International football

Olivier Echouafni is the new France WNT manager

The 44 years old former midfielder who has played for about 20 seasons at professional level in the top division in France and has managed two club for one season each time is taking over the France WNT job.

As expected following the Rio olympics debacle, the FFF has sacked Phillipe Bergeroo because of the bad results and also because many players were unhappy with the coach post Canada press conference.

Bergeroo spoke about mental weakness, something that upset the senior players and one of them was tasked to call Noel le Graet the FFF president to ask him to act swiftly.

It is quite funny in a way that players complain about such a statement, because at the end of the day, two managers have been sacked since 2009 and the problem remain the same.

Of course, Bini and Bergeroo have some responsibilities in the lack of medal in all those tournaments ( 2009, 11, 12,13,15 and 16),  but the players should also have a good look at themselves.

I mean the France WNT went from one management style under Bini to very much the opposite under Bergeroo but the finishing problems stayed the same. Different playing style, different training style, a different organisation around the team and the same problems happened again and again.

There is something that is clearly  not manager related here, so it is obviously players related. And you really wonder if Olivier Echouafni will be able to find a solution.He has been given a two year deal  which makes absolutely no sense. The 2017 Euros will happen at the end of the season and the World Cup will be played at home in 2019.

With a contract ending in 2018, the coach might leave halfway through the World Cup preparation. The fact behind this is clearly that the FFF wants to win the 2017 Euros and not looking at preparing the World Cup, as younger players will only play friendlies for two season and could lack competitive game experience. Especially if the “golden generation retires” at the end of the tournament.

The first squad list will be given on Sunday straight after the D1 feminine matchday one and we might see some surprises, some returnee or just some continuity with Bergeroo.

Note that the girls born in 1996 and younger are called up by Gilles Eyquem in the U20 squad in the preparation for the U20 World Cup at the end of the year in Papua New Guinea and therefore should not be available.

The only player that retired from football after the Rio Olympics is Louisa Cadamuro, so she could be the only one missing out among the 18 players who were selected for the tournament in Brazil.

With a friendly against Brazil and a dead rubber of a Euro qualifier against Albania, the new manager might be tempted to experiment and open the team to newbies like the players who played for the B team or any unknown quantity.

Echouafni’s first squad list will be interesting to see what kind of team he wants to take to the tournament, if the formely banned by Bergeroo Gaetane Thiney will get a chance again. He will also choose his coaching staff and it will be another interesting moment to see who will be alongside him.

 

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