France manager Didier Deschamps has admitted he was surprised at Laurent Koscielny's criticisms of him and his players, insisting the Arsenal defender's claims are not correct.
Koscielny retired from international football after claiming that Deschamps and the French players had ignored him after suffering a serious achilles injury towards the end of last season. He missed the World Cup as a result of the injury, and claimed that Deschamps and his players had forgotten about him, and failed to ask about his well-being.
Deschamps was asked for his opinion on Koscielny's comments, and was quick to insist that he did not ignore the defender. The Independent report that the Frenchman said: “I understand this huge disappointment. After, when he talks about relationships, I was surprised [by the comments] like all my staff.
“At one point they all sent messages of support. I called him after his injury, I talked with him, even about his choice of surgeon. I invited him, if he wished, to spend time with us during the preparation [for the World Cup].
“I asked him come to the final on the presidential plane because I thought it was very important that he be there, even though I know it was difficult [for him]. In September, when it was his birthday, I got in touch with him, to find out how he was. At least I did that, I could have done more.
“It will not change what I think of Lolo as a player and as a man. He is someone with good values.”
Koscielny remained loyal to Arsenal over the years & passed up on potential trophies he could have won elsewhere, so it’s such a shame that he couldn’t be a part of France’s World Cup triumph. It’s great that he’s overcome his injury & is back training with the first team again.— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) October 17, 2018
Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has also spoken of his support for his fellow Frenchman, saying: “We thought hard about him during the competition [at the World Cup]. He was an important player on the team, an important person also because we have a lot of respect for him.”
As a result of Koscielny's injury, he was forced to watch from the sidelines as France managed to win the World Cup this summer. The 33-year-old made 51 appearances for his country and was a key part of France's qualification for the tournament, but it appears as though he has made his last appearance for France.