Renewed blues, with intact ambitions

Vincent Colette Art has the formula: “This is not a cabinet reshuffle.”In early August, he was announced as coach of the French men’s basketball team in the early days of preparation. However, the two “Ministers of State” are missing his soldiers, who will participate Thursday 1Verse September at 8:30 pm, in the European Basketball Championship against the German national team. Tokyo captain, Olympic runner-up Nicolas Batum, and Nando de Colo, another French Ligue 1 executive for more than a decade, have pressed the “pause” button on this European campaign – to recover from their endless seasons, and hope to extend their adventure to Paris 2024.

“We will have to rethink the way the team plays, Supposedly Vincent Colette. It is up to us to invent this new path, to rewrite our history. » Without laying all the foundations, now well established, for this team.

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Winners of bronze medals at the World Cup in China (2019) and silver at the Tokyo Games (2021) – having beaten the Americans in both tournaments – Tony Parker of the post-generation makes no secret of their ambitions. “The goal is not simple, but it is clear, Rudy Gobert hits. There will be a lot of very good teams, but obviously we only aim to win the gold. » The hub spans of Habs, the NBA’s best three-way defender: “Personally, I am tired of the bronze and silver medals, so they are gold. Clear!”

“Everyone wants” to hit “Team France”

However, it will be necessary to have a fairly solid stomach, and the menu promises to be challenging. “When you perform, the target grows behind your back. And right now, it’s huge in the blues, Former international interlocutor Frederic Weiss warns. Everyone wants to “hit” the France team. » Defeats in Bosnia and Herzegovina (90-96, extended twice) four days before the start of the competition, tested by Ivan Fournier’s teammates.

“We are a leading country. Others view us as favourite, and they will all come across as us.openly announced the back of the blues to the team After the match, calling to take the encounter as a warning. At the beginning of the preparation, the New York Knicks team, which shows the lines of its leader during this Euro, appreciated France “Targeted for several years, so there is no additional pressure.”

But this French team with great continental aspirations is no longer the team that a year ago finished a stone’s throw away from the United States in the Olympic final. In addition to my apologies Batum and De Colo, “The doctor began to choose”The coach of the tricolor complained about the successive injuries of the great hope Victor Wimpanyama, the leader Frank Ntelikina and Andrew Al-Bisi, as well as the pivotal Mustafa Val. If the last two, who had recovered adequately, were merged into the group at the last moment, they had missed most of the preparations. She was known as the pivotal Olympiacos Piraeus, In terms of rhythm, it won’t be easy..

This renewed French team is looking for its new CEOs, and it’s still groping. “On the field, sometimes there is a kind of balance, intensity and consistency, Ivan Fournier raised after the defeat in Bosnia. But, frankly, we don’t have that yet with the Big Five. »

“There are a lot of new teams, and they really have to integrate that: our brand is to be a really boring team in defence,” Yvan Fournier, Blues captain at the European Championships

If winger Timothy Luwawu-Cabarrot jokes at the start of the setup “The absence of the two old men”you are supposed to allow To play faster and be stronger in defenseFrance did not go through a revolution this summer. In his head, Vincent Colette continues to give the floor to the defense. “With this group, since 2019, our strength begins with our defense”, defeated Yvan Fournier after the first warm-up match. It’s up to everyone to find their place in this equation, as some must rein in their offensive fervor to coalesce into the blues mould. “There are a lot of new players, and they really have to integrate that: our brand is to be a really boring team in defence.”

many doubts

An identity that France was somewhat misplaced during the last Euro, in 2017, left it in the Round of 16. Their executioners then? Germany, where the Blues meet on Thursday in the competition’s opening match, will meet at the Cologne stadium. Before continuing to the group stage, with special confrontations against Slovenia – cup holders – and Lithuania. “Having a difficult group can turn into an advantage if you handle things the right wayVincent Colette thinks. This is an opportunity to build mental toughness. » As long as you don’t get stuck at the entrance. With this renewed group you should not put us in doubt.” and this causes “trustless”.

Before the start of the competition, Vincent Colette admitted “Hopes, much ambition, but also fears”At the time of his twelfth campaign at the top of the blues, since 2009. “It’s a bit like a Tour de France rider preparing for his team, which is located in the central mountains. But what will happen when we attack unranked passes? At the moment, very honestly, I don’t know.”

Read also Basketball: Vincent Colette stretched to head the blues until Paris 2024

Frederic Weiss shares Norman technical analysis. “The truth is we don’t know where we are, when it’s time to start this Euroanalyzes the former hub, now a consultant to BeIN Sports. There is a lot of skepticism, especially in the area of ​​defence, and I’m not entirely sure. The Blues will have to find solutions quickly, because in such intense competition, there will be no room for adjustments. »

But Rudi Gobert believes in his team’s chances. “We keep gaining experience every year, we have the same staff who are supervising us very well, and a group of enthusiastic young people”, Ensures the future hub of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Then in 2013, he would offer the French basketball team a second European crown.

Germany – France Thursday 1Verse September 8:30 pm, in Cologne (Canal + Sport 360, unencrypted).

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