MX23RW : Tuesday, November 24 03:32:30| >> :120:12195:12195:

Chelsea criticises France over handling of N'Golo Kante

Chelsea criticises France over handling of N'Golo Kante
© Reuters
The midfielder was injured in the warm-up to France's game against Iceland.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has criticised France for their handling of injured midfielder N'Golo Kante during the international break, describing the situation as "not a laughing matter".

Kante, who will be sidelined for Saturday's Premier League clash with Newcastle, joined Didier Deschamps' national squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey.

The 28-year-old withdrew in the warm-up for the game in Reykjavik last Friday because of a groin issue and sat on the bench in Paris three days later despite failing a fitness test.

Frank Lampard's side face Newcastle this weekend
Frank Lampard's side face Newcastle this weekend (Nick Potts/PA).

Lampard was unhappy with a lack of communication from France and feels the player should have been allowed an early return to west London for treatment.

"N'Golo's not fit, he had a small groin issue in the warm-up to the first international game for France," said Lampard ahead of the game against the Magpies.

"We didn't get him back until after the second game and he's not fit for Saturday.

"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.

"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."

Kante, who has been blighted by a series of different injuries in 2019, previously missed qualifiers against Andorra and Albania in September due to an ankle problem, a decision his club and national managers spoke about and agreed on.

France coach Deschamps used the build-up to the latest matches to have a light-hearted dig at Chelsea and Lampard regarding Olivier Giroud's lack of action at Stamford Bridge.

Olivier Giroud has struggled for game time under Frank Lampard
Olivier Giroud has struggled for game time under Frank Lampard (Nick Potts/PA).

While Lampard was happy to brush off those comments, he feels the Kante situation is far more serious.

"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," said Lampard.

"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.

Frank Lampard was not impressed with the lack of communication from France manager Didier Deschamps
Frank Lampard was not impressed with the lack of communication from France manager Didier Deschamps (Adam Davy/PA).

"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.

"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.

"We have to think about the long term and the care of the player as well, so that's some times a bit of a grey area."

In a further injury blow, Lampard expects to be without centre-back Andreas Christensen for around a fortnight with a hamstring issue sustained playing for Denmark.

However, the 41-year-old was more positive about the fitness of midfielders Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley and defender Antonio Rudiger.

"Kovacic had a knock on his thigh but has trained the last couple of days, so is in contention. Ross is fine," said Lampard.

"Rudiger is training outside with the physios, which is a progression for him.

"He has had a tough injury, stop-start, which has been tough for everybody.

"But he is outside, which is positive. A bit of work for him to be done for match fitness but it is positive for us that he is outside."

ID:375409:cQx

Click here for more stories about Frank Lampard

Click here for more stories about Chelsea

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
France boss Didier Deschamps pictured on October 10, 2019
Read Next:
Didier Deschamps not after "revenge" against Turkey
>
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Champions League
Championship
Scottish Premiership
League One
League Two
National League
National League North
National League South
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Belgian Pro League
Norwegian Eliteserien
NIFL Premiership
Segunda Division
Ligue 2
Eerste Divisie
Copa Libertadores
Copa Sudamericana
Major League Soccer
Argentine Primera Division
Copa de la Liga Profesional
AFC Champions League
NFL
1.15am
Rams
@
Buccaneers
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Tottenham HotspurSpurs96212191220
2Liverpool96212116520
3Chelsea953122101218
4Leicester CityLeicester96031812618
5Southampton95221713417
6Everton95131916316
7Aston Villa85031911815
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham94231510514
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves9423910-114
10Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
11Crystal Palace94141213-113
12Arsenal9414910-113
13Manchester CityMan City83321011-112
14Leeds UnitedLeeds93241417-311
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle93241015-511
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton92341315-29
17Burnley8125412-85
18Fulham9117918-94
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom9036618-123
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd9018415-111

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!