With France needing only a point to qualify last night against Sweden, Laurent Blanc took the opportunity to rest some key players, and give others in the squad a run out.
France missed Yohan Cabaye big time last night
And what happened is the Blanc rested his key central midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who had picked up a slight thigh strain against the Ukraine, and Laurent also gave Newcastle’s other player in the French squad, Ben Arfa, a start.
And given that the Swedish squad would be taking the plane after the game back to their homeland, because they has already been eliminated from the tournament, you have to give the Swedish players and coaches a lot of credit for the way they played last night, as though their lives depended on winning the game.
And of course that’s exactly what they did last night, against an off-key French side, who continued to miss the chances that were presented to them.
There’s no doubt that when France take on reigning Champions Spain, they will have Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye back in the starting eleven, and running the midfield for them.
And we think France has a better chance of success against Spain than people think, especially after significantly lowering expectations because of their loss to Sweden.
Sweden did themselves and their fans proud last night by their excellent performance, and France may do the same thing on Saturday night, and hand Spain their first competitive loss in a tournament since back in 2006 in Germany in the World Cup.
And since there’s no games today for the first time in 13 days, and an off day before the quarter finals start tomorrow for four days on the trot, I’ll have to find something to keep me busy today.
I guess I could watch Newcastle hammering Manchester United 3-0 in January at St. James’ Park.
Yes, that will be an excellent choice. 😀