After the Euro des Bleues: Corinne Deacon, many fewer questions, still a shadow of a doubt

From our special correspondent in Milton Keynes,

There were no pretenses or elusive responses. Wednesday, at MK Stadium, Corinne Deacon had no desire to linger in a press conference. A constant with her, but the circumstances lent themselves a little more, this time, to short but clear answers. In barely four minutes, she has answered the question: the Blues lacked efficiency, this German team is a well-honed machine, we should not look for excuses at the physical level. However, it was at the very end of her speech that Corinne Deacon said the most things.

Euro 2022

“One day, this French team will thrill the whole world”


First, hot, on an assessment of this Euro and on the responses for 2023 and 2024, she had a thought for those who have surrounded her in recent months. “The disappointment is so important that you have to be close to your group, close to your staffshe explained. Everything in its time“. Words but also actions: at the final whistle, she entered the lawn to thank her players and slip this message, which she repeated at a press conference: she is proud of them.

But it was in her last speech that she looked at the undeniable success of this Euro for her and for Les Bleues: the birth of a group, the renewal of a team. “Not everything is to be thrown awayshe said. At instant T, disappointment prevails. You can’t be satisfied with losing. But we have built things, we have a solid base. We still need a little time. It was not our evening, this competition was not ours yet, but in any case, the foundation is solid. We have built something important, with a very friendly, hardworking group that does not like to lose, it bodes well for the future.“.

“What did Les Bleues miss? A Popp or a Katoto!”

Henry or Le Sommer? The debate is over

Would Les Bleues have done better with Eugénie Le Sommer and Amandine Henry against Germany? No one knows. Maybe. But the debate is no longer there. The answers provided by the collective on this Euro are likely to validate these radical choices. Because the workforce has lived well and this glass ceiling story is finally behind. Because the majority of its players finally seem to have understood the Deacon “method”, even if it can still be perplexing, like the management of the Griedge Mbock case on this Euro. This troupe has a future, character but above all has not yet discovered everything.

The individual progression of some looks promising, just to reinforce a collective adventure that is exciting in terms of play but disappointing when it comes to making the decision. In 2019, it was winded and minimalist. In 2022, it was sometimes flamboyant and often relevant, like sometimes decisive coaching. From this Euro, Deacon comes out strengthened. By this result, inaccessible to past teams, but also by the path taken.

Corinne Deacon in the middle of her players for a jog in Ashby-de-la-Zouch

Credit: Getty Images

Reinforced but also comforted. Noël Le Graët may have backpedaled before the match against Italy concerning the future of Corinne Deacon, his decision seems to have been made for many months. Only a huge crash and an acute crisis could have diverted him from his real desire: to keep the coach in his position. At the height of the gusts, he had not deviated from his course and his loyalty to the one who had accepted the mission in 2017 after a diligent courtship of “NLG” from 2016.

The 2024 Olympics in the crosshairs… and the love of the public?

I still supported her in times when there were not many people to support herhe insisted to AFP on Thursday. Today there are results that are rather positive, I don’t see why I wouldn’t support it“. In other words, Deacon will stay if she wants to. No external sign suggests otherwise. The coach should thus remain in place until the World Cup next summer. And even beyond?

There is the World Cup soon and the Olympics in Paris (in 2024, editor’s note), I really want it. And maybe the Euro in France in 2025explained Graët, who set these Paris Games as a cardinal priority. I see that when you change coaches every year or two, even in clubs, things don’t progress. With Corinne, we are on the right track“. The very one that can allow women’s football to accelerate growth hampered by the Covid?

“I don’t like Deacon but it’s complicated to criticize her on this Euro”

It is ultimately the only valid question: is Corinne Deacon the figure capable of making the general public adhere to this team? Despite Lyon’s domination in C1, nothing will ever match the aura of the selection. On this Euro, a constant: the French supporters were rare, lonely and sometimes saddened by the lack of enthusiasm tricolor. From Rotherham to Milton Keynes, it is especially the Italian, Icelandic, Dutch or German fans that we have seen the most, the most heard. A question of organization but also a question of embodiment.

Among the Bleues, two heads are far beyond: that of Wendie Renard, the irreproachable and multi-titled captain of this team. Then that of Corinne Deacon, now respected if not really loved. His substantive work, from management to communication, both personally and collectively, is to be commended. But it is still not enough to trigger the necessary thunderbolt.

Corinne Deacon poses before the start of the Women’s Euro

Credit: Getty Images

Euro 2022

Le Graët is thinking of Deacon until 2024: “With Corinne, we are on the right slope”


Euro 2022

Deacon: “Efficiency has eluded us again”


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