Oh man, where to begin with this one? To bring the curtain down on this disastrous interview by Benjamin Pavard, we have a quote that most will find innocuous, but Bayern Munich fans will definitely not like. Basically, while speaking to Canal Football Club, Pavard made such a bizarre comment that I had to grab some French-speakers on our staff to make sense of it.
Here’s the translation in its entirety (original text via Goal):
On his position of right wingback with Les Bleus: “In the French team, we sometimes lack automatisms, and here I discovered a new position. Before, I was a central defender in Stuttgart. I’ve been playing as a right-back at Bayern Munich for two years now, so I’m used to that position.
As a right wingback, you can’t be on top straight away. It is a new position for me. I just discovered it. I am asked to be high. Maybe sometimes I’m not positioned right.”
Don’t bother going to the source and using Google Translate, because nothing in the quote translates well. Here’s some key things you need to know first:
- Pavard and the French publications use the term “right piston” (“piston droit”) to refer to the right wingback position, alluding to how a wingback must go up and down the field like a piston.
- You can go to the source and read it for yourself if you know French, but don’t use any translator apps because they’ll just confuse you. Find yourself a handy Frenchman instead.
So anyway, here’s the problem with everything Pavard said, in order:
- Pavard criticizes Deschamps for his lack of automatisms at right wingback, despite the fact that, as a Bayern Munich player, he should be accustomed to playing that way already.
- The Frenchman clearly sees his role at Bayern as something more defensive than a wingback, which is backed up by his comments regarding Hakimi and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Fair enough, but he’s the only Bayern fullback who interprets his role that way. Alphonso Davies, Lucas Hernandez, Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Sule, and Josip Stanisic all play the fullback role more offensively than Pavard, and that’s despite the switch from Flick to Nageslmann.
- Pavard doesn’t seem to have much incentive to change how he plays for Bayern Munich. In another part of the interview, he clearly seems to think that his club performances are good enough to silence his critics. Given how he interprets his role, it doesn’t seem like a Pavard renaissance is coming any time soon.
This just rounds out a series of picks from a baffling interview from the Frenchman. It’s mean, it’s defensive, and it’s more than a little strange. Benji needs to get his head back on straight, because while France might wait for him, Bayern Munich certainly will not.