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Mbappe not solely blame for Turkey defeat, insists Deschamps

Kylian Mbappe

Didier Deschamps defended Kylian Mbappe following intense criticism in the wake of France's shock 0-2 defeat to Turkey, adamant he was just one of 10 players who underwhelmed.

Kaan Ayhan and Cengiz Under got the goals, as the world champions were defeated in Konya on Saturday and surrendered top spot in Euro 2020 qualifying Group H to their hosts.

Mbappe was arguably the player to receive the most flak, with the Paris Saint-Germain star losing possession 22 times – the most in a single game for his country – and generally struggling against Hasan Ali Kaldirim.

France will be expected to bounce back emphatically away to Andorra on Tuesday and Mbappe will be under pressure to provide a response, if he plays.

But Deschamps insists the striker has nothing more to prove than any of the other 10 outfield players, convinced only goalkeeper Hugo Lloris came out of the debacle with his reputation intact.

"Apart from Hugo Lloris, who was at his level in Turkey, all the others were below what they have to do," Deschamps told reporters on Monday.

"You [the media] target Kylian most, but I look from a collective point of view. He was below his best, he had less mobility.

"In his individual risk-taking, which is part of his qualities, he did not have the success he usually has, and he did not always receive the ball in the best positions.

"But I'm not going to have any special treatment for Kylian. I talk to him as I talk to the other players, and he and the others depend on a collective."

Deschamps accepts some of his players could be suffering from fatigue given the busy 12 months they have had.

"It is [the case] for all French players who have been to the World Cup," he said. "The holidays have been cut short, the calendars are hyper-charged and there is an extension [to the season].

"But it's valid for other nations. When we go after a competition, the season after is like that. The holidays will do them good, and they need them.

"We have one last important collective effort to make before they switch to the rest they need."

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Story first published: Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 3:50 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 11, 2019
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