France defender Patrice Evra may find his place in the side up for grabs after yet another underwhelming display for the host nation in their 5-2 win over Iceland. Les Blues may have thrashed their opponents to book their place in the Euro 2016 semi-final, but Evra is looking a real weak link ahead of their meeting with a Germany side who could take full advantage on the pitch.
Against Iceland, Evra was culpable for both goals conceded. He didn’t close down the cross that led to Iceland’s first goal of the game – making the score 4-1 at the time – and he didn’t mark his man in the box when another ball from out wide came in. Given France’s dominance at the Stade de France, conceding two goals in the game is very poor. Evra, in particular, has struggled throughout the Euros, but he may now be under more scrutiny from his manager.
France aren’t blessed with many other options at left-back, with 22-year-old Lucas Digne (13 caps) the only alternative. Against World champions Germany it a big risk to make a change to the backline, but Evra is hardly giving his manager a choice with his performances. Deschamps could have perhaps brought on Digne for Evra against Iceland in the second-half on Sunday evening to see how he fared, but it’s a gamble nevertheless.
Experience is vital in the big games, something Evra boasts more of than most, but his performances haven’t been close to the level expected. Now 35, the Frenchman could be paired with Germany’s tricky winger Julian Draxler in the semi-finals, or a playmaker who vacates their position on a regular basis. Germany manager Joachim Loew is sure to target the Juventus man as he looks out of sorts this tournament.
It leaves Deschamps with some serious questions as the ease in which Iceland scored two goals on Sunday evening – partly down to Evra – is a real worry. Les Blues can’t afford to gift goals to Germany as the Eagles seldom concede, but France’s left-back area is one that needs resolving. No France defender has made more fouls than Evra (6), no France defender has been dispossessed more than Evra (6), no France player has lost so many aerial duels (9) and no France player has made so many inaccurate short passes (35).
Patrice Evra is a serial under-performer for France in this summer’s 2016 European Championships, but has still kept his place all this time. Will that change ahead of their semi-final clash with World champions Germany?