‘It’s not a laughing matter’: Frank Lampard is left FUMING with Didier Deschamps after he stopped N’Golo Kante returning from France duty early as Chelsea midfielder faces even more time out injured
- Frank Lampard has been left frustrated over handling of N’Golo Kante’s injury
- The midfielder picked up a groin injury while on international duty with France
- France coach Didier Deschamps decided to keep Kante for the rest of the break
- Lampard confirmed on Friday that Kante will now miss clash with Newcastle
Frank Lampard has criticised Didier Deschamps and France’s medical team over their handling of N’Golo Kante.
Kante will miss Chelsea’s home game against Newcastle due to a groin problem and Lampard was clearly frustrated that his midfielder, who has also been dogged by knee, ankle and hamstring issues this season, was not sent home from international duty sooner.
Kante was ruled out of France’s first game after picking up the problem in the warm-up before their 1-0 win in Iceland.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has hit out at France boss Didier Deschamps on Friday
But he was not released to return to Chelsea until after their second game against Turkey, despite failing a fitness test the day before.
Lampard and Deschamps have been in frequent contact over their shared players and with striker Olivier Giroud starting just twice for Chelsea this season the France boss said: ‘Lampard asked me not to pick Kante at the last break.
‘If that’s still the way I’m going to call him later to tell him it would be nice if you play Olivier Giroud a little bit!’
Lampard was left frustrated after N’Golo Kante suffered a groin issue while away with France
Lampard said: ‘We didn’t get him [Kante] back until after the second game [Turkey] and he’s not fit for Saturday.
‘Before the international break, I know Didier Deschamps mentioned in jest a little bit about Olivier Giroud and that was obviously quite light-hearted and I get it, we all have our selection problems and he had his in the two games.
‘But the Kante one was not a laughing matter because we communicated before the last international break because he was injured so couldn’t go.
‘Let’s think what benefits the player, he didn’t go, we both agreed on that. That’s how things should work.
‘After the first game when he pulled out, he then had a fitness test the day before the second game, it was clear that he couldn’t play.
‘He then sat on the bench on the evening of the game, so that’s not communication, so it’s not such a laughing matter I suppose.
‘And it’s more for Kante himself because he’s not an inexperienced player, he’s been around the block, he’s won World Cups, he’s been a fantastic player. I think that probably could have been handled better for sure.
Deschamps decided to keep Kante with the squad rather than send him home to Chelsea
‘Our doctors were speaking and there were some times when things weren’t coming back to us when I would expect them to come back – that’s what I mean about communication.
‘Even though we joked about the communication from the time before, that was much better to deal with it, as opposed to not.
‘We got a player back a bit later. I understand when players are on international duty, they are their player as such but it was quite clear he wasn’t fit to play.
‘From our point of view we would have wanted him back to work on him but it’s been and gone and as with every international player I will try and have open lines of communication with every manager for both our sakes.
‘Kante, for instance, the first squad, nobody would have benefited from him going – me, him or France.
‘We have to think about the long-term and the care of the player as well so that’s sometimes a bit of a grey area.’