N'Zogbia called up for France friendly
Friday 06 August 2010
Wigan midfielder Charles N'Zogbia is aiming to capitalise on the absence of France's World Cup players by impressing new coach Laurent Blanc after being called up for Les Bleus' friendly against Norway next week.
N'Zogbia is one of 15 uncapped players in Blanc's first squad since succeeding Raymond Domenech as coach. The raft of changes stem from Blanc's decision to suspend all 23 players involved in a World Cup campaign which was plagued by failure and infighting.
N'Zogbia was thrilled after hearing the news of his inclusion, and told L'Equipe: "I've been waiting for this for a long time. This proves that, with hard work, you can get there. Even though my inclusion is due to the absence of the World Cup players, it is a good chance to show what I can do. We will see how it goes in Norway, but I know very well that now that I have been included by Les Bleus, the hardest thing will be staying there."
Other players in line to make their first appearances include Roma forward Jeremy Menez, Lyon full-back Aly Cissokho and Paris St Germain defender Mamadou Sakho.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Anelka said his "head was gone" during the infamous row with Raymond Domenech which led to him being sent home from the World Cup, but denied swearing at his former national team boss.
The Chelsea striker was expelled from the French camp after the spat which occurred at half-time of the Group A match against Mexico, with Anelka claiming the argument centred over his positioning on the pitch. The squad subsequently revolted against Domenech, refusing to train just two days before their final group game against hosts South Africa.
In an interview with France Soir, Anelka recalled: "We returned to the dressing room and, for five minutes, the players talked. The coach arrived and said to me: 'Damn, Nico, I've told you to stop dropping back and stay up front'. I told him if I stay there, I do not get a touch of the ball, and said: 'Stop telling me to stay up front. I won't stay up front'. It carried on, but at that moment my head was gone. I wasn't even listening to what he said."
Domenech's immediate reaction, Anelka claims, was to dismiss him from the squad despite the efforts of captain Patrice Evra to pacify both parties. "He said: 'Go, it's fine, leave' and asked one of his assistants to get Dede [Andre-Pierre Gignac] ready," the Chelsea striker continued.
"I said: 'No problem, deal with your team'. Pat [Evra] and Franck [Ribery] were next to me and they said: 'Stop, Nico, calm down. Let it go, shut up!' Then Pat asked me to put my jersey back on and said to the coach that these things happen all the time, that he should not react on a whim and make me leave. Again, the coach didn't listen and made his changes."
peopleContenders for Time magazine's Person of the Year are a mixture of the good, the bad and the holy
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
danceUnder Tamara Rojo's inspired direction, it seems possible that it could challenge the dominance of the Royal Ballet. We meet some established names and rising stars
travelDiscover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side
Latest in Sport
Transfer news round-up: Barcelona to offer £37m for Manchester United striker Robin van Persie; Manuel Neuer interests Manchester City; Luiz Gustavo on Tottenham radar
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Gareth Bale puts five-bedroom Essex mansion up for sale at £2.2m following £86m switch from Tottenham to Real Madrid
Former England captain Mick Mills 'turned a blind eye' to initiation ceremony abuse at Stoke City, which included sexual assault dubbed 'The Glove'
Manchester United player ratings: The best (and worst) performers for David Moyes during the season so far
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
- 4 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial