Allez Les Blues

A new look England side lost to Laurent Blanc’s France 1-2 at the Wembley last night.

Henderson of Sunderland and Andy Carroll of Newcastle made their debuts for the 3 lions. Lescott partnered Ferdinand in defense while Gibbs of Arsenal started at left back ahead of Ashley Cole. Jagielka started at right back in place of the injured Glen Johnson.

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France started brightly, keeping the possession very well and got a deserved lead through Karim Benzema. Samir Nasri and Florent Malouda were brilliant for Les Blues. Watching Nasri play last night confirmed that leaving him out of the French World Cup squad was a big blunder that Raymond Domenech made.

As for England, apart from Andy Carroll who was being a threat in the air and got on all the long balls thrown at him, and Andy Johnson, who impressed in the 2nd half after coming on as Walcott’s replacement, nobody played well. Henderson was lost in the midfield and it looked as if the England call has come too early for him while Gibbs also struggled. Walcott did not get into the game, Barry couldn’t control the midfield which he has done well for England in the past and Jagielka at right back was probably Capello’s worst decision.England were booed at halftime by Wembley.

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Although England started the 2nd half brightly but it was France who scored again through Mathieu Valbuena of Marseille 10 minutes into the second half. The closest England came was when Gerrard’s header hit the crossbar.Jay Bothroyd of Cardiff made his debut for England but couldn’t make an impact apart from making a record. He becomes the first player at a Welsh club to represent England. Peter Crouch restored some pride when he scored with his first touch after replacing Steven Gerrard who went off injured, his 22nd goal in 42 games for England. But it was too late for England as France held on for a 1-2 win.

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"France played very well in that first half, when we played without confidence and with fear."
"We missed a lot of passes and played the ball back, not forward. The only times we went forward were long balls to Carroll, which isn’t the style we like,"
said Capello.

French coach Laurent Blanc said: "We bossed the first half."

Skipper Ferdinand said : "Much to improve, I think. We didn’t really put on a good show for the fans.
"They voiced their opinions and you have to deal with that."
"When young lads come into the team, it’s great that the fans get behind them and they did.
"We have to realise that we had quite an inexperienced team out there.
"There were two debutants and one player with one of his first two or three caps thrown in there.
"They are really the only positives I really take out of the game.
"Andy Carroll — with what service he did get — I thought he did well.
"Henderson, it was a great experience for him to be out there and playing in front of 90,000 at Wembley and Kieran Gibbs I thought had a good game."
"We’ve got some young players that are in and around the squad and on the fringes.
"It’s down to the manager how he integrates them into the team.
"Hopefully we can get rid of all the injuries we’ve had over the last couple of months, get them fit and integrate the young lads with some experience in that side."


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