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England (and even Newcastle now!) Expects

10 years ago

So Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa’s Euros odyssey is at an end, France exiting with barely a whimper.

Cabaye was one of the few French players who enhanced their reputation at these championships, along with his mate and Newcastle target, Mathieu Debuchy.

It was ironic from an NUFC perspective that Laurent Blanc played Debuchy pushed forward into Ben Arfa’s position as he went for a formation to hopefully stifle Spain and in particular, Iniesta who operates on that side.

Having said that, watching the French right-back at this tournament, it is clear he is very much the modern day attacking full-back and if Newcastle are in serious pursuit of him, it would be hard to imagine him combining with Ben Arfa unless you added defensively in the rest of the team to compensate.

So having now departed along with Tim Krul, it means I have no divided loyalties in advance of tonight’s England match.

All credit to Roy Hodgson who has got on and done a remarkable job with relatively limited resources, very much in the style of Alan Pardew at Newcastle United.

At the same time he has stuck two fingers up to the press who weren’t prepared to even give him one match before writing him off, just because their mate ‘Arry (“I’ll give you a quote about anything me old china”) Redknapp wasn’t considered.

It was class to see Hodgson switch seamlessly to answer a question in Italian at a press conference, yet the media were desperate for their mate to get it who had admitted/claimed he couldn’t even read and write. You couldn’t make it up!

Over recent years I’ve found it increasingly difficult to feel any affinity for the national team, Fabio Capello not able to find his way to the north east in four years(!) and a seemingly ever growing band of players who you wouldn’t give house room to.

With Hodgson I’m now feeling right behind him and his team as even the likes of John Terry and Ashley Cole are just keeping their heads down and playing football, just a shame the team is full of average players!

To add to my patriotism I’ll be putting my money where my big mouth is and taking advantage of a brilliant offer from bet365 on tonight’s match, a fantastic free bet to add to the occasion. Place a pre-match bet on the game and they will give you a free In-Play bet to the same stake. Their Euro 2012 Bore Draw Money Back offer also applies throughout the tournament – so you can be sure bet365 is the best place for all your Soccer betting.



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