Why are the Blues so bad at penalties?

Since 1998, the Blues have always lost in major tournaments when the match was to be played on penalties. Why such French evil?

France-Italy, in the quarter-finals of the 1998 World Cup, this is the last tricolor success on penalties in the final phase of a major international tournament. Since the Blues lost the final of the 2006 World Cup, the eighth final of the last Euro to date and the final match of the freshly delivered World Cup by being very clumsy in the exercise. Explanations of an evil that has unfortunately become in French.

As for the last two failures, 18 months apart, to the benefit of Switzerland and Argentina, the responsibility lies in part with Didier Deschamps and his staff, who do not consider it necessary, or even useful, to practice this very particular gesture of the shot on goal or sanction.  » Taking penalties in training without pressure, having fun, and taking penalties in matches, with the pressure of the result and the public, that has nothing to do “, already justified the Bayonne strategist during Euro 2016.

However, experience is a helping factor, if not essential. «  There are three components that come into playtestifies the Norwegian sports psychologist Geir Jordet, quoted by Le Parisien. The skill in the matter, which Mbappé has shown, returning 3 in the same match, the psychological aspect, but also required a little luck. « And to observe: » You have to have a framework that requires a lot in the match, with entries from Thuram, Coman or Camavinga. But the counterpart is that he deprives himself of players who know how to take penalties, like Griezmann or Giroud. It’s less experience and it doesn’t help… »

The Achilles heel of Lloris

Indeed, the cartridges were not easy to choose to face Emiliano Martinez on Sunday evening. Besides Kylian Mbappé, only Marcus Thuram, designed fifth shooter of the Blues, displayed real references in the matter among the players capable of shooting. Kingsley Coman and Aurélien Tchouaméni, who missed their attempt, had never taken part in such a duel before. A sensation almost foreign to the rest of Youssouf Fofana, Eduardo Camavinga, Dayot Upamecano, Axel Disasi, Ibrahima Konaté and Randal Kolo Muani, who hit the mark on him. In vain.

If he had anticipated the thing a little, Didier Deschamps could have launched into battle a Jordan Veretout broken in this very particular exercise (27 penalties converted into 31 attempts).  » We can also criticize the goalkeeper who does not stop a single shot “, notes however Geir Jordet, not really convinced by the “body language” of Hugo Lloris, like Christophe Lollichon, former coach of the doormen of Chelsea: “ Martinez was an actor in this penalty shootout. Lloris a more suffered… »

A vicious circle

Like Didier Deschamps, the captain of the Blues tends to consider this type of session as a lottery. A necessary passage that he prefers to face  » oh feeling  » from now on. Yes but now, the last rampart of the Spurs is sorely lacking in nose in the exercise. What he willingly concedes: Penalties are not an element in which I have been successful, over the whole of my career. “According to a study by InStat Sport, three years ago, a goalkeeper deflects an average of 17.55% of the penalties he faces. Hugo Lloris had a workforce of 8.7%.

On arrival, the black series of the France team could not be more of a problem. A real vicious circle according to Geir Jordet.  » One thing plays out little by little, it is the repetition of failures. You are entering a bad spiral. Studies show that teams that arrive with bad passives have shooters who shoot less well on average than the others during a new session. And it works the other way around. Argentina, on this point, was indeed better armed.