France news

Fergie disappointed over Evra omission

February 5, 2011

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is dismayed that Patrice Evra has been left out of the France squad.

Patrice Evra watches proceedings from the bench
GettyImagesPatrice Evra was stripped of the captaincy in South Africa.

Evra will sit out the friendly against Brazil on Wednesday despite having served a five-match ban that was imposed after the players' downed tools for a day during the World Cup in protest at Nicolas Anelka being sent home.

Coach Laurent Blanc, who had a spell at Old Trafford as a player, chose to omit Evra and Ferguson said: ''It is surprising he has been left out because he has been punished. I don't see why he should be punished further.

''If they are saying he is not good enough to play for France then you cannot argue with that. But I know he is the best left back France have got and one of the best in the world.

''There is no question in my mind about that. He is a fantastic footballer. He will be disappointed but he just has to accept it.''

Ferguson added: ''Patrice Evra is a very important player for Manchester United and he will continue that way.

''Laurent Blanc was a player here and he knows the expectation at this club. He knows that any player coming from Manchester United is playing at the highest level and he knows that about Patrice.

''He has served his punishment. He had five games and I thought they would have moved on.''

Blanc, though, said that he would make his own decision and not succumb to outside pressure on who he should and should not select.

"I made my choice according to sporting criteria," he insisted. ''There is a lot of competition for that post involving players who play for great clubs. I base my criteria on sporting qualities and take into account Eric Abidal's showing in the last game which was very good."

Blanc added that "the behaviour of the 23 (in South Africa), not just that of Evra, was unworthy. There followed bans - and they have been served. What interests me is putting together the best team possible."

He added: "The door remains open."