France doesn't start as it would have imagined its journey towards the next World Cup in Qatar. As the current champion, the French team receives international attention and focus, no wonder. It has many of the best and most promising players who roam the pitch. And in particular, one: Kylian Mbappé. Hence, the fact that Ukraine scratches a point at the Stade de France in the first round of the World Cup qualifying round is news.
However, that the Paris Saint Germain striker is replaced is also, and for some, surely he is even more so. It was in the 77th minute, with the match already tied. And the French coach, Didier Deschamps, had to see him very badly to decide to take over. As he stated in the subsequent press conference when he was asked about it, "he himself knew that he was not playing well".
It is true that the French team didn't show their best version on the pitch, since they were perceived to lack mobility and precision, despite even having advanced with Griezmann's goal in the 19th minute of the match. In addition, as the Ukrainian coach, Andriy Shevchenko, would later recognize, they had prepared a very specific tactic to also counteract the quality of the Parisian striker.
Deschamps will have time in the next few days to talk with Mbappé about what happened and prepare thoroughly after this downturn for the next game, which will face Kazakhstan this Sunday. Will he be able to reverse the poor image of his debut in the World Cup qualifying rounds?