England owed a big debt to France in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Yohan Cabaye – in action against Iceland
England were very poor in that tournament, but at least our lads didn’t revolt against the coach and embarrass themselves, which is exactly what happened to the French side.
The French revolution – so to speak – in South Africa, took a little bit of the media pressure off England, and Italy also had a very poor tournament two years ago.
France picked up only one point in their group, and Nicolas Anelka was sent home after an argument with the French manager Raymond Domenech, and then Manchester United left-back and captain Patrice Evra, in his wisdom, led a revolt of the players by refusing to train – and it was simply pandemonium.
Laurent Blanc was appointed soon after that tournament ended, and the 46 year-old former French International and Manchester United player, has restored team spirit and unity in the French camp.
Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye has praised his manager today in a BBC interview for what he has done, and the Newcastle midfielder looks forward to the game against England on Monday evening:
“He made us forget the last World Cup, which was a complete failure.” “You can see the change on the pitch,” “We have been winning matches and qualified directly for the Euros.”
“Now the greater challenge is to perform well during the competition and to go as far as possible. It is important to do ourselves justice and be positive.”
“When we beat England at Wembley in 2010 we were missing some players. But we won so we have a small psychological advantage.” “However, it was only a friendly. “
“This is going to be a competitive game, so it is different. It is the first match and it is going to be very important.” “I hope we are going to play well and beat them, but I don’t know if we are better than them.”
France beat Estonia 4-0 in Le Mans last night, in their final preparation game for the Euro 2012 Championships, and they have now gone 22 games without a defeat.
And as we have seen at Newcastle, the French are very good technical players, and so well grounded in the fundamentals of football.
But there are always two ways of looking at a good streak like the French have put together.
They are in form and will continue the streak and beat England, or else it’s a good time to play them, simply because they haven’t been beaten in 22 games – and they are due a defeat.
It wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if England managed to get a decent result on Monday night and even a win, but it will not be easy against this skillful France side.
What do you think?