Which players were in contention for a place in Switzerland‘s XI against Luxembourg?
Jeandupeux had made Joël Corminboeuf (Neuchâtel Xamax) his first team choice.
There would indisputably be a back four with Alain Geiger (St. Étienne) as libero, and Martin Weber (Young Boys) as a man-marking defender. There were some very experienced players also in contention for these positions in Roger Wehrli and Andy Egli, but their names were never mentioned in the NT frame in 1988 (due to international retirement?). Geiger had recently moved abroad to Saint-Étienne and had been given the club captaincy after only three matches.
Thomas Tschuppert (Aarau) had been given much playing time in the friendlies so far in 1988, and looked to be a starter in the right back position. Patrice Mottiez (Neuchâtel Xamax) could also play in this position, but was more likely to be Jeandupeux’s left back choice. Another strong candidate for the latter position was Marco Schällibaum (Servette).
Jeandupeux had the choice between 4-3-3 and 4-4-2, but appeared to favour 4-3-3 for the moment. Heinz Hermann (Neuchâtel Xamax) would be the natural playmaker in the team. He would almost certainly be assisted by Martin Andermatt (Grasshoppers), who Jeandupeux had used in a ball winning role in the friendlies so far in 1988 (but often played as a libero for his club team). The third member of the midfield could perhaps be Thomas Bickel (Grasshoppers). Thomas Wyss (Aarau) had recently been in the frame, but appears to have struggled with his form lately. Perret was another player who had featured previously in 1988 – an injury prevented him from taking part in the early season 1988-89.
One reason for picking the 4-3-3 formation was perhaps that there were no natural right sided midfielders of international level to select from – a problem which would haunt his successors. Another issue was the predominance of left footed players in the team, a fact remarked upon by Jeandupeux in an interview in August when discussing the prospect of Lucien Favre (Servette) making his comeback for the NT. Jeandupeux acknowledged Favre’s excellent form, but as he said: “Le Servettien est actuellement en grande forme. Mais un problème de complémentarité se pose: est-ce que l’on peut jouer avec trois gauchers en ligne médiane?”
Note that there was no Georges Bregy (at this time an advanced playmaker/trequartista), who had been involved in some bickering with the chairman of his club team Sion, and later “expelled” to Martigny and thereafter Lausanne. As a result of this episode he had apparently been ruled out of contention for a place in the national team.
Jeandupeux had two good left sided wide midfielders in his squad: Christophe Bonvin (Servette) and Alain Sutter (Grasshoppers), who both tend to play out on the touchline. Bonvin is better at crossing the ball, while Sutter is more about pace. Jeandupeux was asked in August about the likelihood of playing A. Sutter, and replied that he was still unsure about his consistency. There was another Sutter in the team, Beat (Neuchâtel Xamax), unrelated to Alain. He is a tough striker, good in the air, but often used by Jeandupeux somewhat controversially as a right sided forward in his 4-3-3 position.
As an advanced forward, Jeandupeux preferred to play Kubilay Türkyilmaz (Bellinzona), where he could use his pace. Another contender for a place in the line-up was pacy Dario Zuffi (Young Boys), a quite versatile player. Hans-Peter Zwicker (Neuchâtel Xamad) was also in the frame.