Crouchend_Hammer wrote:The team I predicted before the tournament to win did win. IMHO by far the best team and squad (and players not in squad) in the world and proved it. Won all their games, except a dead rubber v Denmark, in 90 mins
Phooey! They didn't even deserve to win their opening match versus Australia. More VAR controversy in their favour, and the exact opposite outcome of the VAR-overturning of a penalty decision that ultimately eliminated Senegal in the very last group game, which everyone accepts was the right decision.
Against Australia, France demonstrated everything that is wrong with the modern game - simulation and trying to get a booked player sent off (even when there was no contact!)(Hernandez about four times & Tolisso) , going down easily to win freekicks and penalties (Griezmann and Mbappe), intentionally handling the ball then lying that he used his chest (Umtiti), surrounding the referee (most of the team), dissent, standing over the ball when opponents want to take free kicks... every single instance went without a card. They made about ten tactical fouls too, but only one was booked. They won that game but it took a controversial penalty and a freak own goal - just as in the final. I only watched one other game of theirs in full and Mbappe gave Neymar Jr a run for his money in the Oscar department, but everyone seems to have overlooked that
Deschamp even substituted him as it was getting embarrassing.
France unquestionably have a talented squad but I don't think they put in much of a footballing performance but enough to look good in highlights. If teams embody the spirit of their managers then this is true of France - I remember Deschamp as an ever-whinging, always in the ear of the ref, niggly little player. Only two teams were more detestable than France: Colombia (v England) and, I think, Iran who hounded the ref en masse throughout one of their games. France were the Leicester City 2015-16 of this World Cup, despite not being underdogs.
Croatia by contrast, if I thought hey got away with a little agricultural tackling against England, were good in all their games. (Their worse performance probably against England first half). Especially the utter taking apart of Argentina!
In the final they really played in the spirit of the game and thrilled the fans - attacking at full throttle from the kick off. France only started to create chances late in the game after they somehow got in the lead - they probably couldn't believe their luck at half time.