Olivier Giroud opened the scoring in the first half and Kylian Mbappe netted a brace as France cruised to the quarter-finals, with Robert Lewandowski scoring a consolation goal from the spot deep into added time.
However, Pochettino believes Didier Deschamps’ side relies too heavily on individual performances, and need to “play like a team” if they want to go all the way and compete for the trophy.
“Now it’s time to analyse [France] a little bit,” he said. “France need to improve a lot, individual performances amazing, [Antoine] Griezmann, Giroud, Mbappe, [Hugo] Lloris, but I think they need to push the level up in a quality way because I think one thing is important.
“If they want to be real contenders, they need to play like a team. Today was too much responsibility in difficult situations and that is so important.”
Mbappe has now scored the most World Cup goals for a player aged 23 or under overtaking legendary Brazilian Pele, and scored four goals in France’s triumphant 2018 World Cup in Russia.
He has already matched that number at Qatar with the possibility of playing three more games, and Rio Ferdinand believes he can win the World Cup all on his own.
“He’ll tell you something different [on whether individuals can win a World Cup],” the former Manchester United and England defender told BBC. “He’d say he can win it [on his own].
“I think he’s got that type of confidence and a good arrogance in that sense.
“Yesterday I spoke about [Lionel] Messi as the best performance from an individual at the tournament, I think today was the most explosive performance we’ve seen at the tournament, devastating in all areas.”
Read the full article here