Didier Deschamps has been quizzed by the French media after Hatem Ben Arfa was left out of the latest France squad which was named on Thursday.
The national team has had mixed form and results, with defeats to both Albania and Belgium within the last four games.
With France lacking creativity, Hatem Ben Arfa’s form and goals (joint top scorer in Ligue 1 with six) have not gone unnoticed by the French press and football public.
At his press conference, Deschamps was forced to justify why players such as Diarra and Areola were still in the squad, though maybe surprisingly, none of the French media raised the subject of Moussa Sissoko’s poor form.
Didier Deschamps managed Hatem Ben Arfa at Marseille and so he says he knows the winger very well.
Despite not picking the fomer Newcastle player for the games against Armenia and Denmark, the French manager says that they will continue to watch his performances and if he shows consistency, he could get his chance.
“I know him (Hatem Ben Arfa) well, I was his coach.
“He always made goals like the one seen on Sunday against St. Etienne.
“I can only encourage him to maintain this level of performance, to be consistent. We will follow his performances. “