Without Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena in this latest France squad, Didier Deschamps was asked about what their absences have done to his tactical planning for today’s friendly match against Germany.
“Will Plan B become Plan A? I am not in a hurry. Is there increased worry? No, no. I have picked 23 players who are here, for the future also, with an analysis on what we will do well and less well. I am not worried or have additional worries. But my observations, I always have them.”
The German team were this morning rushed out of the hotel that they are staying in on the outskirts of Paris due to a bomb threat.
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Morgan Schneiderlin also had some things to say ahead of this fixture:
“For me, I feel better and better in the French national team, where the coach is giving me playing time and I am managing to play and I don’t think that I am doing too badly. So I am very happy with my progression at this level. The position of a starter, I have not got this thing in my head that says you absolutely have to be a key player. A key player is perhaps somebody who is called up every time. If that is the definition of a key player, well then that is my aim to be called up every time.
I want to win everything. Of course I want to win things, first with my club, I want to win the Premier League, which is very important. Why not have a great go at the Champions League? Anything is possible. And then, of course, the Euros with France. That would be the cherry on top of the cake.”
As did Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny:
“It will be for four years now, nearly five that I have been selected for the French national team. I am used to the French national team. I know all the players, better and better. Aside from that, I am quite a reserved person. I am not a natural leader. Like others might be in the dressing room. Like Hugo (Lloris) or Pat (Evra). It is more through my actions on the pitch that I can lead, that gives me a certain legitimacy. Like I have at Arsenal.”