Deschamps to lead France to face Uruguay

Posted on by SoccerPunter

France will look to prepare their path to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil with an international friendly on Wednesday against South American champions Uruguay, as Didier Deschamps takes charge of Les Bleus for the first time.

Having succeeded Laurent Blanc, his teammate in the side that lifted the 1998 World Cup on home soil, former skipper Deschamps will look to mould a team worthy of returning France to the top of their game after a decade of under-achievement.

The match in the northern city of Le Havre sees Yann M’Vila and Hatem Ben Arfa sidelined because of disciplinary issues at Euro 2012 — shades of similar problems at the 2010 World Cup — even though they are not suspended.

Samir Nasri and Jeremy Menez are also out owing to suspensions the French Football Federation investigation imposed on them for misconduct at the Euros, where France lost their quarter-final to eventual champions Spain.

A forced change is the loss through injury of Arsenal central defender Laurent Koscielny with a calf strain.

Deschamps is not set to call in a replacement at this late stage although he admitted that Koscielny “would certainly have played”.

The former Monaco and Marseille coach is determined to bring a new generation through in good time — new faces are Paris Saint-Germain’s Christophe Jallet, Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and Etienne Capoue of Toulouse.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, of Ligue 1 champions Montpellier makes a return and Deschamps insists that now is as good a time as any to blood those who show promise.

“Age is not a factor where talent is concerned — you don’t acquire experience overnight. You need time and to get the games under your belt,” he said.

Deschamps is keen to stress that he will not tolerate poor behaviour, as France look to restore an image tarnished by a player mutiny in South Africa two years ago and further disciplinary issues including Manchester City midfielder Nasri’s altercations with the media which earned the player a three-match ban.

Deschamps says he feels the same intense pride in the national side as he did during his time as a player.

“I have the same pleasure and pride to be here. I have a great attachment to the France team given all that this shirt gave me. It is a privilege to be here,” Deschamps said on arrival at the squad headquarters at Clairefontaine outside Paris.

He has already said he has laid down disciplinary code that he expects players to follow.

The rules include a ban on mobile phones during team get-togethers and heavy fines for serious misdemeanours.

“What was important for me was to lay down a framework and the rules for everybody. My principles are, in three words, respect, humility and pleasure.”

Wednesday’s game against the side which lifted the Copa America last year comes ahead of a World Cup qualifying double-header against Finland on September 7 and then Belarus four days later.

Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda, Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye, Valencia’s Adil Rami and Philippe Mexes of AC Milan — left out of the Uruguay game — will be expected to return for those games.

Uruguay will have veteran forward Diego Forlan on board for the encounter but will be without Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and Napoli’s Edinson Cavani as Oscar Tabarez’s men rely on Forlan and most likely Sebastian Fernandez of Malaga in attack.

The squad also includes Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates.

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