France are richly talented but beset by problems before World Cup defence

Injuries, public disenchantment and a certain bald idol eyeing his job is heaping unusual pressure on Didier DeschampsZinedine Zidane wants your job. Zinedine Zidane is making very little secret of the fact that he wants your job. Indeed, the normally taciturn Zinedine Zidane is giving interviews to L’Équipe nakedly advertising his suitability for your job, and describing it as his “deepest desire”. “If it has to be done,” Zinedine Zidane has said of your sacking and imminent replacement by Zinedine Zidane, “it will be done.”Most mortals, when faced with this utterly petrifying state of affairs, would probably quail at length before ultimately surrendering to cosmic inevitability and giving Zidane whatever he wants. But Didier Deschamps is built a little tougher than that. You probably have to be in order to win World Cups as a player and coach, to do this job for more than a decade and still thirst for more.

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