Stéphan defends Griezmann and the collective record

Stéphan defends Griezmann and the collective record
Stéphan defends Griezmann and the collective record

Axel Allag, Media365, published on Wednesday July 3, 2024 at 12:27 p.m.

Two days before the Euro 2024 quarter-final against Portugal (Friday, 9 p.m.), Guy Stéphan appeared at a press conference. Didier Deschamps’ loyal assistant largely defended Antoine Griezmann against criticism and looked ahead to the next match against Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates.

“It’s off to a strong start,” thundered Guy Stéphan on Wednesday. The first question of the press conference was indeed about Antoine Griezmann’s positioning on the right wing against Belgium, and Didier Deschamps’ assistant defended the vice-captain against the numerous criticisms he has received since the start of the tournament. “We’re practically at a 4-3-3 but we’re not asking Griezmann to do like Dembélé. He had the freedom to play in the centre. I congratulated Koundé at the end of the match and a second later he told me ‘I would never have performed that way if Antoine hadn’t been there’.” He is a team player. I think he did not deserve the criticism he received.”commented Stephan, who refused any possible questioning of number 7.

“He has brought us a lot and will continue to do so”

A player “who has 133 caps, who has scored 44 goals” and whose absence last March during the friendlies against Germany and then Chile was regretted. “We are not going to question him today. He is a team player, very subtle in his game. He has brought us a lot and will do so again”, continued the assistant coach of the Blues, aware of the room for improvement concerning the finishing for the national team, which has scored 3 goals since the start of the tournament. “It is true that in terms of the team, we can do better as well as for efficiency. We must do better in terms of efficiency. But there are also good things. We had more possession, more chances than our opponents. Either we see the bottle as half full or half empty. I prefer to see it as half full (…) We need to regain the efficiency that we lack. We have a deficit at this level. We are capable of collective actions.” he noted to the media.

No 2018 World Cup without the defeat against Portugal in 2016

Believing that Kylian Mbappé’s “trauma” concerning his broken nose had been minimized by many, he praised the “unifying” side of this “top top player”, and thought of Portugal. In his eyes, surprisingly, the defeat in the final of Euro 2016 against this same team (1-0, aet) is not “a bad memory”. And for good reason, according to him, without this setback, there would have been no glory at the World Cup in Russia.Without this match, we would not have won the 2018 World Cup.“We learned what we didn’t do well between the semi-final and the final,” said Stéphan, who was no doubt impatient to meet Portugal again on Friday evening in Hamburg.

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