Deschamps calls up 4 uncapped players to 1st squad
PARIS (AP) -France coach Didier Deschamps has called up four uncapped players for next week's friendly against Uruguay, his first match in charge since taking over from Laurent Blanc after the European Championship.
Central defenders Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier), right back Christophe Jallet (Paris Saint-Germain) and midfielder Etienne Capoue (Toulouse) could all make their debuts against Uruguay.
"The door is open for them,'' Deschamps said. "It gives me the chance to see how they are playing in the France jersey. It's never easy when you're called up for the first time, but this is a chance for them.''
The 19-year-old Varane started only seven league games for Real Madrid last season, but Deschamps is confident he can handle the pressure of playing for France.
"He has the quality and the potential, every coach he's had says the same thing,'' Deschamps said. "He's very young, but he has a lot of ability.''
Deschamps left out defensive midfielder Yann M'Vila and winger Hatem Ben Arfa for disciplinary reasons after their behavior during Euro 2012, at which Ben Arfa clashed with Blanc and M'Vila refused to shake the coach's hand after being substituted.
"I took the decision not to pick them for this game, which seemed to me a logical decision given what I expect from players in terms of their attitude and behavior,'' Deschamps said. "I hope they understand that, and that players will also understand this message in the months to come.''
Midfielder Samir Nasri and winger Jeremy Menez won't play against Uruguay. Nasri is serving a three-match suspension for his expletive-laced tirade at a journalist during Euro 2012, while Menez is out for one game for behaving inappropriately toward goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Deschamps took charge last month when Blanc refused the offer of a new two-year contract soon after France's 2-0 loss to Spain in the quarterfinals, and has made it clear that he will not accept any further breaches of discipline. He captained France to glory at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, and hinted that his way of playing may differ from Blanc, who tried to turn France into a slick passing team.
"I'm not going to compare with what Laurent did,'' Deschamps said. "Nothing's set in stone. The starting 11 may differ, the way of playing may also be different.''
Among the other players left out were Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye and central defenders Adil Rami and Philippe Mexes.
Cabaye and Rami are not match fit but Deschamps offered no explanation for Mexes' absence, preferring instead to praise Arsenal center back Laurent Koscielny and suggest he can become France's leader in defense.
"There was his match against Spain, and there is also everything he's done with Arsenal,'' Deschamps said. "He played very well for Arsenal last season, especially when I went to see him in the Champions League, and it's up to him to keep up this level of performance over the long term. Right now he is among those center backs capable of playing at the highest level.''
Winger Florent Malouda was left out, with Deschamps saying he may need to leave Chelsea to force his way back into the squad.
"He's played very little in the friendly games. I don't know if he will stay at Chelsea,'' Deschamps said. "He has a lot of international experience and I know what to expect from him.''
Deschamps added that midfielders Abou Diaby (Arsenal) and Yoann Gourcuff (Lyon) are likely to be included in the near future, and that he may experiment with Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud as a partnership rather than with Benzema in the lone striker's role, as preferred by Blanc.
"It's a possibility, but then it's a question of balance as it depends on the players who are on the flanks,'' Deschamps said. "I don't have the answers yet, but I'm not against that idea.''
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille).
Defenders: Gael Clichy (Manchester City), Mathieu Debuchy (Lille), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Christophe Jallet (Paris Saint-Germain), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Paris Saint-Germain), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier).
Midfielders: Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Marvin Martin (Lille), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille).
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Jimmy Briand (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Bafetimbi Gomis (Lyon), Dimitri Payet (Lille), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich).