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Didier Deschamps Hits Back At Arsene Wenger Over Abou Diaby Row

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Deschamps and Wenger in 2011, when the former was Marseille manager | Getty

Didider Deschamps has responded to Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger's suggestion it was a 'mistake' of the France coach to play the injury-prone Abou Diaby last month.

Diaby completed 90 minutes for France and scored the only goal in their win at Finland in a World Cup qualifier last month, however the Frenchman was withdrawn in the first half of Arsenal's Premier Legue loss at home to Chelsea at the weekend.

And Deschamps slapped down his compatriot's remarks about the 26-year-old's involvement with the national team.

“I want to remind him that I am the only one to decide who will be picked and how long those who are picked will play. There is only one to decide and it’s me,” the former Marseille manager said.

Diaby, out for three weeks, will now miss France’s friendly with Japan and a daunting World Cup qualifier with Spain later this month.

Wenger commented this week: “I said many times that if France wanted Diaby in Spain they should not take him for Finland and Belarus.”

The Arsenal match has often criticised national team coaches' use of his players, most notably when Robin van Persie injured a thigh in a friendly between Holland and Italy in November 2009 and was sidelined for five months.

Diaby made just five appearances for the Gunners last season with all of them coming via the substitues' bench.

A £2m signing from Auxerre in 2006, despite displaying great promise in centre midfield, Diaby has been restricted to 171 matches in an Arsenal shirt.

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