Two months after the disillusionment of the Euro and the elimination in the round of 16 against Switzerland, Didier Deschamps returned to the headquarters of the French Football Federation with a major challenge on Thursday, August 26. Show that this failure was only an accident and that his France team continued its reinvention, already initiated with the return of Karim Benzema before the continental competition of the summer.
The Blues make their comeback against Bosnia, the 1er September in Strasbourg, before going to Ukraine on the 4th, and, finally, receiving Finland three days later in Lyon. Fifteen months before the World Cup in Qatar, the world champion coach has already made strong choices.
If a few novices were expected, due to physical glitches (Adrien Rabiot, Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernandez or Ousmane Dembélé) and delay in summer preparation, the absence of Olivier Giroud is the first significant decision of the blue re-entry.
4️⃣ new players in Didier Deschamps’ list for the rally which begins on Monday! 👋 @ TheoHernandez,… https://t.co/7GD8kdT4k5
The door remains open for Giroud
While he joined AC Milan, where fierce competition with Zlatan Ibrahimovic awaits him, the active top scorer of the France team (46 goals, five goals from Thierry Henry), will not wear the national tunic for this September gathering. “There are always pages that turn”, had insisted Deschamps, in an interview with The team, August 20. One way to warn the player – whom he defended for a long time despite his meager playing time at Chelsea – that his status was no longer the same at Clairefontaine?
” The situation [d’Olivier] has changed, he has regained playing time in Milan, it is a sporting choice of the moment ”
During the press conference that followed the announcement of the list, the coach still wanted to remind that this decision was by no means final: “I have never had a radical position for anyone. Olivier is still available, his situation has changed, he has regained playing time in Milan, it is a sporting choice of the moment. There is competition, [Anthony] Martial is back. It is my choice today, Olivier to continue to be efficient. “ The 34-year-old neo-Milanese, who will play in the Champions League with the legendary Italian club, could find the Blues jersey if it shines in transalpine soil.
Another lesson learned Thursday: Steve Mandanda moves back in the hierarchy of goalkeepers and leaves his place of understudy to Mike Maignan, French champion in 2020-2021 with Lille and now teammate of Giroud at AC Milan.
“I took the necessary distance to have the most accurate analysis. I am convinced that there are still beautiful ch… https://t.co/jWQWPDaRGL
Long questioned about the expected reaction after the Euro fiasco, Didier Deschamps was sharp towards these executives and this new group of 23:
“I had to communicate at the end of last week on what happened at the Euro. Discussions with the players, I always have them, I cannot fight against the interpretation of certain situations. I will continue to have discussions with always the same guideline. “
Places to take for the new ones
To breathe new life into this team, the former coach of Olympique de Marseille called on four new ones: defender Théo Hernandez (AC Milan), brother of Lucas Hernandez, midfielders Aurélien Tchouaméni (Monaco) and Jordan Veretout (AS Roma) and striker Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen).
The technician also recalled two players absent from the last lists, striker Anthony Martial (Manchester United), injured before the Euro, and defender Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich):
“This is not trivial, we have been following these players for several years. I believe the potential is there. They are used to the high level, it is not for novelty. I am aware that it is a wonderful time for them, it is a first, it is up to them to make sure to come back regularly. They have the potential. “
A few days before the return of the France team, Didier Deschamps was also asked about the situation of Kylian Mbappé, courted by Real Madrid and who finds himself in a standoff with Paris-Saint-Germain:
“I can’t answer for him, I don’t have the ins and outs. The closing of the transfer window is Tuesday evening [31 août]. It coincides with a match day before for us. Is this ideal? No. Kylian, like other players, can be in the situation where they have to change clubs. I will try to be accommodating as much as possible. “
Way to remind that, despite the uncertainties around some major players (Griezmann still in difficulty in Barcelona, Mbappé in the dark, Giroud in a new club), the boss of the France team wants to stay the course.