Didier Deschamps enjoyed his evening at the Stade de France and the great victory of his Blues against the Netherlands, Friday evening, in the Euro 2024 qualifiers. The complicity of the Griezmann-Mbappé tandem, among others, pleased him.
Can we talk about a perfect scenario tonight?
It’s a very nice evening, in a full stadium and a great atmosphere. We had a good start to the match, we were very effective. With this first half we were able to manage in the second half. The penalty saved at the end is very good; we started well, finished well, against an opponent who lacked players, it’s true, but that doesn’t take away any merit from this French team.
Are you satisfied with Randal Kolo Muani’s performance tonight?
He is confident and it shows. With his movement, percussion, dribbling, Kingsley and Kylian abilities to compensate and switch, without a fixed position, it inevitably puts the opponent in difficulty. He has this quality of speed in addition, he did really good things in our offensive animation.
Can we speak of a symbol when we see Kylian Mbappé offer Antoine Griezmann the first goal?
Fortunately, I don’t read everything and I don’t know everything that is said… What I do know is that these are two players who have the same objective, namely that the French team perform well. If Antoine’s disappointment lasted two minutes, that’s the maximum… There’s no problem with him, as with all the players. The positive waves released by this team in recent days have been transcribed on the ground. A symbol, I don’t know, but it’s a very good thing. They can be passers or scorers both, it brings diversity to our attacking game.
Do you confirm that the young generation is not afraid of anything?
This is not specific to the France team. They say that young people want everything right away, we said that in 2018 too, but sometimes it takes time. They don’t ask themselves any questions, that’s for sure, they are already playing in the biggest European clubs, they are competitors. They have a relay to take today. They have different codes, different centers of interest, and I must admit that I don’t understand everything they sing about (a reference to the famous hazing for the rookies of Clairefontaine, editor’s note). The potential is there… It also requires confirmation.
A word on Mike Maignan, at the height of the event?
It’s Mike. I have no doubts about his abilities. He had this injury which stopped him for a while but he is a leader. It’s not easy to replace Hugo (Lloris, editor’s note) like that, but he has everything to take on this role.
The Upamecano-Konaté hinge also responded…
They are young, yes, but you can see where they play… Bayern and Liverpool. The World Cup has done them good, they know each other well, they complement each other. They are two very good defenders, with speed, impact on set pieces. They are strong in duels, they are not bothered with the ball, that’s a lot of qualities. So much the better, it will also require confirmation but it is very positive.
Do you already have any idea of the potential changes to come for Monday against Ireland?
Those who have played little or not played will do an athletic session, but I will not decide anything tomorrow, and I will not decide on Sunday either. There may be some changes but I haven’t made a decision. Ireland took a good look at us in their chair today (the Irish were free tonight, editor’s note), it won’t be the same match on Monday, there will be more intensity no doubt.
Were you able to follow the tribute to the young retirees (Matuidi, Lloris, Varane, Mandanda) before the match?
I was in the locker room, I didn’t see him, but I was able to chat with them afterwards. They have a lot of reserve and modesty but it’s their locker room and it will remain so. After the game there were smiles, they are proud of what they saw. We are there and the France team owes them a lot for that. Others will take over, but it was important to pay tribute to them… it was a very nice evening.