Football: A team from Switzerland diminished by injuries – Sports


The national coach is a faithful man. Some say that love lasts three years, but with Vladimir Petkovic, it is rather by period of two times twelve months. The "Mister" tends to have his own group from the beginning of a campaign and trust it to the end. It certainly does not have a huge choice, given the relative narrowness of the Swiss herd of high level players. But he seldom succumbs to the "hype" of the moment – like Dimitri Oberlin at one time – and goes to the end of his convictions. Quit to crash? We do not know, it's never happened in qualifying yet … And that still should not be the case this time.

What should be the last two matches before formalizing the Swiss participation in Euro 2020 are in line. Granit Xhaka is engulfed in a conflict with the supporters of his club and dismissed by his coach? Ricardo Rodriguez has not played in Serie A for a month and Francois Moubandje starts only one week out of two in the league in Zagreb and never in the Champions League? It does not change anything. Petkovic did not flinch and keep all his confidence in the one he made his captain when Stephan Lichtsteiner was not there and takes with him his left-back and substitute for substitute Loris Benito. As usual.

Missing people

What is less usual is the avalanche of wounded and misformed elements that preoccupy the Helvetii in this month of November. Fabian Schar is on the flank, Breel Embolo still has a dozen days of infirmary and will not be ready in time, Admir Mehmedi will also be too fair, Steven Zuber had surgery, Xherdan Shaqiri on the verge of to make his return and Timm Klose is still recovering. As a result, Switzerland will receive Georgia next Friday in St. Gallen (20:45, already closed), before going to Gibraltar the following Monday (20:45, it is not known if there are any wickets) with a rejuvenated group, including the "hopes" Ruben Vargas and Eray COmert. And too bad, undoubtedly, for the under 21 years who play on Tuesday 19 in Neuchatel against France a very important match also.

"I talked a lot with Shaqiri, even until Thursday night, assured the coach. He wanted to be with us until the end! But in the end, it turned out to be too risky for him. He is not training with the Liverpool team yet and we decided together that he would not be with us. However, I find it very positive that he has tried to come to the end. "

"I understand it, but …"

The "Mister's" phone warmed up this week and not just about the one who "bent" back in September: "I told Granit Xhaka that I was behind him. I fully support him. He was very disappointed and worried on the phone and he needed time to deal with what was happening to him in England. I never thought I would take it with us. I told him to listen to his family and his entourage. But he should in any case apologize. Sometimes it's better to take a step back, to make two steps forward then. I understand it in a way, but it should better control your emotions. "

If this weakened team fails to bank the four points needed against second and third zone teams to qualify for the European Championship that will take place in twelve cities of the Old Continent next summer, it will still a jump seat to go scratch during the play-off of the League of Nations. It will always be with the same coach and always the same group, that's for sure.

But Petkovic and his family will probably have party well before this deadline and they can quietly prepare to spend time in the airports seven months later.

Robin Carrel (Lucerne)

The selection of Petkovic

Goalkeepers: Yvon Mvogo (RB Leipzig), Jonas Omlin (FC Basel), Yann Sommer (Borussia M'gladbach).

defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Loris Benito (Bordeaux), Eray COmert (FC Basel), Nico Elvedi (Borussia M'gladbach), Michael Lang (Werder Bremen), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Augsburg), Kevin Mbabu (Wolfsburg), Francois Moubandje (Dinamo Zagreb), Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan).

Midfielders and attackers: Albian Ajeti (West Ham United), Josip Drmic (Norwich City), Christian Fassnacht (Young Boys), Edimilson Fernandes (Mainz), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Haris Seferovic (Benfica Lisbon), Djibril Sow (Eintracht Frankfurt), Renato Steffen (Wolfsburg), Ruben Vargas (Augsburg), Granite Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Borussia M'gladbach).

Created: 08.11.2019, 16:14

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