Euro 2020: Three Reasons Why France Were Knocked Out of the Tournament Early

·3-min read

A monumental success in Russia three years ago with a perfectly balanced team meant that the world of football were witnessing the supremacy of the Frenchmen after a long time. Possessing a squad which has the right mix of youth and experience, Didier Deschamps' France were tipped to be the favourites, coming into Euro 2020. Achieving a World Cup and Euro double is something which doesn't happen everytime. Deschamps himself did it as a player in 1998 and 2000. Spain did it in 2008, 2010 and 2012. But after just four matches, France are no longer a part of the competition and much to everyone's shock, they surrendered their European title hopes to a spirited Switzerland team on Tuesday. So what did exactly go wrong this time? Here are three reasons: Switzerland Script a Perfect Tale by Eliminating France From Euro 2020, Granit Xhaka’s Men Win on Penalties

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1) Mbappe went missing: One of the biggest reasons for France's premature exit from the Euros this year was the poor form by one of their youngest, yet best players. Mbappe was in stupendous form for Paris-Saint Germain in the Champions League this year, where he scored against Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Based on his exploits this season where he scored 42 goals and 11 assists, he was tipped to take Euro 2020 by storm and lead his side to European glory, five years after losing the final to Portugal at home. But it didn't happen. Instead, Mbappe, for the first time in his career, failed to score in a major tournament that he has played in. With just one assist from four matches and no goals to his name, Mbappe has experienced one of his worst times on the pitch. To add to it, he missed a big chance to score against Switzerland and then subsequently missed the penalty, which dumped the world champions out of Euro 2020.
2) Poor tactics: France's shocking loss to Switzerland can also be attributed to poor tactics implemented by Didier Deschamps. He had started with three defenders at the back, resorting to a 3-4-1-2 formation--which is one of the most difficult to master. Yes, a part of it can be reasoned out by saying that he didn't have a fit left-back to start with as Lucas Digne was injured and Lucas Hernandes lacked fitness. France had tried out this formation three times before and had struggled on all occasions. When France were 3-1 up, complacency got into their game and it showed. Deschamps introduced Mousa Sissoko in place of Antoine Griezmann and that proved to a blunder as well. Instead, he should have brought in Corentin Tolisso by taking off Mbappe to strengthen the midfield alongside Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante.

3) Wrong team selection: Given their problems at the back, it was a wrong choice for Deschamps to include someone like Clement Lenglet in the squad. The Barcelona centre-back didn't have a very good season with his club and most importantly, didn't feature in any of France's matches in the competition, not even the friendlies. His sudden inclusion into the team in a back four system alongside Presnel Kimpembe and Raphael Varane absolutely didn't work out. Moreso, Deschamps deployed midfielder Adrien Rabiot as a left-wing back and Benjamin Pavard was asked to operate on the right wing. The system failed badly and Deschamps had to recall Lenglet and introduce Kingsley Coman instead.

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France's early unexpected exit from Euro 2020 could eventually give rise to a lot of questions with one of them being--will Deschamps continue to be at the helm till the World Cup?

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