‘I find it inappropriate and disrespectful’ – Didier Deschamps rages against FFF’s plan to improve penalties

Didier Deschamps raged against comments made by Hubert Fournier during his press conference announcing the team selection for the upcoming international friendlies. 

The France manager did not appreciate the assertions made by the technical director of the French Football Federation during an interview with RMC Sport, where Fournier better explained the federation’s attempts to improve the nation’s performance in penalty shootouts. 

Fournier stated, that Deschamps would be at the centre of his plan, “He is the one who is responsible and everything starts from him. Both the set-up, the weeks or days before the possible penalty shootout, to prepare the players.

An initiative by the FFF designed around combating what they felt was a significant weakness during the last World Cup where they reached the final but were defeated by Argentina in a penalty shootout. However, this plan has not been well-received by Deschamps. 

‘You need experience’ – Didier Deschamps

In a six-minute tirade, the manager made it very clear he thought this intervention into his training methods and team preparation was an unnecessary and offensive intervention into his purview. “It makes me feel uncomfortable. I find it inappropriate, and I would even say disrespectful.” 

The World Cup-winning manager explained, “They are competent guys who prepare the sessions… But you need experience. Being on the bench, managing, it’s important.” Especially in his mind when it comes down to taking penalties, something that he believes can only be effectively trained for through experience. 

Deschamps continued, “[Penalties are] always the same: it’s a balance of power between the shooter and keeper. It’s not that I consider that it cannot be worked on, but I am convinced – and my past as a player gives me this information – that it is impossible to recreate a situation, on a psychological level, between training and a match the feeling of extra time.” 

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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