Benjamin Pavard fighting for France spot after being dropped from right-back role

L’Équipe report today that Benjamin Pavard’s dropping from the starting right-back position remains a blot in an otherwise positive mood within the France squad at the World Cup, with another conversation taking place after training on Tuesday between Didier Deschamps and the Bayern Munich man.

Pavard was dropped in favour of Jules Koundé in the wake of his performance in the opening game against Australia, which notably saw him lose his marker for the goal Les Bleus conceded in the opening exchanges of the game. Axel Disasi was given the nod ahead of him for the final group stage match.

For L’Équipe though, the relationship between Pavard and Deschamps is not at a point of no return. The coach was ostensibly frustrated at the former Lille man for not following instructions against Australia, while Pavard saw himself as one of the squad’s more senior figures now, in what is said to have been a lively one-to-one video analysis session.

Deschamps believes that Pavard has shown a lack of self-criticism, especially given he has protected him since his arrival in the France team and that the two have been close in the past. On top of this, his statements in the media over wanting to play as a central defender have not alleviated the situation.

Pavard is being supported by many of the senior players and coaching staff, and the defender himself is staying positive. His entourage are puzzled over the rapid loss of his starting place, but he himself is determined to at least get some minutes before the end of the tournament – not least with his recent training sessions being positive.

GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin

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