5 things to look for in France’s warm-up games

5 things to look for in France’s warm-up games

Hope springs eternal, the World Cup is just around the corner. This is the time when teams dream big – no one is here to make up the numbers and everyone believes (well, in not finishing bottom anyway!). But let’s not get carried away, almost all 32 teams have issues – and France is no exception. So, with three warm-up games coming up in the next two weeks, here are five storylines to look out…

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France hoping to start winning summer in Toulon

France hoping to start winning summer in Toulon

Before the uncontrollable shaking begins, before you start trying to steal footballs off kids in the park, look at your TVs! Football is back already. The FFW calendar says today is the 21st of May, and that means we’ve been without competitive football for a whole FOUR days. We’re not sure how we have coped, but we are just really glad that the Toulon Festival of Football starts today, with France one of the top-teams…

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Remy Cabella: Dreaming of Brazil and Beyond

Remy Cabella: Dreaming of Brazil and Beyond

Didier Deschamps’ announcement of the provisional World Cup squad has sparked much comment, mostly around the exclusion of Samir Nasri. Further down on the reserves list, however, are another couple of debates – Lacazette not being in the 23, for example, but also the presence of Montpellier’s Remy Cabella. As the only number 10 on the reserves list, he seems the natural back-up if either Clement Grenier or Mathieu Valbuena have any issues in the…

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Antoine Griezmann: From Rebel to Real Superstar

Antoine Griezmann: From Rebel to Real Superstar

Rarely does a forbidden venture to a nightclub, on the eve of a crucial game, lead a football player to his most prolific season. And yet, this is exactly what has happened to Antoine Griezmann this year. The Real Sociedad striker this month made his national team debut against the Netherlands, crowning a season of excellence in La Liga. With 15 goals, he is only two behind his countryman Karim Benzema and fast approaching maturity…

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Les Bleus : France v Holland

On Thursday, Didier Deschamps announced his squad for tonight’s friendly against Holland. This has been seen as the final opportunity for players seeking a first call-up to have a chance to play in Brazil, as the May friendlies (against Norway, Paraguay and Jamaica) will no doubt be used to sort out first v second choices from the established list. One player getting a debut on the 24-man list, Antoine Griezmann, was available for selection after…

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France Espoirs ready to roll past Belarus

France Espoirs ready to roll past Belarus

France’s U21 side take on Belarus tonight at the MMArena in Le Mans, hoping to make it six wins out of six in their quest for European Championship qualification. Belarus sit bottom of Group 10 and France will be hoping they can repeat the 2-1 win from back in September. Rennes forward Paul-Georges Ntep scored both goals in the victory, and the young player will be hoping to get on the score sheet again tonight….

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Interview: Arsenal legend Robert Pires – The International Years

Interview: Arsenal legend Robert Pires – The International Years

In Part III, Robert talks about the controversial end to his international career, his thoughts on the current Arsenal and France teams, his opinions on Ligue 1 and his post-professional career. Speaking of coaches… we have to go two years back in time from 2006… to 2004 and the French national side… Right, everyone says to me “Robert Pirès is the nicest person in football”… Well you have to thank the people who have said…

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Interview: France legend Robert Pires – The Arsenal Years

Interview: France legend Robert Pires – The Arsenal Years

In this second part of our three part series, Robert talks about the peak of his career, for club and country, the twin disappointments of missing the 2002 World Cup and his 2006 Champions League final substitution, and that penalty for Arsenal… So after, let’s say six months, there’s the explosion, especially with Vieira, with Henry, with Wiltord. And I’d say that from the beginning of 2001 until March 2002 are your best years – for Arsenal and…

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