Three weeks after losing the Qatar 2022 World Cup final to Argentina on penalties, Didier Deschamps apportions responsibility for the runners-up spot: « There were five players who weren’t up to the task of the final ».
The coach surprised with these words just after renewing his contract to lead the French national team until the next World Cup in 2026, which will be played in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
« We were not up to the task. I’m not going to attribute the problem to one player more than another. But there were five players in the starting line-up who, for various reasons, were not up to the level for a match like this, » said the coach after being asked about France’s poor start to the final against Argentina.
He refused to name names, but given he substituted four players before Kylian Mbappe started France’s fightback, it may not need much detective work to single them out.
Deschamps surprised everyone by taking Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud out of the game with five minutes left in the first half.
« I’m not going to use strong words, but we weren’t there for a good hour, » the coach said of Argentina’s overwhelming dominance until 70 minutes into the match.
« We came back from nothing, but we did what we had to do because there was a part it wasn’t a match, » Deschamps argued.
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