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Domenech turns away from Trezeguet and introduces the world to Bafétimbi Gomis

France coach Raymond Domenech has left Juventus striker David Trezeguet out of his provisional 30 man squad named today. Yet it’s no real suprise to see him omitted, Trezeguet’s star has certainly been fading over the last couple of seasons and looking at the strikers that the coach has named, it’s hard to argue for his inclusion. His appearances since France’s defeat in the World Cup Final have been sporadic to say the least and this season has seen several young strikers put markers down for their international inclusion.


Whilst Frances 3rd highest all time goalscorer with 34 goals in 71 appearances seems to watching his international career wind down, the exciting young St Etienne powerhouse Bafetimbi Gomis has been included for the first time. I am genuinely excited by this player, who shows all the attributes of becoming one of the new world stars for French football. If you’ve not seen him, the obvious comparision is with Didier Drogba, with the same hair and similar build encouraging people to unsuprisingly name him ” The new Drogba”. He has been in fabulous form all season and along with Djibril Cisse, comes in to the end of the season bang in form. Thankfully we get live French league football on Sentanta in the UK so I’ve seen a fair bit of him this season and he’s sensational.

Gomis, the new rising star for France??

All things considered, he may still miss the cut, looking at the number of strikers in the team, with 10 players named who can play up front but Gomis is one of only 4 true strikers, alongside Henry, the rejuvinanted Djibril Cisse and Nicolas Anelka and the only full equipped target man in the frame. He deserves the chance of this tournament, his 16 goals have been crucial in getting Les Verts back into European competition and he could be the crucial player to get them out of the Group of Death. “This is not a surprise as we have been following him for a while now and he fully deserves to be in this provisional squad,” said Domenech

France Provisional squad
Goalkeepers: Grégory Coupet (Olympique Lyonnais), Mickaël Landreau (Paris Saint-Germain FC), Sébastien Frey (ACF Fiorentina), Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille).

Defenders: Willy Sagnol (FC Bayern München), Lilian Thuram (FC Barcelona), William Gallas (Arsenal FC), Eric Abidal (FC Barcelona), Patrice Evra (FC Manchester United), Jean-Alain Boumsong (Olympique Lyonnais), François Clerc (Olympique Lyonnais), Julien Escudé (Sevilla FC), Philippe Mexès (AS Roma), Sébastien Squillaci (Olympique Lyonnais).

Midfielders: Alou Diarra (FC Girondins de Bordeaux), Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal FC), Patrick Vieira (FC Internazionale Milano), Claude Makelele (Chelsea FC), Jérémy Toulalan (Olympique Lyonnais), Lassana Diarra (Portsmouth FC).

Strikers: Franck Ribéry (FC Bayern München), Florent Malouda (Chelsea FC), Sidney Govou (Olympique Lyonnais), Samir Nasri (Olympique de Marseille), Hatem Ben Arfa (Olympique Lyonnais), Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea FC), Thierry Henry (FC Barcelona), Karim Benzema (Olympique Lyonnais), Djibril Cissé (Olympique de Marseille), Bafétimbi Gomis (AS Saint-Etienne).

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  1. Lonnie

    May 20, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    It’s about time Domenech left some of the old legs behind and brought some of the new faces into the national team. Makelele, for example, has wanted to quit playing for the national team for some time now.

    As for the term attaquant, it does translate as attacker though in football terms it’s more accurate to use the term striker or forward. Ribery, Nasri and Malouda are most definetly in the class of what is commonly referred to as attacking midfielders/wingers. Ben Arfa started his career as a centre forward, but has been used mainly as a left winger under Lyon coach Alain Perrin.

    Anyhow, those are just labels and I don’t want to get too caught up in them 🙂 Ribery is going to be in the side for certain and I’ve become a bigger fan of his since he moved to Bayern and I’ve watched him more. A true world-class player that can use both feet with near equal ability.

    I’m also looking for Benzema to really have a good tournament. I’ve been really impressed with his combination of speed, power and ability.

    Some nice clips of him in action here:

    Group C is going to be killer. Italy, Romania, Netherlands or France…who’s going home early? That’s going to be a tough group to call.

  2. Paul Bestall

    May 20, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Bonjour , Of course, I would class those 3 as attacking midfielders myself but thought I was mistaken!

  3. Ivan

    May 19, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Nor Govou, Ben Arfa..
    The squad selection Paul put out is correct though the correct translation attaquants – attackers i presume (or forwards… semantics..)

  4. BillE Shears

    May 19, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Bonjour Paul,

    I don’t think I would classify Ribery, Nasri or Malouda as strikers.

  5. Ivan

    May 19, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    correction – though i’m NOT suggesting

  6. Ivan

    May 19, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Don’t really rate Govou nor do i rate Malouda. Benzema is exceptional, fast, strong, skillful on the ball, finishes well with both feet. Way too much hype surrounding Ben Arfa imo. Not sure if statistically if this is correct but post 2004 euros the French team hasn’t scored that many goals. Saying that international football is always very tight so that may not be a problem.

    Domenech’s method of keeping old heads in the first team could backfire…(makelele is in good form, thuram, viera, abidal, henry not so much though im suggesting they should be left out of the squad) But i have to say i don’t agree with his decision to leave Trezeguet out. 2nd top scorer in Italy behind his team mate Del Piero speaks for itself.

  7. Kartik

    May 19, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    Benzema and Govou are both players to keep an eye on. The standard of French Football these days is more consistently high than any time prior to the mid 1990s and it is exciting to see the French continue to produce outstanding attacking players in their domestic league and out of their national youth academy.

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