France news

Mandanda feels punishment is fair

August 3, 2010

France reserve goalkeeper Steve Mandanda insists everyone involved in France's World Cup failure must accept their punishment from new coach Laurent Blanc.

Laurent Blanc
GettyImagesLaurent Blanc: New coach, new era

Blanc decided to exclude the entire 23-man party from next week's friendly against Norway in response to a campaign in South Africa that yielded just one point, one goal and a training-ground strike by the whole squad two days before the final group game against the host nation.

Marseille keeper Mandanda told L'Equipe: "We have learned a lot from our mistakes. What we did was b******* and we must abide by the sanction, but it is still a France game and we are of course disappointed not to participate."

Mandanda urged fans to continue to get behind Les Bleus, and added: "There is no reason why Ligue 1 players should be affected by the backlash of what happened there. This episode was unfortunate, but there is no need for everyone to be mixed up in it."

Blanc will name his shadow side for the Oslo clash on Thursday, with Mickael Landreau and Stephane Ruffier set to battle for the gloves in the absence of Hugo Lloris, Mandanda and Cedric Carrasso.

Playmaker Jeremy Menez is expected to be included after positive news over a knee injury suffered in Roma's weekend friendly against Paris St Germain, while PSG quartet Mamadou Sakho, Mathieu Bodmer, Guillaume Hoarau and Christophe Jallet are also in contention for potential international debuts.

Arsenal's new signing Laurent Koscielny is another who could come into the picture, and the centre-half hopes his move from Lorient will help to add weight to his international ambitions.

"I will see," he told L'Equipe TV. "I want to establish myself at Arsenal, and if I do that I can get into the France team. Since my debut I feel better and better in this team. They are one of the biggest clubs in Europe - one of the top ten."