Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Group D: France v England Post Match Analysis

FRANCE 1 - 1 ENGLAND
        Nasri, 38                        Lescott, 31


England start off in a 4-4-1-1 shape, starting 11:
GK: Hart  LB: Cole, CB: Lescott,  CB : Terry,   RB Johnson, RM: Millner, DM: Parker, DM: Gerrard,  LM: Oxlade Chamberlain, Ss: Young  ST: Welbeck.
SUBS USED:Oxlade Chamberlain/Defoe 77, Parker/henderson 79, Welbeck/Walcott 91.

France start in a 4-3-3 shape, starting 11:
GK: Lloris, LB: Evra, CB :Mexes,  CB :Rami, RB: Debuchy, DCM: Diarra RCM: Cabaye, LCM: Malouda   LFW: Ribery, RFW: Nasri, ST: Benzema.
SUBS USED:Cabaye/Ben Arfa 83, Malouda/Martin 85 




WHY WHO AND HOW
A Little look:
The inclusion of Oxlade Chamberlain on the left was a bold move as he was up against Debuchy, a very attacking-minded player, however Welbeck was the right choice alongside Young, as the French pairing of Mexes and Rami are awful at dealing with slick through balls played into the channels- this is how they conceded goals  before the Euro. They might have been better suited with Kosicelny, who would have been a better fit as he recovers well along and injects some well-needed pace. France have moved to a 4-3-3 shape, employing  Diarra as the deepest of the three.The inclusion of Malouda just off-left centre, along with Ribery, Nasri and Benzema, will be a big part of this game. The right side of England, and how Milner and Johnson work together will be key. 




Defensive:
England set up as expected with a 4-4-1-1 shape that was very compact, they didn't mind giving up possession (not that they had a choice in the matter) as well as the first 10 yards of their own half for the sake of the shape. This was a lot neater then the classic English "rush and tackle" To start with, England's back line  was a nice distance up field. They worked well as a unit, quickly getting to the edged of their box and setting up the defensive barricade. Though the shape was tidy all game, the inevitable happened, and as all England teams do, they went too deep especially straight after the goal. This improved at the start of the second half but as it went on, and with all the possession  France had, we fell back. Lescott will be more then pleased with his goal although his all round game was nothing to shout about, this could be put down to the ball spending a lot of time on the opposite side of the pitch. Mexes and Rami were never in any rush to play the ball up field and played a lot of short sideways passes. They didn't push as high as the Spanish centre backs as having the extra man in the middle of the park meant one of them was always available to receive the ball. Debuchy had a very good game, himself and Evra worked well together as one would always stay when the other pushed on. When Debuchy decided to go forward he made some excellent runs and always looked like he could get in behind, but it's a shame that he never pushed on more, as he seemed to have the better of England's left side  nutmegging a couple of players  along with making some tidy passes. 

In the middle:
England played with two defensive midfielder's, Parker and Gerrard, who stayed around 7 yards from the last line of defence at most times. The plan was to draw France onto England and hit them on the counter. This never really happened as the first pass out was cut off a lot; the England players were too close from being so compact our long diagonal ball were okay but when they found people higher up the pitch they were normally too isolated to benefit from it.  Defensively the pair were strong and sort of stuck to the plan. Gerrard,who made some good tackles, was a little sloppy with his positioning a couple of times, France's goal standing out in particular, wherein he was caught playing too deep, nearly as a third centre back. Both he and Parker made themselves available for passes off the centre backs and, along with some really good interceptions, he was a menace to France all game. Gerrard spent most of his time in his own half, never really doing much in the attacking third. He did however create three chances, though all from set pieces but then England only had five chances all game. Cabaye was the best player in the middle, with France having so much of the ball (64.9% only beaten by Spain)  he sat a little off the play and was the man free to get multiple shots off,  using the ball well and looking dangerous in both half's. You wouldn't think Diarra had a lot to do and he didn't but what he did do, he did well (apart from with his head in both boxes) He did not put a pass wrong all game but this was down to all of them being simple 5/10 yard passes which is a teams bread and butter.

Wing Play:
Milner had a solid game, he did his job alongside helping others. He was always a willing runner, and when defending he sat in the channel on the right side of the box where he made important tackles and some good crosses. He did a bit of everything today, and it looks like Hodgson has a plan of playing in low balls to the near post for the striker. I'm not sure if that was just for today or if it's a plan that we are going to adhere to. Milner, and Parker were England's best players today. Chamberlain although looking energetic on the ball, made a lot of bad decisions that gave away possession. He spent most of his time infield and was lucky that there was only the right back to deal with as Nasri kept floating to the left and centre; this is where France were dangerous and this showed with their goal. Ribery, Nasri, Malouda and Evra  all linked up well and this was a big part of their play all game. All of England's play seemed to go down this side, I think this might be down to France having so many players coming off the left flank and England wanting to counter-attack.

Up Top:
Welbeck and Young  worked hard to close down the space along with the  midfielder showing himself for the first pass out.  They spent a lot of time drifting wide, and if you're going to try to stretch and split the centre backs then you need someone making deep runs in the centre  and this just didnt happen. It is a shame that they didn't get enough of the ball to have a real impact on the game as they move round the pitch well together. Benzema started off playing slightly to the right of centre, but as the game progressed he started playing more in the left central area, as he does so well for Real Madrid. He had a lot of shots but they were all from a distance Hart could handle and most of the time were too close to the keeper.

Full Time: 
Both teams will be pleased with a draw, nothing lost and nothing gained. As I said in the Group D analysis, it will be the Sweden game that makes or breaks us and having a manager that knows the Swedish game so well can only help our cause. Sweden are not as good at the back, as you might expect, so this will be a chance to see how England play in the opponents half. France will feel that a win in the next game should be on the cards and, with Ukraine not being as solid tactically as England, they will enjoy the extra room up top. 

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