Ben Yedder, is it for today or tomorrow? / International / French team /

Decisive passer, but disappointing against Croatia (1-1), Wissam Ben Yedder has still not scored points to aspire to better than his status as a substitute in the selection. In this situation, the faults are shared between the player and the staff, who rarely offered him good conditions to emerge.

Just visualize it to understand the whole dilemma. You see this shirt, magnificent, unearthed in a small shop in the city center? You have very little hesitation when taking out the wallet. These colorful patterns, this slightly over-sized cut, and then the sentimental side of the purchase, because it reminds you of that mild summer afternoon strolling through the shopping streets. In short, the essential piece in your wardrobe. Except that once back in the daily routine, impossible to find the right moment to put it on. It doesn’t match any of your jeans and then, under a sweater, it’s not terrible. So we leave it, this shirt, on a hanger, thinking that it will perhaps find a use next summer. For Didier Deschamps, this shirt is called Wissam Ben Yedder.

A blow to grab an insulation

The boy is charming, as discreet outside the lawns as he is flashy. A striker who feels the goal, who can adapt to almost any pattern, who does not make a sound when left in the closet. In Monaco, while Nico Kovač had assigned him to a role of “luxury joker” he, the captain, never flinched. “I know people expect me to criticize him, but Kovač was a good coach, I have no problem with himhe said in an interview with The Team this week. I necessarily wanted to play more, I did not like this role of substitute […]but I’m not someone who goes to the confrontation, to talk to the leaders. I focused on me. I was filled with rage when I went out, but because I’m passionate about football. I never perceived it as something personal with Kovač. » Philippe Clement, the successor of the Croatian coach, then revived him well, making the kid from Garges-lès-Gonesse the engine of the Monegasque raid. With such a mentality, Wissam has everything to please the tricolor coach, who pays him back by having summoned him to the last thirteen rallies since June 2019*. However, it still doesn’t fit.

This Monday in Split, the ex-Toulouse took advantage of the large turnover operated by the staff against Croatia to show his face in the skin of a holder for the first time since November 2020 and a defeat against Finland, with already a revamped team. The little prince of futsal knew it: he is expected at the turn of this June session. “Every game is important. But yes, those will be. You will have to be readyconvinced himself before his 19e tenure. The goal, we all have it, is the World Cup. It would represent everything, a childhood dream, my dream. » However, the interview only lasted 62 minutes, replaced by Antoine Griezmann after a game where he spent the majority of his time stuck between his bodyguards Vida and Erlić. Difficult to exist in these conditions for a player accustomed to combining in all directions and to read the intentions of his partners before everyone else. “Even if Wissam was more isolated on our offensive phases, which did not prevent him from making his decisive pass” positive Didier Deschamps after the meeting. Rightly so, because if WBY has still not completed a full match in Blue, it has refreshed its statistical lines (3 goals and 4 assists) by offering Adrien Rabiot the ball for the equalizer, one of its rare stalls. But is it enough to realize “a child’s dream” next November?

Ben Yedder from the Ders?

At 31, Ben Yedder does not represent the future of the tricolor attack. Besides, he keeps seeing kids tumble down and climb the hierarchy faster than him. His teammate Aurélien Tchouaméni and Christopher Nkunku are the latest examples. However, how can you show the best version of yourself when you only have 35 minutes of play per selection on average, for the most part played among other challengers in search of benchmarks, and when the debates focus on the he Benzema-Giroud equation is more advanced than him… To believe that Wissam is condemned to be nothing more than a stopgap, not convincing enough to see him as a reliable alternative. The comments will never cease to think that this cross would have been taken over by Giroud with a header, that Mbappé would have seized this deep pass or that even Alexandre Lacazette would have ensured this volley …

Except that the fifth best European scorer of the season (behind Robert Lewandowski and his compatriots Benzema, Mbappé and Nkunku) can never be judged at his fair value if he is relegated only to a role of sparring partner. It’s up to Didier Deschamps to be clear in his intentions, because the person concerned will never abdicate, it’s in his nature. “In my career, I have always been patient. I know that people, in football and elsewhere, want everything fast, but I’ve never worked like thatdid he develop in The Team. I know it will be complicated, but I will never be resigned. I have confidence in myself. At the beginning of my international career, I said: “What prevents me from dreaming of staying there?” Well, I tell you the same thing: “What prevents me from dreaming of imposing myself on it?”» After all, with a little blow of iron, it can always have its effect, this shirt.

By Mathieu Rollinger, in Split
* His first cap dates back to March 2018, during a 2-3 defeat against Colombia at the Stade de France, but he then missed the World Cup train.

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