After announcing the withdrawal of Houssem Aouar, injured with OL on Sunday evening, Didier Deschamps answered many questions for his first press conference of the week, preamble to the meetings against Finland in a friendly this Wednesday, then against the Portugal and Sweden in the League of Nations on November 14 and 17. Asked in particular about his preparation for Euro 2021, the coach of the Blues recalls that the current list “will evolve” according to the states of form and injuries of each.
How do you plan to handle the first friendly against Finland?
DIDIER DESCHAMPS. Compared to Finland, we have a decisive match on Saturday in Portugal. We have to make sure for some to find the rhythm a little, without playing too much either and preserving our strengths. Today, I do not yet have all the information. Finland must allow us to prepare, but it will obviously not be the same team against Portugal. We have to manage the players, but with the objective of beating Finland.
Can we know who will not play against Finland? Does Kylian Mbappé have a specific program?
Not yet. I have some ideas, but I don’t have all the information. For those who have concerns, there is a medical check-up. We’ll see Tuesday too. This is valid for Kylian (Mbappé) and the others. It is in the hands of the medical staff who have already proven their competence.
Where are the relations between the Blues and the PSG after the criticisms of Leonardo in September?
I have a good relationship. Who says relationship means exchange. Some of you are saying wrong things. I’m not here to say I’ve spoken to X or Z. We’re doing it right. There are exchanges between the medical staff. The goal is to protect the players. It is not specific to PSG. I have no worries. We are responsible enough.
Raphaël Varane is going through a difficult period with Real Madrid. Do you find him physically blunt?
He won’t play on Wednesday (laughs). It happens to everyone. They may have a worse game. His team lost, they took goals, he is not the only one responsible. You also take the example of Kimpembe, say that he has matured and then the last match that he plays does not go well… I judge over a longer period. Have you seen the European Championship-Cup sequence? The teams that follow up play with less intensity, it becomes difficult. They’ve been doing it like this for three weeks. I do not want to question the value of the players on a poor performance.
Do you know if Marcus Thuram will be staying in the same room with his father Lilian in Clairefontaine? Are Finland the ideal opponent for him to start?
About the room, I don’t know. I don’t even know where Lilian was after all these years. There have been changes too. He is likely to start, to play. There is an emotional side to it. For some, the impact is real. These are moments to pass, but Marcus like the others know the high level. It’s just the first time for him. He will remember it.
What do you know of Lilian’s role with her son for his career?
I know Lilian, I know how he works and we have the opportunity to meet again. That the players listen to their father when they have the experience of the high level, it is normal. Even if it’s never obvious when you’re a father, you always lose objectivity.
What do you think of a possible French Championship with 18 clubs, as mentioned by Vincent Labrune, president of the LFP?
The tighter the elite, the better. Vincent Labrune is not going to make only friends with this proposal. Having four games less in the league is going in the direction of the elite. Having said that, a dozen clubs may feel concerned by a descent. I always said it. It is the general interest or the interest of the elite. With the current situation on top of that, that makes sense.
PSG beat Rennes quite broadly, with a diminished team. Are you worried about the general level of Ligue 1?
I’ll let you debate the subject. These are two clubs that came out of the Champions League after two negative results. I’m not going to shoot red balls on Ligue 1. Competitiveness is more to be judged on the international scene. Lille had an excellent result (Editor’s note: in Milan) and lost in Brest three days later. Ligue 1 is still competitive, less on the international scene, I repeat. In other championships, I don’t only see top matches either. Many big foreign clubs are watching in this championship. The quality is there.
Wesley Fofana is growing fast in Premier League leaders Leicester. What do you think of his start to the season and are you following him closely?
All players present with the Espoirs are likely to be called up. In this position of central defender, there are many players present. Today, he would be in competition with Raphaël Varane and Kurt Zouma. But, already at Saint-Etienne, he was proving good things. He is one of the players we follow.
Will you continue the tests and adjustments in the next matches?
I do not forbid myself anything over the three games. We got answers after September and October. I’m including November as well. We will then have several months to specifically prepare for the Euro. I have a clear idea of what we are going to do. But everything will also depend on the players at my disposal. I have tactically smart players. Each system has its advantages and requires repetitions, training.
On how many posts do you have questions for the Euro list?
I do not ask myself the question. It’s November and I don’t know what can happen between now and then. I hope that everyone will be available, but I know very well that they will not be. No one has 100% insurance. You have a current photograph of the Blues, but it will evolve.
What advice can you give to Paul Pogba, in difficulty in club?
I traded with him as with most players. It had been a while since he had found the Blues. He cannot be satisfied with the playing time or the positioning. It’s a problem he has with his club coach. He had Covid-19, which hit him pretty hard. He needs to find some rhythm. Last month the match he had to make was substantial. We cannot say that he is fulfilled. I’ll make sure to handle it too. With me there is no such concern. It’s not easy when a player is uncomfortable at a club. I’m going to chat with him, but I don’t have any advice for him. It will go in the right direction for him.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr