As yet another France U21 team filled to the brim with talented faltered on the European stage, calls for manager Sylvain Ripoll to leave his post before next summer’s Olympic tournament on home soil have continued to grow.
After winning all of their group stage encounters, Les Bleuets fell to Ukraine in Sunday’s quarter-final despite taking a first-half lead through another impressive effort from Rayan Cherki to cap off a team move. The Ukrainians went on to score three without reply, with Chelsea man Mykhailo Mudryk proving particularly difficult to deal with for the French defence.
Ripoll, who has been in charge since 2017, has not taken the team past the semi-final stage in any of the three European Championship campaigns he has overseen. Speaking to the press after the match – as reported by RMC – the former Lorient coach nevertheless insisted that now was not the time to be speculating on his future:
“That’s not the topic tonight. I know things are all going to come quickly. I was set the target of at least reaching the semi-finals of these Euros. Factually, that’s not been the case. We’re going to take a step back and discuss all of this.”
“There’s a lot of disappointment but also incomprehension at the fact that we were behind at half-time. We had the chances to make it 2-0 but then we made two big errors which are unforgivable at this level. The second half was a lot more difficult, we felt powerless because we were unable to put the same ingredients as we had in the first half into play.”
GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin