France coach Didier Deschamps says he was surprised at recent criticism aimed at him by Laurent Koscielny but accepts he could have made more effort to stay in touch with the player during his ongoing injury lay-off.
A torn Achilles, sustained at the tail-end of last season, forced the Arsenal captain to watch from the sidelines as his compatriots won the World Cup.
Announcing his retirement from international football last weekend, the 33-year-old admitted events in Russia were hard to swallow while also hinting that he could have been offered more support by some of those within the France camp.
“I was surprised, as were the entire staff,” Deschamps said on Monday. “We’re talking about a player who was hurt in his professional life.
“The World Cup was an end-of-career goal for him, but he could not be there. This is a very serious disappointment, it leaves a lot of unfinished business.
“For my part, I called him after his injury, even discussed his choice of surgeon with him, I invited him to come during the [World Cup] preparation if he wished. I made sure that he could come to the final in the presidential plane.
“I got back to him in September for his birthday, I had a brief chat with him yesterday on the phone. It is true that I had not [spoken with him] in the last 15 days or a month or so. I could have done more.
“It will not change what I think of Lolo [Koscielny] as a player and as a man. He is someone who has good values.”
Koscielny is expected to return to first team action at the Emirates in November.