Group E: French Faux Pas and Swiss Satisfaction
Ecuador vs France
Didier anyone tell Deschamps the World Cup lasted only a month?
With second round qualification done and dusted, the final group match vs Ecuador was a tempting opportunity to test out alternative tactics and give some benchwarmers a chance to impress.
Things didn't really go as planned as the French artillery which plundered 8 goals in their first 2 matches fizzled against the gritty Ecuadoreans.
If the match had been won, it would have added to the ever-changing perception that France are more than dark horses. It didn't and now there might be a price to pay.
Firstly, this is a cup tournament of a maximum possible run of seven matches. All the tinkering should have been done by the time the competition kicks off. The coach would have established his first XI, their individual replacements, the team's tactics, plan Bs or even Cs.
The World Cup is a Formula 1 race, not the Dakar Rally. The winning team has to have its pistons already firing as the crucial knockout stage begins. You want a sprinter and not a marathoner for a tournament. This isn't a 38 match league.
Deschamps should have started with his preferred eleven and progressively made his changes during the match. This would have kept the machinery oiled and the rhythm flowing. In football, you are only as good as your last match and it seems they've taken a step backwards. Clear inexperience on the part of Deschamps and we await to see if Nigeria can exploit this.
Switzerland vs Honduras
How much is that Shaqiri in window?
Unlike the French, Switzerland sharpened their fondue forks against Honduras with a Xherdan Shaqiri hat trick. Shaqiri's performance might be the perfect recipe for him to snag alternative employment with another European club. Leaving Bayern for anywhere else would arguably be a step down but he needs the regular football to make headway on his peers. The Swiss can derive confidence from the victory as Argentina and Messi beckons and they could potentially prove to be spoilers if the Argies don't turn up.
Jason Jayden Chua loves Spanish football, writes Spanish football, eats Spanish food, is learning Spanish, but is in love with a French girl.