Laurent Koscielny pointed the finger at Didier Deschamps after quitting France, but the coach still holds him in high regard.
Didier Deschamps was surprised by the criticism levelled at him by Laurent Koscielny during his international retirement announcement but accepts he could have made more effort with the centre-back during his injury lay-off.
Koscielny called time on his France career on Sunday, citing disappointment with coach Deschamps due to a lack of communication while he was on the sidelines.
A torn Achilles in May ruled the Arsenal star out of the World Cup, and the 33-year-old admitted to mixed feelings about Les Bleus’ eventual success in Russia during an emotional interview with Canal +.
Deschamps was surprised by Koscielny’s comments but said his admiration for the centre-back as a man and player has not changed.
“I was surprised, as were the entire staff,” Deschamps told reporters on Monday. “We’re talking about a player who was hurt in his professional life.
“The World Cup was an end-of-career goal for him, but he could not be there. This is a very serious disappointment, it leaves a lot of unfinished business.
“For my part, I called him after his injury, even discussed his choice of surgeon with him, I invited him to come during the [World Cup] preparation if he wished. I made sure that he could come to the final in the presidential plane.
“I got back to him in September for his birthday, I had a brief chat with him yesterday on the phone. It is true that I had not [spoken with him] in the last 15 days or a month or so. I could have done more.
“It will not change what I think of Lolo [Koscielny] as a player and as a man. He is someone who has good values.”
— French Team (@FrenchTeam) October 15, 2018
France are back in competitive action on Tuesday when they face Germany in the Nations League and Deschamps is toying with the idea of playing Kylian Mbappe as a central striker.
“Kylian performs well in different positions,” Deschamps said. “He is an option with a different profile to [Olivier] Giroud.
“I left with this idea on Thursday [after the 2-2 draw with Iceland]. He is able to be effective out wide as well. When he is in the middle, he also moves a lot to the flanks.
“It has its advantages and disadvantages. He makes more defensive efforts and has more freedom on the wing. In the middle, he plays with his back to the goal without always having spaces.”