Deschamps unveils France squad

04 October 2012 06:17

France coach Didier Deschamps on Thursday unveiled a 23-man squad to take on Japan in a friendly at the Stade de France in Paris on October 12 and the World Cup qualifier against Spain in Madrid four days later.

Manchester City's Samir Nasri was not recalled despite serving a three-match suspension for disciplinary breaches during Euro 2012 but midfielders Lassana Diarra of Russian league club Anzi Makhachkala and Toulouse's Moussa Sissoko made the cut.

Diarra has played 28 times for the national side, last appearing for Les Bleus in August 2010, while Sissoko has three caps. Both were included because of injuries to Arsenal's Abou Diaby (thigh) and Lille's Rio Mavuba (knee).

Despite the fact Diarra is in a lower profile championship since signing with the Russian leaders from Real Madrid, Deschamps believes his experience will be important to face Spanish players he has come up against before.

"He is a starting player in a team that are playing well and he is performant and is a player who has 28 caps and is an experienced international," said Deschamps.

"They (Anzi Makhachkala) are not a big European club, even though they have quality players.

"But it was logical for me to pick him and the fact that he knows Spanish football and has played several times against players who will certainly be on the pitch against us, I think is not a bad thing," continued the former Marseille, Juventus and Monaco coach.

Diaby, passed over by former coach Laurent Blanc for Euro 2012, again due to injury, scored in France's away win qualifying match against Finland last month but was injured for the second group game against Belarus, which they won 3-1.

Deschamps also hit back at Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger who brought back Diaby for the 2-1 home defeat against Chelsea but only lasted 17 minutes before breaking down again with a muscular injury and is expected to be out for a minimum of three weeks.

"I have the greatest respect for Arsene (Wenger), but I would like to remind you that it is not him who decides who I call-up and how much they will play. There is only one person that decides and that is me," he said in reference to the initial injury sustained on international duty.

"I have not spoken to Arsene. I do not want to put Abou (Diaby) in a difficult position and for him to be caught between his national coach and his employers which might create divides. It will take a certain amount of time before he is ready but it is bad news for Arsenal and for France."

As for the Nasri exclusion, Deschamps explained: "It's not the right time" to bring back Nasri.

"I've preferred to give it a bit of time. But I'm following him and he's still a player up for selection. He has made a very good start to the season before his minor injury. He has scored and made some decisive passes so I know his quality."

France squad

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/ENG), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mickael Landreau (Lille)

Defenders: Christophe Jallet (Paris Saint Germain), Mamadou Sakho (PSG), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier), Gael Clichy (Manchester City/ENG), Patrice Evra (Manchester United/ENG), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal/ENG), Adil Rami (Valencia/ESP), Mathieu Debuchy (Lille)

Midfielders: Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle/ENG), Lassana Diarra (Anzhi Makhachkala/RUS), Moussa Sissoko (Toulouse)

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/ESP), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal/ENG), Bafetimbi Gomis (Lyon), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich/GER), Jeremy Ménez (PSG)

Source: AFP