Tactic: Eduardo Camavinga, collateral damage

Tactic: Eduardo Camavinga, collateral damage


What was our surprise when we heard the name of Eduardo Camavinga in the mouth of Deschamps at the time of announcing the list of defenders selected to face the Netherlands and Ireland. If the error is allowed, the coach quickly confirmed that it was not one: “During this rally, I consider him as a left-back. »To understand this surprising choice, small flash-back. On November 22, while the Blues made a smooth run in Qatar after winning against Australia (4-1) and Denmark (2-1), one element tarnished the picture. After nine minutes of competition, the cruciate ligaments of Lucas Hernández, left side, dropped. The France team is then obliged to complete the World Cup with a single specialist in the position, his brother Theo. Two days later the news broke, to the great astonishment of the public: Camavinga was tested as a left defender during an opposition against a local club. The full-backs may have often been centrals with DD – especially on the right – in addition to having no other left-handed defender, seeing a pure midfielder with the profile of the former Rennais stuck to the sideline may come as a surprise. During the third pool match against Tunisia (0-1), Eduardo then played 90 minutes on the left side before making a successful and remarkable entry into the final against Albiceleste at the same post. Four months later and 7 outlying matches played in a club, the Frenchman is nicknamed “Lizarazu» by his friends in Madrid and is now called with the Habs to carry the torch of the 1998 world champion. As a result, two main enigmas emerge. Does France have such an obvious lack in this position that it requires distorting the position of one of its best hopes? And does Camavinga really have the qualities to establish himself as a full-back on the international scene in the medium term from the top of his 20 years and 6 selections?

Sport A springboard for his own

«He played in all and for all 15 minutes on the left side in training at Stade Rennes», confides the former Strasbourg coach Mathieu Le Scornet, close to the player after several years spent alongside him in training or as a pro in Rennes. Same observation for Nicolas Martinais, trainer of “Cam” until he was 11 years old when he played in Fougères: «Games as a left side, he did not do that much. Three or four.»But while the phenomenon has only touched on this position among young people, what are the arguments today that lead such monuments as Didier Deschamps or Carlo Ancelotti to deport it to the left?

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Its verticality, already. Ball at the foot to strike or through the pass to propel, Camavinga is a player who goes forward, an inevitably valuable asset in a corridor. «Whether he plays left-back or midfield, almost all his passes are forward»,adds Nicolas Martinais. However, this verticality manifests itself differently depending on the color of the shirt he wears. On his rare appearances in this position in Blue, Eduardo quickly showed the assertive character which is his, especially in the final against Argentina where he was the first detonator of a bomb which detonated Randal Kolo Muani and Kylian Mbappe. Thanks to several runs sharp balls at their feet and their ability to play quickly forward, sometimes even with a touch, France had finally been able to use the speed of their dragsters to overthrow the final and create chaos. In Madrid, everything is calmer and more composed, as often. The Frenchman fits perfectly into the workings of Ancelotti which consist of surrounding Vinicius Junior for the best. To conquer the Cup with big ears last season and perpetuate the illumination of the Brazilian flash today, the Mister puts a player inside as Vini shifts wide. The animation allows in particular Toni Kroos to pick up in a space that he likes as well as the Brazilian winger to have a relay in the axis. This organization also allows Cama to take advantage of more axial areas which necessarily suit him better than those stuck to the sidelines.

Please note that these images may offend the most sensitive. Five minutes after Camavinga came into play against Argentina in the World Cup final, the Frenchman found Mbappé in one touch with a sharp pass following a ball returned by Rodrigo De Paul. Kolo Muani will then fly away to cause the first penalty of the Blues.

In overtime, Eduardo eliminates the first line of opposing pressure by driving…

Before doing it again a few meters higher on another Argentinian and then suffering the murderous tackle from Leandro Paredes.

At Real, the framework is clearer. The proof in pictures against Betis (0-0) on March 5 where he comes to make himself available inside to let Kroos pick up in his favorite zone…

He then again eliminates the first obstacle that appears…

Before offering Vinicius the scenario he loves: a 1 against 1, facing inwards, close to the sideline.

