Didier Deschamps on how to manage Generation Z footballers: “My 23-year-old son has helped me a bit.”

Speaking in an extensive interview with RMC Sport, France boss Didier Deschamps was asked about how he manages the latest generation of footballing talent.

“The key word for a manager is adaptation… I adapted and I take the positive sides of the new generation. These players have a lot of quality. They want everything and immediately. But they work to have everything quickly. In our day, we would not move to a big club at the age of 18. Now, players do so and succeed.”

“You always need a bit of patience, because they have different interests and are hyper-connected. I am completely disconnected, but my 23-year-old son has helped me a bit. I underwent a bit of an apprenticeship by looking into this generation’s interests or even by listening to the same music as the players. He (my son) is not a footballer but that helped me.”

On whether he changed his management style specifically for the 2018 World Cup:

I changed a little bit, because I have players who are very much implicated in the new generation. They need a bit more in terms of demonstration side… I felt it could not go well without my being a bit more involved emotionally. I think previous generations had less of a need to receive affectionate comments, even the players who played a little or not at all.

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