Didier Deschamps was last night named the new France manager, replacing Laurent Blanc, who resigned following the Euro 2012 tournament, after France had been beaten 2-0 in the quarter-finals by eventual winners Spain.
Didier Deschamps - the new France manager
We had reported last Wednesday that Deschamps was the hot favorite that the French Football Federation (FFF) were looking at, and now the news has been made official last night.
And last Tuesday we had reported that four French players faced disciplinary action from the FFF for their behavior during the Euro 2012 tournament, and they included Newcastle’s mercurial winger Hatem Ben Arfa.
Deschamps managed Marseilles from 2009 through 2012 and for the first two years he managed (tried to manage?) Ben Arfa, but their personalities clashed often.
And it was really Ben Arfa’s poor relationship with the former French World Cup winning captain, that caused him to fly to Newcastle in August of 2010, in an attempt to force through a move to Newcastle United, a club he was desperate to join (good lad).
Newcastle eventually took the French International on loan, and while he was recovering from the double fracture of his left leg, new manager Alan Pardew signed him up permanently the following January, for a fee thought to be around £5M, but we suspect it was a bit less than that.
The 43-year-old Deschamps has managed Monaco, Juventus and Marseilles and he now takes over the full France National side, and to their credit they played a lot better in the Euro 2012 Championship than they did in South Africa in the World Cup two years ago – but they still had difficulties with the discipline of some of their players.
An FFF statement said the following last night:
“Didier is obviously the right man.”
This could spell the end of Ben Arfa’s comeback to the French International squad, but you never know.
However, it will be interesting to see if Ben Arfa is selected for the next French squad for the World Cup qualifiers coming up, although the four players who were suspended, the other three were Samir Nasri, Jeremy Menez and Yann M’Vila, could face suspensions from the full French side, as happened two years ago.
But this is not good news for Hatem Ben Arfa – at least not for his France international career.