Didier Deschamps: Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe doubts 'irrational'
France boss Didier Deschamps has called criticism of Antoine Griezmann "irrational" and lent his support to Kylian Mbappe after the youngster's dip in form.
Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann has struck 16 times in La Liga this season, though eight of those goals have come in a flurry in his four most recent outings.
He has scored 19 goals in 49 appearances for France and is certain to be in Deschamps' squad on Thursday when the coach announces his selection for friendlies against Colombia and Russia later this month.
Deschamps told L'Equipe he retains total confidence in his key striker.
"If we call into question Antoine Griezmann ... it's irrational. It's possible that he could be less clinical, could score fewer goals, that can happen to him for different reasons. But Antoine is the leader of our attack, clearly."
Mbappe is another who Deschamps will pick for his country's upcoming games, despite the 19-year-old also going through a rough patch at Paris Saint-Germain.
In the absence of the suspended Edinson Cavani, Mbappe spearheaded the PSG attack in the 5-0 rout of Metz at the weekend, and found the net for the second time in as many league outings after scoring just once in his previous seven competitive games.
Mbappe himself admitted after the game "it's not the best period of my career," but Deschamps called for a little indulgence for a hugely promising young player who moved to PSG from Monaco in the second-biggest transfer of all time only last summer.
"He has completely changed galaxy. He's at a club where there are more demands. He's a young player now with different players, there is an understanding to find. He has had some tougher times, and he's going to have them again," Deschamps said.
"In spite of his potential, which is off the scale in terms of his age, it's normal. The important thing is to tell him, but he's sufficiently mature for that. There was a period when he put in less effort, but he put that right himself. He's still a player who is at the very highest level in terms of speed, and I don't just mean running, but also technique."
Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman