Didier Deschamps: “We will leave with a four-man defense”

“Why did you choose 25 players (you could have bought 26 players)?”
I believe that buying 25 players gives us enough security. The players listed are expected to be eligible for the first game. This roster will be made official next Monday at 7:00 PM with the possibility of player changes until our first D-1 game. (vs Australia, November 22) in case of injury.

Karim Benzema has missed many matches since the beginning of the season…
I talked to Karim. If he wasn’t on the pitch, it was because he was dealing with two minor physical issues. Medical personnel were exchanged. There is no concern about its status and the time frames that apply to us. Compared to what the World Cup represents, it is very cautious. Did 30 minutes last week, felt discomfort the next day or two. But I say again, don’t worry.

You have selected 9 defenders including 8 training centers. Are we moving towards a four-man defense?
I confirm, we will start with a four-man defense. It’s always a long thought, a lot of discussions with my staff. I also take into account the feelings of certain players. It is important. We have done very well in this system (at three) but we were also in trouble. Often our balance is disturbed. I know very well that you have to be solid defensively to be in great competition. We will have to defend well and defend better, but not at the expense of the attack animation. I accept this option because I am convinced that it is better and more suitable.

“I think they (Hernandez brothers) give more guarantees. »

Does this choice to select a four-man defense explain why Jonathan Clauss was not selected?
I, like Lucas Digne, know his great disappointment. These are sports options. As far as Jonathan is concerned, the system is indeed the main reason.

What made you favor the Hernandez brothers (Lucas and Theo) over Ferland Mendy and Lucas Digne on the left?
It’s about competition. If I make that choice, it’s because I think they provide more security.

Where are Presnel Kimpembe and Raphaël Varane?
Presnel will be available for the PSG match this weekend. Things are moving in the right direction for Rafael. He can be available in the first game (against Australia). He is undergoing rehabilitation. We know where they are.

You often explain that the three-man system allows you to put Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema in the best conditions. How will you organize yourself?
If you ask me too many things, I will not answer you. One of the players moving to one side is an option, yes. But there are others. I know how to start, provided nothing bad happens. The ideal is to put all players at their best. But there may be some minor changes.

“His (Girud’s condition) today is not the same as in the summer of 2021”

With the return of this four-man defense, could you consider Antoine Griezmann as a midfielder?
Antoine is a striker, but he has the ability to have a high volume of play. Even when he does attack, it doesn’t stop him from coming back too low, sometimes too much for my liking. He does the same in his club. Sometimes he changes his position, he is in a triangle in the middle of the field, this does not cause him problems. It’s a balance to find.

You insisted that Olivier Giroud would not be at the World Cup if Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe were available…
(he cuts) Did I say that? You commented that. I have a different opinion about Olivier. I have a very important word, adapt. Adapting is not contradicting yourself, but taking into account the reality of the moment. I haven’t changed my mind, but there are things that my discussions with Olivier and other players make me think about. If I make this choice, it is because: one, I trust Olivier; and two, its state today is not the same as it was in the summer of 2021. I am not narrow minded. […] I trust him. He knows that. On and off the field.

You have often said that you are reluctant to field four attacking players at the start of a senior match. Have you changed your mind?
With four attacks, the balance is more random. At 90 minutes, this could be an option at some point. There will be no poles in front of us. If you have the balls, don’t worry. It gives variety. But if you don’t have one, the defensive balance is more complicated. It’s not because you score more goals. It is a matter of efficiency.

Do you feel ready to spend this World Cup in the best conditions?
What are the best conditions? Were we at our best in 2018? Oh, in 2021 (euro), we were there! We were the most beautiful, the strongest. There are difficulties, with Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante involved in two key games… We are in a complicated situation, but it is the same for all teams. There are many wounded again yesterday (Sadio) Obstacles (Senegal). I trust this group and I am sure they will do everything to fight. We must be thorough. But we will be there. It is the competition that reveals. We have status, but it does not guarantee us. I am always a positive philosophy. The energy, the determination, they are there.

Is Mike Maignan definitely banned for the World Cup?
If it’s not listed, it’s because it’s not possible to operate due to the deadlines.

“You know what the two players who are not there (Kanté and Pogba) represent in terms of experience, leadership. »

There are a lot of centre-backs on this list… How will you deal with the disappointments?
What I know, and what is not pleasant for me personally, is that already there, I am very disappointed. All 25 people are very happy. They all want to be in the starting 11 on the 22nd (vs Australia), but this will not be possible. Managing players who don’t play much or don’t play at all… our aim is not to lose anyone. They require playing time. Ideally, yes. All of them will at least be on the score sheet. You should have sent three to the stands at the Euros. I will need everyone. We don’t know what might happen.

Benjamin Pavard appears to be the only right-back…
This is your impression, your interpretation. This is not the only one. I had long discussions with the players who will play in the right lane (Pavard and Kounde), they know what I expect from them. I’m not here to convince you.

Can you become a world champion with such a young and inexperienced midfielder?
I have no answer, no one can. This is reality. I don’t want to add because I trust them. You know what the two players who are not there (Kanté and Pogba) represent in terms of experience, leadership. Fortunately, these players (Tchouaméni, Fofana, Guendouzi, Veretout…) got playing time. It won’t give them the experience that Paul (Pogba) and NG (Kanté) can get, but that’s always the case. They will do anything. Paul and NG didn’t happen overnight. They potentially have what it takes.

“(For the No. 2 goalkeeper) I know that, but before I tell you, I will inform those who are interested first. »

Who will be the goalkeeper number 2?
I know this, but before I tell you, I will inform the concerned persons first.

Why did you call Mandanda who was not present in all previous meetings?
Because he is an experienced football player. Steve made sure to keep competing. […] Of course there will be a hierarchy.

A word on the selection of Ibrahima Konate?
Ibou is one of the young defenders. Unfortunately, he had two injuries, one of which was a bit long. We are not the owner of Liverpool and European champions at that age by chance. Potentially, it has many qualities. He has a high-quality head game, he is good in duels, he is fast, he is quite skilled with the ball.

Have you hesitated to choose Eduardo Camavinga?
I don’t listen to rumours, otherwise I think I’d be taking an aspirin every day. When Eduardo came with us, he immediately showed us many interesting things. Later it became more complicated, in a very competitive club, it is often used as a joker. What is punishing him in his development is not playing more games. But he is at Real Madrid. There are only internationals in front of him. He is not good at everything, but despite everything, when he is on the field, something happens. It can be used in different positions. And then it has a high-quality mindset. He is always smiling.

In the last three editions, the reigning world champions have been eliminated from the group stage (Italy in 2010, Spain in 2014 and Germany in 2018)…
I’ll take another tube of aspirin. You want to demoralize me, don’t you? Shows the difficulty and demand of a high level. It’s hard to win. Wait, even more. Only one wins every four years. We will not go there telling each other.

Can Adrien Rabiot be as progressive as Blaise Matuidi in 2018?
He has already done it in Turin “Juventus”. He performed in various positions. Today, its development leads it to have a wider palette. I like the formula he uses to define himself: balance player. It has a lot of value for a coach. Also for the coach. »

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