These are games that we forgot a little. With four victories, friendly against Spain (2-0) and Iceland (4-0) and in the eliminatory phase of Euro 2021 against Serbia (6-0) and Kazakhstan (3-0) , last fall should have been comforting for the Blue after their disappointment at the World Cup. But the world of sport is unfair: in 2019 they won eight games out of nine, leaving only one, the famous quarter-final against the United States (2-1), the one it never should not lose and that we remember.
It was less the elimination against stronger Americans – and future world champions – than their lack of fighting spirit in the previous games that they were accused of. Admittedly, they excited an audience delighted to discover that good football was also a woman’s business. But they left many of their supporters hungry. After the flash of popular enthusiasm, the bitter taste of an unfinished sporting performance remained.
Especially since the third half, disputed in the form of settling of scores, has left its mark. Goofy criticism of coach Corinne Deacon against striker Eugenie Le Sommer, accused of failing to follow the instructions during the World Cup, launched a barrage against her. The president of Olympique Lyonnais, Eugenie Le Sommer’s club, the influential Jean-Michel Aulas, sounded the charge. Relayed a little later by a testimony book of ex-captain Wendie Renard complaining of bad relations with Corinne Deacon.
Gaëtane Thiney very critical
Without counting the last salvo fired by another ex-captain of the Blue, Gaëtane Thiney, 163 times selected. In an AFP interview in mid-February, the Paris FC midfielder had invited the boss to “Modernize” management and “Get inspired” from Didier Deschamps, a technician who “Protect his players, love them, unite them”. This was too much for Corinne Deacon, who logically chose to do without the services of her author for the future.
When the 23 players selected for the French Tournament were announced on Wednesday, February 26, she took care not to enter Gaëtane Thiney’s game and to remain on the sports field. “I had told her in the fall that I planned to do without her services but it was first of all her performance on the field during the winter, below what she had been able to show before, which guided the choice “, said Corinne Deacon.
→ PORTRAIT. Doctor Corinne and Mystère Deacon
The selection door is not officially closed for Gaëtane Thiney. She will not know the ban of Karim Benzema in the French men’s team but it is difficult to see her take on a blue jersey as long as it is up to Corinne Deacon to distribute them. However, the Bleues coach has been reinforced in her duties by the “big boss” in person, Noël Le Graët, president of the French Football Federation (FFF).
At the end of December 2019, he sent her strong support, it is true, accompanied by a voucher for training as a communicator. “I think she’s a good professional, that excuses a lot, he said. There are people who communicate perfectly but who have no talent. She is in the right place and I am sure she will succeed. “
And now we replay
First succeed in this brand new Tournoi de France destined to become annual. In the very heterogeneous context of women’s football, where the best selections are often faced with very weak European teams, this tournament was designed to offer the Blue three friendly matches against big nations (1).
The idea is to train them for major events such as the qualifications for Euro 2021 which will resume in April. With two wins against Serbia and Kazakhstan, the Blue counter is currently green. But the coming weeks, through this prestigious tournament or through the always perilous qualification phase, will be decisive. For the popularity of the Blue as for the extension of the mandate of Corinne Deacon.
Corinne Deacon: “We cannot please everyone”
When the group of players selected for the French Tournament was announced, coach Corinne Deacon reacted to the criticisms of her, in particular from certain members of the team. “We talked and things were settled, now we are looking forward, she said. Critics are part of my job. I heard what was said. I did my analysis of all this. I am not closed and obtuse. I’m stubborn, it’s true, but I hear what I’m being told. I really want to move forward, to improve myself. You can’t do it all over either. There are things that have already evolved and others that will evolve. I am not closed to anything but we cannot please everyone. “