Arsene Wenger has praised Moussa Sissoko’s performances for France during the Euros and defended Didier Deschamps’ decision to play him and others in the final.
As a Frenchman, Wenger is bound to be smarting after France’s 1-0 loss to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final on Sunday. They played well, and were tipped to win the entire tournament but failure to put away their chances and being caught unawares in extra time meant that Éder’s goal was the difference.
The boss defended France’s manager for his team selection, arguing that the starting XI he picked were chosen for a reason.
“Football is made of opinions, and it is important not to be ashamed of being wrong,” said Wenger.
“The evidence is that I have been in football for 40 years and I’m still wrong.
“It is true that Sissoko has been remarkable. One could have asked the question before the [Germany] game: does [N’Golo] Kante come into the eleven?
“Didier has opted for stability since the team had won convincingly and he had reason to do so with Umtiti and Sissoko.”
As with any loss, the blame can’t be placed on just one man’s shoulders. Although Deschamps selected the team, the players still have to carry out his instructions on the pitch and put in the effort. They scuffed chances and had quite a bit of bad luck; decisions went against them and after the goal, their heads went down. It was a shame but what’s done is done.