Wednesday, 15 June 2016

France v Albania Match Analysis

Following the underwhelming performance against Romania on Friday night, France were looking to show the world that they have what it takes to win Euro 2016 with a stylish performance against minnows Albania. Didier Deschampes surprisingly made 2 changes from the team that played against Romania with Kinglsy Coman and Manchester United's Anthony Martial coming in for Antoine Greizeman and Paul Pogba meaning a switch from the 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 with Demirti Payet playing behind Olivier Giroud. It was a huge surprise that Greizeman was dropped ahead of Olivier Giroud who despite scoring for France on Friday night, was the worst player on the pitch for the French.

The first half was almost a carbon copy of the first half the French played against Romania with the team lacking any fluidity and not playing as a team. The Albanians were very comfortable enjoying good spells of possession but crucially not testing Hugo Lloris in the French goal. They managed to get into good positions but ultimately lacked the final creative touches in the final third. It was the same story for the French who despite their attacking quality were again unable to impose themselves on the game as you would expect the favourites to do. Olivier Giroud, yes he scores goals but his overall play is pretty useless. His movement off the ball is poor and he offers no threat running in behind. In a exciting talented French team Giroud is the odd one out his place in the team is baffling especially considering Anthony Martial, Antoine Greizeman and Andre Pierre Gigniac could offer so much more to this France team.

The second half got off to a much brighter start and looked set to be a much better prospect with both teams looking to play at a quicker tempo. Albania alomost took a shock lead with a ball into the box causing all sorts of problems with Bacary Sagna defecting the cross onto his own post. France continued to huff and puff but couldn't beat Berisha in the Albanian goal. Deschampes made changes and for the 2nd game in the row his changes made a big impact on the game with Pogba, Gignac and Greizeman giving France a different dimention in the final phases of the game. It looked as of France were heading for a point and another disappointing performance until Antoine Greizeman became the super sub clinically heading past Berisha in the Alabania goal. The kind of cold finishing that has made him one of the best players in the world. France had time to roll in a 2nd goal with that man, Demitri Payet stylishly bending a shot into the goal to wrap up a 2-0 win for the French.

Overall the French will be pleased to have overcome a stubborn Albania team ahead of the big game against Switzerland. The 2nd half performance is what we have come to expect from this French team. A performance of vigure, style and pace. If the French can carry the 2nd half performance into the majority of the next game against Switzerland. As for Albania, exit from Euro 2016 now looks inevitable with 0 goals scored and 3 goals conceded it is clear they don't have the quality needed to progress in this competition.

Focus on Manchester United:
Anthony Martial started the game for France on the left wing. He showed some good touches of quality beating his man on a few occasions but it was a poor night for him resulting in him being substituted at half time for Paul Pogba. Anthony Martial was up against a quality right back in Alseid Hysaj who has shown himself to be one of the best full backs in Serie A over the last 2 seasons under the guidance of Maruicio Sarri at Empoli and Napoli. It will be a good learning curve for Martial against a full back who didn't give him a sniff. Martial will certainy learn a lot from this and it will help his development.

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