Deschamps insists atmosphere in France camp remains positive despite winless steak

By Sports Desk September 05, 2021

Didier Deschamps insists he has no concerns over the atmosphere in the France camp after his side's winless run continued with a 1-1 draw against Ukraine. 

Les Blues suffered a shock Euro 2020 exit at the last-16 stage in June following defeat to Switzerland on penalties and have now drawn five games in a row for the first time ever. 

France's latest underwhelming performance came in Kiev on Saturday as Anthony Martial's first international goal in five years cancelled out Mykola Shaparenko's excellent opener. 

However, the reigning world champions are still in a strong position to qualify for Qatar 2022 and Deschamps has refuted suggestions there are some issues behind the scenes. 

"You have external impressions which are not the same as from the inside," he told Telefoot. "There really is no problem on this side of things. 

"I can assure you the group is concentrated, even if we are in a period with less success. Everything is linked in terms of confidence and success." 

Despite having 61.5 per cent of the ball and managing 16 shots, five of which were on target, Deschamps' men could not find a winning goal. 

France have now conceded the opening goal in five consecutive matches, their longest such run since the days of Raymond Domenech from November 2009 to June 2010. 

"The opponents offer us the same pattern in front of goal with group blocks," Deschamps added.  

"We have the annoying habit of chasing after the score now. There are times like that, you have to accept it." 

 

France are four points clear of second-placed Finland in Group D, though their next opponents have two games in hand. 

Ahead of Tuesday's clash between the sides in Lyon, France striker Karim Benzema accepts it is down to him and his team-mates to take the game to Finland if they are to return to winning ways. 

"There is nothing to worry about," he told Telefoot. "We have to set the pace and manage our efforts. It is up to us to set the speed.  

"If we keep the ball behind, we have to play fast and vertical passes to hurt the opponent. We have the players needed for that. We can't fall into the pace set by the opponent. 

"We need to enter the field with the desire to win." 

The match at Groupama Stadium will be an emotional occasion for Benzema, who spent 12 years at Lyon before joining Real Madrid in 2009. 

"It's very special. I have not yet played in this stadium," Benzema said. "Coming back to my city, where it all began for me, is special." 

Related items

  • Lewandowski received Bayern contract offer and will not be sold – Kahn Lewandowski received Bayern contract offer and will not be sold – Kahn

    Bayern Munich chief executive Oliver Kahn insists Robert Lewandowski was offered a new contract and will not be allowed to leave in the close season. 

    Lewandowski has one year remaining on his existing deal and it was previously reported Bayern could look to sell the striker ahead of the 2022-23 campaign to avoid him going on a free.

    The Poland international, who has scored 110 goals over the past three Bundesliga seasons, has asked to leave and said after their final game against Wolfsburg last week that he had not received a proposal for new terms. 

    But Kahn denied that is true, telling Welt: "We submitted a concrete offer to his agent, otherwise we wouldn't have said that."

    Asked what fee would be required for Bayern to grant Barcelona-linked Lewandowski an exit before the end of his deal, Kahn was defiant. 

    "This isn't a question for us. Robert Lewandowski has a contract until 2023 and he will fulfil it," he said. 

    "I cannot say how Uli [Hoeness] or Karl-Heinz [Rummenigge] would have acted. When I started here, I was aware that the bar was set very high and that there would be situations where the past would always be brought up. 

    "Every situation is different and I act as I believe is right." 

    He added: "Bayern is not and will not become a development club. Bayern are still a big force. There are many players who would die to play for us. 

    "A development club is forced to sell players every now and then. That's not us. We want to keep our top players for as long as possible.

    "That's why we renewed [Joshua] Kimmich, [Leon] Goretzka, [Kingsley] Coman and [Thomas] Muller this season. Jamal Musiala is also key for the future." 

  • Eriksen has 'an idea' but yet to decide future as Man Utd and Tottenham speculation persists Eriksen has 'an idea' but yet to decide future as Man Utd and Tottenham speculation persists

    Christian Eriksen has declared he "has an idea" over his future but is yet to make a decision amid reported interest from Manchester United and former club Tottenham.

    Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest when playing for Denmark against Finland at Euro 2020 last July and was brought back to life on the pitch.

    However, the 30-year-old was unable to play for Inter on medical grounds as Italy prevent players from competing after having a cardioverter-defibrillator fitted.

    Brentford offered the midfielder a six-month contract in January and he has subsequently delivered, scoring once and assisting four in 10 league games to help the Bees away from the relegation zone.

    Eriksen has also created 26 chances since his Brentford debut in February, with only Son Heung-min (27), Martin Odegaard (33) and Kevin De Bruyne (37) providing more opportunities in the Premier League over that period.

    Speculation persists over Eriksen's future with his short-term deal to expire in June, with Spurs and United reportedly interested.

    Eriksen has suggested he dreams of playing in the Champions League again and, although Thomas Frank has stressed his desire to keep him at Brentford, the Denmark star is yet to make a decision.

    "I don't know what the future holds," he told BBC Sport. "It will be a decision from a sporting perspective but also be a family perspective going into the decision of where we're going to go."

    Asked if staying at Brentford remains an option, he said: "They are, they definitely are. I haven't made up my mind 100 per cent of where I'm going.

    "I have an idea, but what's going to happen I don't know. But Brentford are definitely in the category of one of the clubs."

    Eriksen also reiterated his hopes to compete for trophies at the top level with whoever he opts to join.

    "I've always wanted to win trophies. I'm always on the competitive side, I always want to be the best version possible in any way, playing at the highest level possible," he added.

    "In the end it takes time and also it changes perspective if something like that happens and how my family reacts.

    "Just the feeling of being with my family is more important, not that it wasn't important before, but you just realise: 'Oh, this is something that I care about even more now'."

  • Women's Champions League final a '50-50' affair, says Lyon boss Bompastor Women's Champions League final a '50-50' affair, says Lyon boss Bompastor

    Lyon coach Sonia Bompastor says Saturday's Women's Champions League final against Barcelona will be a "50-50" affair, despite the Blaugrana's favourites tag.

    The French outfit are seeking an eighth title against Jonatan Giraldez's side, who have suffered just one loss this term across all competitions.

    Bompastor is seeking to become the first woman to win the Champions League as both a player and a manager after 2011 and 2012 triumphs with Lyon.

    The chance for looming history means she is determined her side will not be discounted in Turin.

    "Let's not forget Lyon have a lot of experience," she said at Friday's pre-match news conference. "This allows us to know how to approach it, but a final is 50-50. A magician never reveals their tricks.

    "But our team is a talented and we have the skill set necessary to give them a run for their money, which is what we're going to do.

    "This is a 10th final for Lyon and the chance to win an eighth title. That's more important than anything for me as an individual."

    Barcelona forward Asisat Oshoala, meanwhile, insists her side will not underestimate their opponents and their impressive pedigree too, even on the cusp of a famous clean sweep.

    "Lyon are a well respected team in Europe – they won the Champions League five years in a row and they are obviously the team to beat here," she said.

    "They're much stronger than they were three years ago. It would be good to win the Champions League again, not because it is Lyon we're playing against but because it's going to be an amazing experience for us to have it back-to-back.

    "We're getting closer to our goal, we're getting closer to where we want to be, so on the day I think it's going to be amazing.

    "It will be nice to play in front of a full stadium again with an amazing atmosphere, beautiful soccer from beautiful and great teams in Europe."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.