After two months largely spent swatting away questions concerning player behaviour, new France coach Didier Deschamps confronts his first competitive game as coach when Les Bleus face Finland on Friday evening (Saturday morning AEST).
France has been drawn in five-team Group I in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers along with reigning world and European champion Spain, Georgia, Belarus and the Finns and, with only one automatic qualification place available for the finals in Brazil, Deschamps has enough to worry about with matters on the field.
But, since replacing Laurent Blanc after France's lame quarter-final exit to Spain at EURO 2012, Deschamps has had to deal with wounds that have been open since the World Cup in 2010.
From the decision to boycott training at the Knysna base in South Africa to the disciplinary problems surrounding Samir Nasri, Jeremy Menez, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yann M'Vila in Ukraine, it has been one thing after another.
Nasri serves the second of a three-game ban handed down for a spat with a journalist after the quarter-final defeat to Spain, while Ben Arfa and M'Vila were handed warnings for their behaviour and have not yet been picked by Deschamps.
However, Menez returns after a one-match ban for an argument with captain Hugo Lloris and insulting the referee in that defeat to Spain.
But the coach refuted suggestions that damage could be done to squad morale by recalling the Paris Saint-Germain winger.
"I'm not there to say: 'You can't do this, you can't do that.' These are not little boys, I am not some nursery school teacher," he said.
"I am there to accompany the players and put them at ease so they can express themselves on the pitch.
"Image and attitude are important for a top-level player who is in the public eye, but you are better off having players who are good on the pitch."
Deschamps' first match was a goalless friendly draw at home to Uruguay last month that ended with a chorus of boos from the crowd in Le Havre.
There may be less pressure in Helsinki when it faces a Finland team still looking for a first-ever major tournament qualification.
But the reality is that any slip-up in Group I could prove fatal, so the man who lifted the World Cup on home soil in 1998 needs to find a winning blend straight away.
He has two major concerns - namely Karim Benzema's possible lack of confidence after a disappointing EURO 2012 in which he failed to score, and who to pair together in central defence, with Adil Rami and Laurent Koscielny likely to get the nod.
Currently ranked a lowly 96th in the world, Finland is coached by former Strasbourg striker Mixu Paatelainen.
Despite its status, it can call on numerous players plying their trade in major European leagues, including brothers Alexei and Roman Eremenko, of Rubin Kazan in Russia, and Schalke striker Teemu Pukki.
But it would be a major surprise if it managed to take anything from Deschamps' men.
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho remained non-committal about where he will be next term after his side lost 2-1 in the Copa del Rey final against local rival Atletico Madrid to round off the "worst season" of his life.