Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Domenech the Donkey

In World Cup 2006, we piled on Jose Pekerman for not going for the jugular against Germany with a wealth of attacking talent on his bench.

Well, as ill-advised as that was, poor Jose should feel more than a bit put out by our remonstrations, since after today, he's not even in the same galaxy as the Ultimate Donkey, French coach Raymond Domenech. Not only did Domenech not bring David Trezeguet, one of the top French strikers, not only did he substitute like-for-like against Romania instead of going for the jugular, he, after Eric Abidal had been sent off for giving away a penalty that put the French down 1-0, took off attacking midfielder Samir Nasri (who had come on minutes earlier for the injured Franck Ribery) for a central defender. And not just any defender, he brought on Boumsong, who arguably shouldn't even have been in the squad.

At this point French fans could be forgiven for venting their spleen in his general direction, as it is primarily his baffling approach to tactics that has gotten the French where they are now, sitting bottom of the Group of Death, looking upward at the cavalier Dutch, who have swashbuckled their way to the quarterfinals.

Domenech must be hoping that the French can sneak one on the counter or on a set-piece (and as I write, Henry pulls one just wide); however, how do you expect to do this with a minimum of attacking options, with still two defensive midfielders?

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