France coach Didier Deschamps showed his authoritarian side on Thursday by omitting bad boy Samir Nasri from the squad to face Spain next week. Deschamps also rebuked Arsenal's Arsene Wenger for meddling in his team's affairs.
France coach Didier Deschamps has overlooked Samir Nasri for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Spain, even though the Manchester City midfielder is available for selection again after serving a three-match ban.
Nasri was banned for three matches by the French Football Federation for his behavior at the European Championship, where he aimed an expletive-laced tirade at a journalist after the quarterfinal loss to Spain.
“I didn’t think it was the right time to call him back,” Deschamps said. “I prefer to wait a while.”
France plays Japan in a friendly on Oct. 12 and then the qualifier in Madrid four days later.
Winger Hatem Ben Arfa was also left out of the lineup, despite making a bright start to the season with Newcastle.
'Only one France coach'
Deschamps also gave Arsene Wenger a stern reminder that he was the only France coach after the Arsenal manager said Abou Diaby should not have been picked for previous international matches.
“I want to remind him that I am the only one to decide who will be picked and how long those who are picked will play,” Deschamps told a news conference. “There is only one to decide and it’s me.”
Diaby was ruled out of action for three weeks after sustaining a thigh injury in a 2-1 defeat by Chelsea in the Premier League last Saturday.
“I think it was a mistake to play him with the national team,” Wenger said after Diaby picked up yet another injury.
Deschamps has recalled central midfielder Lassana Diarra to compensate for the absence of midfielders Abou Diaby and Rio Mavuba, who both picked up injuries recently.
“If Diaby and Mavuba were available, maybe he wouldn’t be here,” Deschamps said.
Deschamps kept Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in the squad, even though the Montpellier center half is suspended for the Spain match.
“The notion of the squad is very important. I want to keep him involved,” Deschamps said.
He also gave his backing to first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who has played only one match since joining Tottenham and is lacking match practice. Deschamps said Lloris will likely start against Japan to get him sharpened up to face Spain.
“It doesn’t pose a problem for me. Why wouldn’t he play in both games?”
Goalkeepers: Mickael Landreau (Lille), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
Defenders: Gael Clichy (Manchester City), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Mathieu Debuchy (Lille), Christophe Jallet (Paris Saint-Germain), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Adil Rami (Valencia), Mamadou Sakho (Paris Saint-Germain), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier)
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle) Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Lassana Diarra (Anzhi), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Moussa Sissoko (Toulouse), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Bafetimbi Gomis (Lyon), Jeremy Menez (Paris Saint-Germain), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)
(FRANCE 24 with wires)
Date created : 2012-10-04