AVB concedes the decision earlier this season did frustrate the France captain.< p> He told France Football: "It was a difficult situation. I want to select him on merit, based on performance. When Hugo was transferred, he was to embody the future of Tottenham. His qualities have never been questioned, but Brad (Friedel) was very good at that time.
"Hugo was transferred Friday. The next day, Brad played an incredible match against Norwich, where he saved us from a defeat at home.
"I couldn't drop him. That does not mean we doubted the qualities of Hugo, but I wanted him to play on merit, not reputation.
"It was difficult for him. He is a renowned player, respected, who has a reputation. He is the best French goalkeeper. But I think the expectations of the French press for their international players are enormous and disproportionate to other countries."