Savidan adds to Domenech's headaches

PARIS - Steve Savidan's bright France debut in Wednesday's goalless draw against Uruguay left coach Raymond Domenech with another option in an already rich list of strikers for the resumption of World Cup qualifying next year.

Domenech hinted the international schedule made it hard for him to field the best possible team for 90 minutes in a game sandwiched between a hectic league programme and a busy Champions League week for his players.

"All the imperfections in the offensive play are because of this situation. It is not an excuse but an explanation," he told reporters.

Although they did not score against a sedate Uruguay side at the Stade de France, the 1998 world champions have shown in recent games that they have enough firepower up front to overturn a tricky situation in qualifying Group Seven.

Domenech can now count on a rejuvenated Nicolas Anelka, who has already scored 12 goals with Chelsea in the Premier League this season, and could be tempted to recall the 30-year-old Savidan.

The Caen striker celebrated his first cap with a scintillating performance against Uruguay containing two bicycle kicks.

"I told myself it was now or never to prove myself," the former dustman, who was playing in the third division three years ago, told reporters.

"It's nice to see a player celebrating his first cap at 30, at times we had the feeling the old Jean-Pierre Papin was back," said team mate Philippe Mexes.

France, who suffered an embarrassing exit in the first round of Euro 2008 in June, will next meet Argentina in a friendly on February 11 before shifting back to the World Cup qualifiers in Lithuania in March.

Domenech may turn to Savidan again but with Olympique Lyon's Karim Benzema, Anelka, Thierry Henry and a talented midfield, failure should be inconceivable.

With Franck Ribery and Yoann Gourcuff becoming certain starters in midfield, there is only one spot alongside Henry and Domenech knows he will have a tough choice to make.

"I want to recall him (Savidan) but also Karim, Jimmy (Briand), Samir (Nasri) but it will be complicated to make a choice," said Domenech.

France lie third in Group Seven, five points adrift of leaders Serbia but have a game in hand.