France coach Laurent Blanc called
up playmaker Yoann Gourcuff when he completed his preliminary
squad for the European Championships with a set of
home-based players on Tuesday.
Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Younes Kaboul, who had been
included in the preliminary list of overseas-based players, was
ruled out with a serious knee injury.
Kaboul's knee injury flared up during Tottenham's final
Premier League game against Fulham on Sunday. "He's not fit to
play in the Euro," said Blanc.
Kaboul's injury led Blanc to call up the 23-year-old Mapou
Yanga-Mbiwa, who has been marshalling the Montpellier defence
Olympique Lyon midfielder Gourcuff has had a mediocre season
and has not featured in a France game since a 0-0 friendly draw
against Croatia in March 2011 but he is, according to Blanc, the
only proper playmaker.
Blanc also named Loic Remy in the 26-man squad although the
Olympique Marseille striker was ruled out of action for up to
four weeks with a thigh injury on Monday.
"His chances of taking part in the competition are very
slim," said Blanc.
The main debate was over Gourcuff, who has failed to meet
expectations since he joined Lyon from Girondins Bordeaux two
"There will be another decision before we unveil the final
list. We will assess the mental state and the place in the
squad," Blanc said when asked about Gourcuff.
"His club performances are indefensible, but his statistics
at international level are not that bad. And no-one else has
stepped up [in the playmaking position]."
Gourcuff has scored two goals in his last six appearances
with Les Bleus, showing qualities barely seen in his Ligue 1
Blanc has until May 29 to name his final, 23-man squad.
France are drawn in Group D with England, co-hosts Ukraine
and Sweden for the June 8-July 1 championship.
France preliminary squad:
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyon), Steve Mandanda
(Olympique Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Girondins Bordeaux).
Defenders: Gael Clichy (Manchester City), Patrice Evra
(Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Philippe Mexes
(AC Milan), Adil Rami (Valencia), Mathieu Debuchy (Lille),
Anthony Reveillere (Olympique Lyon), Mapou Yanga Mbiwa
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United), Florent Malouda
(Chelsea), Samir Nasri (Manchester City), Alou Diarra (Olympique
Marseille), Yann M'Vila (Stade Rennes), Yoann Gourcuff (Olympique
Lyon), Marvin Martin (Sochaux), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain).
Forwards: Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle United), Karim Benzema
(Real Madrid), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Olivier Giroud
(Montpellier), Jeremy Menez (Paris Saint-Germain), Loic Remy
(Olympique Marseille), Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique Marseille).
Bayern fans snap up 45,000 tickets to watch Champions League final live at Allianz Arena
When Sir Alex wakes up on Monday morning without team to manage, he will not be putting his feet up
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder announces he will be retiring at the end of the current season
Record goal-scorer signs a one-year contract extension with Europa League winners Chelsea
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010