Didier Deschamps, coach of the Blues: “Not enough strength, character and energy”

“What was your game plan starting with this 4-3-3 pattern and how did it disappoint you?
Beyond the system that we can change, there was such a superior energy in the adversary that it was hard to fight. We certainly did not have the means for this match, which does not take away the merit of this Croatian team which keeps the ball well. It is like this gathering, and this is no excuse, where the organizations are in great demand. We lacked strength, character and energy. You have to accept, even if it hurts not to win a game. I didn’t have the strength and energy to pass on to them either. The reality of the top level is unforgiving.

“Have some seen themselves too beautiful? It’s not the individual that matters to me but the strength that the group must release. »

What is your assessment of this gathering and are you worried about the prospect of the World Cup?
I am not naturally worried. I will have a reflection with my staff. There will be need for many more things if we want to maintain the standard which is ours. Overall, there is a crying lack of freshness. It will be necessary, at the start of the school year, to do much more to prepare for the deadline which is ours.

What does this questioning imply?
When you haven’t done enough, you have to do your own self-criticism. I don’t see all black or all white. The results also prove us wrong because we haven’t done enough. I hope we can recover our forces and the players their fighting spirit. Did some see themselves as too beautiful? It’s not the individual that matters to me but the strength that the group must release. We did not meet the high level requirements on this meeting because we did not have the skills.

You now know your last opponent at the World Cup, with the qualification of Australia. This will bring back memories… (Les Bleus beat Australia 2-1 in the first round of the 2018 World Cup in Russia)
Peru also would have brought back memories. Even if we had done what it took to win it (1-0 in the first round of the World Cup in 2018), finally not enough, we reacted well afterwards. You know, today the Croatian team is a very good team. Even if, on paper, a team may seem less strong, if we don’t level up… You have to have high standards. At least the unknown is lifted with Australia. We had made sure to supervise their match against the Emirates and that one. But hey, there’s still time and the two matches in September before thinking about that one.

“The three-man system has advantages but requires you to be on top physically. »

You used several systems on this gathering (with 3 or 4 defenders). As there will be no preparation for the World Cup, will the month of September allow you to decide on this question?
There is always a priority system. We did some good things with the defense at 3 with some problems too. It’s a matter of balance. What dictated my choice tonight is to put the players in the best position in relation to the opponent. The three-man system has advantages but requires you to be on top physically. But sometimes, you have to go for something more rational and not refrain from changing during the match.

Are you going to have a bad holiday with this defeat to end the season?
Yes, but I would have had a bad holiday even if we had won the matches (Didier Deschamps lost his father at the start of the rally). It’s a bad time. You have to appreciate when you have very good times. Football remains football, even at the very highest level. Losing, there is nothing that can annoy me more. You have to accept it and make sure you get back on the right track. »

Didier Deschamps, coach of the Blues: “Not enough strength, character and energy”