Defence not the solution for Deschamps

15 October 2012 06:19

France will not sit back and defend against world and European champions Spain in their 2014 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, coach Didier Deschamps said on the eve of the game.

Deschamps, who turned 44 on Monday, added it would be fatal to sit back and allow Spain to come at them as had happened in the 2-0 defeat in the Euro 2012 quarter-final when his fellow World Cup winning team-mate Laurent Blanc was in charge.

France, though, hardly had the perfect build-up to such an important game with a surprise 1-0 home defeat to Japan last Friday and Deschamps will be looking for a much-improved performance.

"The problem with Spain, is that they have the abilities to retain possession," said Deschamps, who took over the France job when Blanc stepped down after the Euro exit.

"But I am convinced that to come here and to think solely of defending is not a solution because with the quality that Spain have at a certain point they will score.

"The most important thing when we have the ball, will be to use it effectively."

Deschamps, who was the youngest captain to lift the Champions League when Marseille won in 1993, said that they had not used the ball well when they had it in the Euro quarter-final.

"Yes I watched the quarter-final but I cannot change what happened in the past," he said.

"Opposite us there will be players who played in it, on our side there will be fewer.

"France were obliged to defend in the deep because Spain had a lot of the possession.

"We did pretty well at times but we got into trouble when we had the ball and forced Spain to defend."

Deschamps, whose side are bidding to end a 24 unbeaten run in competitive matches since Spain lost to the Swiss in a 2010 World Cup final group match, said like the French public he expected his two most high profile players Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery to assume their responsibilities and produce great performances.

"Everyone is expecting a lot from them because they play for great clubs (Benzema for Real Madrid, Ribery for Bayern Munich) and are used to playing at the highest level," said Deschamps.

"They must drag the rest of the team to the highest level in the big games like this.

"They have the individual talent to make the difference."

Deschamps, though, said that suggestions that Benzema - who went goalless through the Euro - was a problem for the team were wide of the mark.

"I spoke to Benzema but if you start querying his ability he does everything to try and put it right," said Deschamps.

"Afterwards pose the question that Benzema is a problem for the France teamask your Spanish colleagues.

"For me, it is not a problem. Afterwards that depends on players around him. He is not a typical centre forward in that he doesn't just want to stay in the penalty box.

"I cannot stop him from moving around, even if we need him in the penalty area."

Deschamps, who captained France to both the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 crowns, said that he was not fearing a hammering.

"I am not experiencing a nightmare.

"I prefer to dream and dreams in general finish well.

"But dreams are not reality."

Source: AFP