When Didier Deschamps named his preliminary picks for the World Cup, he selected a 23-man squad with seven reserves. On Monday night the squad arrived in Brazil with three players missing from the original line-up. It has been far from an ideal preparation for Deschamps and Les Bleus.
One player who remains on the reserve list is Saint-Etienne’s Loic Perrin, and looking at the current squad, it now looks like a mistake that FC Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala was picked ahead of the captain of Les Verts.
Losing Franck Ribery was a huge loss for France, not just on the pitch—where the Bayern Munich player was looking to finally become that world-class player for Les Bleus—but what he brings off the pitch will be dearly missed.
France has lost a hugely experienced player, someone who is a big presence within the team and one of the elder statesmen of this France squad.
Although Mangala is one of the hottest young defenders in Europe, he is also fairly inexperienced—not just in terms of international football, but the years he has played the game in the top flight.
Here is why France made a mistake taking Eliaquim Mangala over Loic Perrin.