When the Brazilian finds himself in this situation on a placed attack, he can then count on the presence of his young side in the area to combine. Against Espanyol (3-1) two weeks ago, Camavinga favored striking.

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Sport Limits for the future

If the young maestro is able to take over on the side thanks to his qualities and his sense of duty, certain things must however be put back on the table. Eduardo Camavinga is a crack, a precocious and gifted child of the ball who comes into his own when stroking the leather with his left paw. Being in front of the game with the ball is necessarily a blessing for him, whether he is a side or a midfielder. But when it comes to putting into practice certain defensive habits, the former Rennais displays natural shortcomings. Upheaval which he has moreover detailed for Ouest-France: «What changes is the management of depth, it’s a different way of defending, stepping back as in the negotiation of two against one. We also belong to a line and we are more restrained. These are other benchmarks.»When time is reduced and the ball accelerates, preventing the opponent is more a matter of reflexes assimilated since childhood than of simple reflection. It is then that the limits are revealed for Cama, at the time of being amputated from the ball, his favorite toy. Addiction he has had since a very young age, as confirmed by his trainer: «Putting him behind would have slowed him down, putting him in front he would always have picked up to touch the ball, so he had to play in midfield. So that he runs and touches the ball.»Deficiencies without the ball induced as well as an obvious lack of marks which push the youngster to repeat that the position is uncomfortable for him. In Doha last winter on the show And Mag for TF1, he had also responded tit for tat to the question of Rio Mavuba who asked him about his favorite position between midfield and side: «Yeah, I don’t think the question really arises.»However, despite the cries of the heart and certain logical difficulties when closing his lane – in particular to prevent crosses – the Madrid ray of sunshine suffered the injuries of some and the lack of options of others and helped out as much as he could. that post. With a smile, as always.

Do not start

— Eduardo Camavinga (@Camavinga) January 26, 2023

On the lawn of Betis, the Frenchman comes out of his defensive line to press Youssouf Sabaly, but his support is not good. He defends in such a way as to follow the race in the corridor of the opposing side while the latter returns inside…

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So when it’s time to really leave, inevitably, he’s falling behind…

This will offer an opportunity to the former Bordelais after the intervention of Rüdiger.

Facing Espanyol, Cama is again in difficulty when defending his corridor in these famous 2 against 1. This time, he is well oriented, but much too far from his vis-à-vis. He wants to close the call inside, but Nacho, Tchouaméni and Militant can cover…

So he is necessarily late when it comes to contesting the center. Despite a dangerous 3 against 3 in the box merengueno damage will be to be deplored, the center being too imprecise.

Earlier in the game, Eduardo had already shown some limits. On an opposing diagonal, he does not appreciate the trajectory of the ball and lets Rubén Sánchez control and direct…

Who can then deliver an offering to Joselu who will catapult the ball into the skylight of Thibaut Courtois. 0-1.

«Today, I put him in that position, but that does not prevent me from being able to use him in the middle in certain circumstances. He was very good for 4-5 games with Real, in the middle he also performs very well. I know that he is above all a midfielder, but the situation today in relation to this full-back position, if I put him there, it is because he is the one who gives the team the most possible guarantees.»The world upside down ? No, simply the reality of Deschamps at the moment T. While Eduardo Camavinga is perhaps the best midfielder on the list today on the recent dynamics in a sector in full revival, it is indeed in the left lane that he will have to distinguish himself if he wants to snatch up minutes on this rally. Although «a very high level player who adapts rather quickly»,according to Mathieu Le Scornet, the young Frenchman seems undeniably to have the qualities to exist at home rather than in exile. While Theo Hernandez did not play AC Milan’s last game following a digestive problem, Eduardo will still have to put aside his heartache if he is brought to the sideline of the Stadium of France this Friday against the Orange.

Eduardo Camavinga: “What I had to do, I did it well”

Words by Mathieu Le Scornet collected by MR, Nicolas Martinais by Anna Carreau.

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