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Didier Deschamps on Payet, Ben Arfa, Giroud, Martial and more

France manager Didier Deschamps spoke on a number of topics during his first press conference of the international break today, the highlights below.

On replacing the injured Ntep with Lacazette…

Honestly, I did not need an evening to think about it. I made the decision yesterday but as there were six players involved in matches last night, I preferred to wait.

On whether he considered Ben Arfa…

No because I had already thought that through last Thursday. I am not going to change my thinking four days later.

On Dimitri Payet…

He scored last weekend, good, hope he continues… But there are also others who have scored and they are here. At the moment, in the attacking sector of the pitch, I have a choice.

On Lacazette’s general form…

He is playing better. He had an agitated summer for several reasons. But he has not lost his abilities from one day to the next. His most recent match gave him his smile back. He is heading in the right direction. It seemed logical to me to bring him back.

On Anthony Martial…

There was a lot of anticipation and criticism at the beginning. He has gotten rid of a considerable amount of that, but not entirely. He is with us because he has a very exciting potential. He is not a very assured character, he is quite quiet, but that does not bother me. With the younger players in the squad, it often happens like that. He has changed world but for the moment he is carrying himself very well.

On Olivier Giroud…

He is in a rough patch. This is a difficult period for him. His playing time is less important, his confidence has diminished and he recently had a match with us where he could have shown himself to perform better. That is part of a season… The fact that he is here means that I have confidence in him. He cannot lose his abilities overnight.

On Karim Benzema… 

If you ask him, he will tell you that he always wants to score more (for France). Karim, he scores goals but he is not a fox in the box. He is not solely there to score goals. I will not change him: he likes to take part in the game, he is important in the build-up. When he deserts that central zone, it is up to the other players to make up for that so that there is a presence in front of the goal.

On Lassana Diarra…

He has maintained his level of performances. That’s good. He has comforted me on what I could have said when he has selected… He has international experience with whichever clubs he was at in the past and even for the national team. Aside from that, there is competition, he knows that and he is used to it. He is reserved guy, he will have to find his place in the group but he has returned with a smile and that is the most important thing. We have two games to play. Of course, he will be involved.

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