Moussa Sissoko found himself back in the France squad for the current international break, after Mauricio Pochettino brought him back into the Tottenham fold.
The midfielder, a favourite of Didier Deschamps, was given 12 minutes on Tuesday evening against Belarus, and was happy to speak about the qualifying campaign afterwards.
Despite France finishing top of their group and having a fantastic squad of players, there’s not the level of excitement which may be expected, and Tottenham’s Sissoko said: “It wasn’t easy from start to finish. We did what was necessary to finish first and avoid the play-offs… we have shown a real strength of character and this first place is deserved. Of course, everything isn’t perfect. Compared to the Euros, there have been many changes and a team isn’t built overnight.”
The French public, and media, expect more than they often see and it’s hard for Deschamps to get his team to consistently live up to their potential.
Inconsistency from several players has proved to be an issue for Deschamps, which is maybe one of the reasons he likes Sissoko so much, despite the player’s up and down, mainly down, Tottenham career.
Deschamps often doesn’t do himself any favours and has some time to decide on his best team for Russia 2018. It can be guaranteed that, whatever the manager chooses, many in France won’t agree.
That’s the price to pay for having such a talented generation, and often preferring Moussa Sissoko anyway.