France axe frustrates Clichy

Arsenal defender hints at a hierachy within the France squad

Clichy: Left out

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Gael Clichy has revealed he knew it was only a matter of time before he was replaced by Patrice Evra in the national team.

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Evra was suspended by the French Football Federation following his role in the bust-up between players and officials in last summer's World Cup.

During his absence, the Arsenal player was selected for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Luxembourg in October.

However, he found himself unceremoniously dumped from the squad for the corresponding fixture last Friday, as coach Laurent Blanc recalled the Manchester United defender.

Usurped

And Clichy admitted he knew it was just a matter of time before Evra usurped him in the Les Bleus starting XI.

"It's difficult to accept but it's part of the game," he told L'Equipe.

"Even if there is no hierarchy, I know it's there. I'm not going to lie to you: it's disappointing, it is no fun, but I knew it was possible. I was prepared."

Franck Ribery has also been out of the team following his part in the debacle in South Africa.

Paris

The Bayern Munich playmaker made his return to the France team against Luxembourg, but on Tuesday he will run out in front of his countrymen in Paris for the first time since returning to the team.

"I think there will be whistles but with 80,000 spectators there it will still be a special occasion," said Ribery.

"We will see what happens but I will accept whatever comes my way and move on."

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