I’m not French team’s nursery school teacher, says Deschamps
PARIS, Sept 6 — France coach Didier Deschamps has no intention of acting like a teacher to his players despite their controversial behaviour in recent years, he said yesterday.
Deschamps expects his team to have learnt from the experiences of the 2010 World Cup and this year's European Championship.
“I am not here to tell them what they can do or can not,” he told reporters. “They are not children and I am not a nursery or high-school teacher. I am here to help them, to guide them.”
Four players were summoned to disciplinary hearings after Euro 2012, with Samir Nasri currently serving a three-match ban for abusing a reporter and Jeremy Menez suspended for one game for insulting the referee during their quarter-final exit.
Hatem Ben Arfa and Yann M'Vila, who are not in the squad for the opening 2014 World Cup qualifier in Finland on Friday, were also warned by the French football federation for minor incidents after the defeat to Spain in June.
The incidents came just two years after the France squad caused outrage in their home country by going on strike in South Africa when Nicolas Anelka was expelled over a row with the then coach, Raymond Domenech.
“There are rules but we did not enforce anything exceptional,” Deschamps said.
“Some things can trouble the group's life, like the new technologies which isolate people, tend to make them selfish when they are supposed to share some time together.”
He suggested the players should be better educated earlier in their lives.
“Rules can be set when they are young, in the academies, at school,” he said. “The sooner the better. Because when they grow up, they respect some values or do not.”
Still, the former midfielder, who marshalled France to their 1998 World Cup victory, has asked his players to respect some symbols, like the national anthem.
“I would like everybody to sing the Marseillaise. But the most important is your attitude when you're listening to it,” he said.
He pointed out that his first goal was not to make the team behave but to lead France to the 2014 World Cup, because it will be the easiest way for the players to restore the team's image.
“I will not change personalities or characters,” he said. “Some are more inclined to smile, to be available. But at the end, the most important is to be good on the pitch.” — Reuters