Might not be so bad as you imagine. It's often the way that teams managed by players who were dour and defensive play attractive football, and vice versa.
Posts: 609 | From: Kettering, UK | Registered: May 2002
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What's the connection with QPR? Someone will be telling me next that Daniel Passarella is honorary chairman of Ross County.
Posts: 1741 | From: time to time | Registered: Nov 2003
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Kobi Kuhn was a very gifted, offensive midfielder, always ready to try something inventive...
And don't start me on Platini, EC92 was the most awful French team I've ever seen, even Houllier's was better to watch...
Posts: 16714 | From: Outskirts of Manchester | Registered: May 2002
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Platini's France played some great stuff in the Euro 92 qualifiers, winning all eight games in a fairly tough group (Spain, Czechoslovakia, Iceland, Albania). Then he and his players publicly shat themselves when the tournament finally rolled around.
In the opening match, France were initially overwhelmed by the energetic Swedes at the Rasunda Stadion, going in at the interval 1-0 down. Platini made an inspired substitution, withdrawing the useless (in this tournament) Auxerre winger Pascal Vahirua and bringing on the Paris SG playmaker Christian Perez. Within minutes, Perez's wonderful pass set up Papin for a brilliant blasted-shot equaliser, and his promptings helped France to have the better of the second half.
Platini took this as the cue to leave Perez on the bench for the England game in Malmo and instead bring in Luis Fernandez, a hero of Euro 84 but by now well past it. What ensued was one of the most piss-poor internationals in European football history, remembered only for Stuart Pearce being nutted by Basile Boli and then hitting the bar with a venomous free-kick a few minutes later.
Two seriously underwhelming draws, then -- but if France could beat the Danish underdogs in their last game, they would reach the semi-finals no matter what the outcome of the Sweden-England game in Stockholm. Platini, realising that his front two of Papin (arguably the best striker in the world that particular year) and Cantona were crying out for good service, finally brought Perez back into the team -- but simultaneously dropped Franck Sauzee, another excellent player who could score plenty of goals from midfield, and also brought back the inept Vahirua. Even after falling behind early on to Henrik Larsen's rocket, France still didn't wake up, and Papin's equaliser was incidental. Subsequently, Papin had a sitter taken off his toe by Deschamps, never much of a finisher at the best of times and even less so in the early years of his career. The French eventually lost dismally and deservedly 2-1, thanks to a late winner by the lunatic Lars Elstrup. If Holland 1990 were the biggest disappointment at any World Cup, France 1992 were the equivalent at any European Championship.
Before Euro 92, Platini was seen as the natural successor to Michel Hidalgo because of the excellent results and performances in the qualifiers -- an historic 2-1 win in Seville (the first victory there by any away team for something like 80 years), a 3-1 defeat of Spain in Paris, a pair of 2-1 wins over the useful Czechoslovaks, a 5-0 thrashing of Albania -- but he bottled it when the chips were down (as did, let's be fair about this, most of his players with the shining exception of Papin), and that's what he's remembered for as a coach. Subsequently he never went near another managerial job, even though he was only 37 in June 1992, and he spent the following decade aligning himself with some of the most dubious vested interests in European sport. Now he's going to be the Blatter-approved candidate to run against Lennart Johansson in the next UEFA presidency elections.