Leaks forced French coach to keep cards close to chest

Leaks forced French coach to keep cards close to chest

MUNICH, Germany- - French midfielder Adrien Rabiot said coach Didier Deschamps had been forced to keep his tactical plans close to his chest, even with his own players, because they were leaking out before matches at the European Championship.

Deschamps was reported to have changed both the line-up and the tactical approach just hours before their quarter-final win over Portugal last Friday and also did not tell the players the line-up until they were on the bus on the way to the stadium.
French sports daily L’Equipe, at the weekend, revealed Deschamps' pre-match planning and usual way of informing his players had changed several times during the tournament and Rabiot confirmed this had been the case.
"It is perhaps more in relation to hiding things from you than in relation to us," Rabiot told reporters at Monday’s press conference ahead of France’s semi-final with Spain on Tuesday.
"Inevitably, there is collateral damage. It's difficult for the coach, when he's trying to implement his strategy, because the information leaks out before training is barely over. It is not nice to see that when you really worked hard on something, that at the end of the session, the media have already caught wind of it.
"It's a shame for us and also for you because when it leaks out, it tips off the opponents about things we're trying to work on. We're trying to keep things up our sleeve right until the last minute, right until the kickoff," Rabiot added.
"The coach has been trying to cover his tracks. He's worked on different formations with us. But even if he changes the formation at the last minute, we know exactly what we need to do when playing in each of these different formations. You always must have the ability to adapt if you're a high-level footballer."
Rabiot, who is expected to return to the line-up after being suspended for France's last match, suggested Spain would be tested on Tuesday by more pressure than they had previously had to deal with at Euro 2024.
"We are unanimous in saying that they are the team which plays the best when they have possession of the ball. They’re a complete team but we are confident, we know what to do," he said.
"They are a team that needs to move, and so far their opponents have let them play a lot. We will have to see how they will play tomorrow because teams often change their game when they face France."

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