Blanc rues missed opportunities
Les Bleus boss keen to take positives from Romania stalemate
Last Updated: September 7, 2011 11:48am
Laurent Blanc was generally pleased with France's showing against Romania on Tuesday, but was left to rue a lack of cutting edge.
Victory in midweek would have left Les Bleus on the brink of qualification for Euro 2012 but, as it stands, a goalless draw means they still have some work to do.
Neither side offered enough to deserve three points in Bucharest, with clear-cut opportunities few and far between.
France were able to boss possession for long periods, without really threatening, and Blanc is keen to take as many positives from the game as he can.
"It was a game dominated by the France team," he said.
"We only lacked a goal. If we had managed to create a dangerous opportunity, we would have won 1-0."
Certainly the state of the pitch at the National Arena left a lot to be desired and impacted on the quality, although Blanc generously conceded that 'not all the blame' rested with the stadium for the lacklustre fare.
Nevertheless, he added that he 'would love' to see his team play Romania on a better playing surface, 'especially with the control which we showed. On that score, there was no comparison between the Romanians and us'.
The draw at least extended France's unbeaten run under Blanc to a full calendar year. Last September's loss to Belarus at the Stade de France in their opening qualifier was a huge shock, but the squad has regrouped well since then.
In the 13 games since, Les Blues have won nine and drawn four - that sequence also taking in friendly wins over Brazil and England - and they have begun to look a shade more like the outfit they were before last year's World Cup debacle under Raymond Domenech.
Blanc did, however, raise eyebrows ahead of kick-off on Tuesday night by omitting the likes of Florent Malouda and Samir Nasri in favour of Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Valbuena, but the coach defended his right to alter his line-up as he sees fit.
"It is the job of the coach to try to assemble the best team possible, to give them chances," he said.
"At some point, we must make decisions because otherwise we do nothing and hope.
"[The replacements] proved they could claim a starting berth for France."