Like the French team on this trip to Denmark, Dayot Upamecano wasted his exit in the shoes of a starter. If the central defender is not on his first down, centralizing blue evils around his personal case would be a wrong target.
The day after a loss, it’s often easy to bring out the flamethrower to char anything that moves. Pragmatic as always, Didier Deschamps preferred the firefighter costume and carefully used the fire hose after the danish glow. “I saw this Danish team three days ago against Croatia (2-1 loss, editor’s note), had nothing to doanalyzes the Blues coach at the microphone of La Chaîne L’Équipe. We knew very well that they were looking forward to this match in front of their home crowd, and we had much less response. There was an inexperience at the top level, and that’s logical. This will serve players who were there in the near to medium future. » Without naming names, DD preferred to globalize his criticism by speaking of a collective failure. Others point out, also rightly, the individual shortcomings of Eduardo Camavinga or William Saliba who came out at halftime, but also of Dayot Upamecano, cooked to perfection in the Copenhagen cauldron.
Thrown into the lion’s den for the seventh time in the French squad (and for the first since November 2021), the Bayern Munich central defender has built a reputation as a player with quiet force in the Bundesliga, as he shows. his capital performance against Barça – although capable of concentration changes. But what we remember about him is a label of a shy and silent character. In short, the opposite of the solar Ibrahima Konaté with whom he formed the defense of Leipzig. Today, the two center-backs parted ways to shine in a top-level European club and enjoyed international titles. And if the integration of Konaté in Liverpool and in the national team did not take long to bear fruit, Upamecano’s required more time.
In Denmark, the Évreux native was therefore back as a starter, replacing Raphaël Varane in the line of three defenders and having to supervise at 23 his two fellow defenders Benoît Badiashile and William Saliba, 21 each. one. A mission that is not very obvious when it is known that last March, Didier Deschamps still underlined his unreliability: “He had difficulties with us. The demands at Bayern, compared to Leipzig, are higher. He is not in the best moment of his career. There is significant competition. There is the potential that it can have and also the impact of the external environment, where the demands are very high. » We have known better as encouragement. It was therefore thanks to the many withdrawals in the defensive sector (Kimpembe, Hernández, Koundé, Konaté out) that Dayot was able to tiptoe back and take charge of putting out the Danish dynamite. Again, not a gift.
Drawn by the work of Mikkel Damsgaard during the first match and leaving Dolberg alone behind him (33me), without authority to place his teammates at set pieces and in trouble to get the balls, Upamecano suffered throughout his evening, to the point of serving as a doll to the sorcerer Christian Eriksen (65me). To be honest, this is not the first time this has happened in his career. Last season, Upamecano had experienced the same ordeal on the pitch at Bochum against Gerrit Holtmann, forcing Julian Nagelsmann to bring his player out at half-time.
Remember, last November
From there to say that Upamecano fried his last cartridge in the France team? Is not safe. If for Qatar, and in the event that the injured man recovers, the step may be a bit high, the goalkeeper, who has always been in contact with the team since his time in the U-16 in 2014. Also, during his previous six caps, the tricolor international had only known success until this Sunday with the A. The saying goes that you learn a lot more from failure than from victory, and that’s probably what you must be thinking. well the former stutterer. now if he wants to recover quickly. On November 10, 2021, Upamecano already came on in place of Varane in the Nations League final against Spain. A much more important game than yesterday, and public opinion had not made much of a fuss over this perfectly executed substitution. Finally, Upamecano is only 23 years old and he still has to work on his consistency. Is it so surprising? No. Once again, Deschamps sums it up better than anyone after the Scandinavian setback. “Tonight is about being in touch with reality and what awaits us in two months. » For Upamecano as for everyone else.
By Antoine Donnarieix