Handball World Cup 2023. Desbonnet, coaching… What to remember from France
The French team had time to force a decision. But the Blues qualified for the semi-finals of the 2023 Handball World Cup with a 35-28 win over Germany this Wednesday, January 25. The Olympic champions would need 40 minutes to force a decision thanks to goalkeeper Rémi Desbonnet putting the German shooters to sleep. On the other side of the floor, the combination between Kentin Mahé and Nedim Remili in the backcourt paid off. Here are the highlights from the meeting.
Rémi Desbonnet, merchant of sand and ghosts
The question of France’s number 2 goalkeeper is a long sea snake. After the retirement of Yann Ghent and the injury of Wesley Pardin, many wondered whether Remy Desbonnet would be able to show his full potential in a major competition. International. Two years ago in Egypt, he had never been able to express himself. Same thing last year in Hungary at the Euros. This time he showed why he is at the top of the French hierarchy. In the 15th minute, the Montpellier goalkeeper turned off all the German shooters one by one at the full Calvary on the relay of Vincent Gerard.
On a big night, he mostly answered German goalkeeper Andreas Wolff and started creating headaches for the French attack. First of all, he put the Germans to sleep in the middle of the second period. In several +3 balls, the keeper made parades of saves to keep his men in the game.
He was then well aided by his defence, which grew stronger as the match progressed, as he finished the game as the man of the match with an impressive save rate (14/30, 47%).
Coached by Guillaume Gille
Rémi Desbonnet’s excellent performance highlights another fact of the meeting. Good coaching by Guillaume Gille. Accustomed to tough coaching, perhaps due to his lack of experience at this level in the past, the coach decided to take matters into his own hands. Although the Germans took their biggest lead of the evening (7-11, 15′), the former central midfielder was able to react by making a break to disrupt the German dynamic. It almost saved lives, as the Blues took the score and finished the first movement up to the Mannschaft (16-16).
It was he who still decided to calm the spirits of some of his players. As Elohim started to lose his cool, Prandi was replaced by Romain Lagarde, who had seen very little since the start of the race. Aix-en-Provence’s left-back, who preferred Nikola Karabatic, took advantage of the absence of Thibaut Briet, who had not fully recovered from his leg injury and was forced to retire due to pain in his hand. PSG’s head secured the score.
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Above all, in attack, Guillaume Gille kept his secret to a strong finish. As in most matches so far, Kent’s Mahe and Nedim Remil paired up on the right of the back post, allowing the former France international to regain control of their attack. And for the moment, his choice to spread his playing time between 15 minutes per pair, per round and per position is paying off as the Blues are still under the pedal.
As we said, the coach’s choice to combine two masters to play at the back base at the same time was decisive in this match. The moment the Blues picked up speed in the second half coincided with two men on the floor. Kentin Mahe as a brooding genius and Nedim Remili as a golden-handed puncher.
The latter found more and more turns (it’s not surprising to see turns in 11 achievements) or provoked seven meters to allow his men to take off. He also finished the game with 9 assists (5 goals, the French scorer in the game with Ludovic Fabregas). In defense, his deterrence caused problems in the game of the Germans.
For Kentin Mahe, who spent his youth in Germany and began his career there, the meeting might have been difficult to understand. But the center half-heartedly proved that he is no longer the peak of his youth. His dribbling at nine meters also allowed him to create turnovers to pave the way for goals.
READ ALSO. Why was the France-Germany match postponed for 22 minutes?
In competition for the playmaker position during games, these two men together are the bane of the moment and prove to be the most effective weapon of the French team. Not so much goal, but to break the locks of opposing defenses. Still more than hoping, this Friday against Sweden, during the semifinals.