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France mager Deschamps defends tactical decisions

Marseille, June 16: France hardly broke sweat during their win over minnows Albania to qualify for the Euro Cup quarter-fils, but not all among their ranks are in a jolly mood with star midfielder Paul Pogba and striker Antoine Griezmann reportedly unhappy over being denied a place in the starting XI.

Pogba — widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world — was introduced after halftime and played a big role in a much improved performance for the hosts after an uninspiring first half. Griezmann, who came on in the 69th minute, put France in the lead in the fil minute of regulation time.

Deschamps admitted that he is aware of the situation, although he insisted on defending his tactical decisions during Wednesday’s game.

“I know he (Griezmann) is not happy, nor is Paul Pogba,” Deschamps told uefa.com on Wednesday. “Paul Pogba was more of a tactical decision. With that system I thought we needed two real scrappers in the middle of the park. Paul has different attributes. As for Griezmann, I am maging him. He is doing well but he had a busy season and we have three games in nine days. He made the difference even though I know he would have preferred to have started the game,” he added. IANS