposite box as he did defending his own, and played the ball in the area at every opportunity.
His good will did not, however, improve the quality of his crossing and it often did not give the players in the box the chance to score.
The fault, therefore, must lie mostly on the final product, especially from the strikers, Giroud and Benzema, who failed to pose any substantial threat to the Georgia team.
The latter was particularly disappointing, and he did not register any meaningful chances against the opposite goalkeeper, apart from a shot easily turned wide by Loria in the 29th minute, before being replaced in the 61st minutes.
His performance did little to counteract the views of his critics, who consider that he does no bring his best game for the national team. He performs in a fashion opposite to that of Danny Welbeck for Manchester United and England, only scoring for Real Madrid.
Giroud, on the other hand did manage to perform well on a creative basis, even though he failed to be a genuine threat when it mattered.
In particular, he missed his last chance of the game by letting the ball run on instead of controlling, showing a lack of decision making that he has managed to cure with Arsenal, but not with France.
Didier Deschamps will have to deal with this issue if ‘Les Bleus’ are to progress to the level that their fans have been expecting since the 1998 World Cup. Without being clinical, they are never going to be a threat for the rest of Europe's big nations, and as things stand, they will struggle to even make it to the World Cup.
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