Wed, Oct 11, 2006 - Page 19 News List

France's Trezeguet falling out of favor

AP , SOCHAUX, FRANCE

France's David Trezeguet, left, disputes a decision by Swiss referee Massimo Busacca during a Group B Euro 2008 qualifying match at Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland, on Saturday. Scotland won the match 1-0.

PHOTO: AP

The attacking partnership of David Trezeguet and Thierry Henry was once the envy of Europe. It now looks likely to be over after France's surprise defeat to Scotland.

It is three years since the pair last combined well -- in a 3-0 away win against Germany -- and Trezeguet's future looks bleak after France's 1-0 loss in European Championship qualifying on Saturday.

Since scoring the Golden Goal against Italy in the Euro 2000 final, Trezeguet's international career has slumped. Held scoreless at the 2002 World Cup, he had only one goal at Euro 2004, and missed the critical penalty in the World Cup final shootout after being benched for most of the tournament.

The Juventus striker, France's third all-time scorer with 32 goals, is not expected to get a chance to redeem himself against the Faeroe Islands today.

Coach Raymond Domenech will reportedly prefer Louis Saha to partner Henry, while Nicolas Anelka and Djibril Cisse, when he returns from a broken leg, could relegate Trezeguet to fifth choice.

Trezeguet only touched the ball a dozen times against Scotland and was replaced by the more threatening Saha in the second half.

"It was getting harder and harder to find Trezeguet. Perhaps we should have used the long ball more," captain Patrick Vieira said.

Defender Jean-Alain Boumsong said that France did not play to Trezeguet's strengths.

"We know that Titi [Henry] can move about everywhere, but we should have served [Trezeguet] a lot better," Boumsong told sports daily L'Equipe yesterday.

Trezeguet has started only two of France's last eight games when fit and both have been due to suspension or injury. Domenech started him only once at the World Cup -- against Togo -- because of Zinedine Zidane's suspension, while Saha wasn't fit enough to start against Scotland.

His scoring ability is not in doubt -- 100 league goals with Juventus proves that -- but Trezeguet's all-around game is no longer suited to France's style.

He lacks movement and pace, and his preference to play with his back to goal makes him too static.

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