Not the biggest England fan but I certainly don’t usually want them to get beat, though at the same I’ve been really looking forward to seeing Cabaye in action and especially Ben Arfa, if given the chance.
A draw was almost certainly the ideal outcome and though Ukraine put three points on the board later, England and France can only blame themselves if they fail to finish ahead of Sweden and the host country.
As for the actual ninety minutes, I thought Roy Hodgson did the best with what he had and putting a bit of pace in the team with the likes of Young, Welbeck and Oxlade-Chamberlain at least gave France something to think about the odd time England got forward.
Overall though France dominated and their midfield including the likes of Cabaye, Malouda and Nasri outplayed & outpassed plodders such as Milner, Gerrard and Parker….just as well Lampard and Barry weren’t there as well!
I thought Cabaye had a decent 7 out of 10 game, with his passing ok and a few decent shots, though England weren’t impressed with a few of his challenges.
Amusing/ironic that it was he making way for Ben Arfa who had less than ten minutes to impress, you could see he was keen but by then England had just about every single player camped in and around their box with space at a premium.
It’s funny that when you come across ex-Newcastle players you can experience such different emotions; back in the day the instant I ever saw the likes of Beardsley or Gazza in a different strip it was like a dagger in the heart. Similarly, I could never get used to seeing players such as Nobby Solano or Shay Given playing for somebody else and still can’t, it just feels wrong.
However, at the other end of the spectrum, when I see players such as Scott Parker and James Milner, it takes a few seconds and then I mentally tell myself ‘oh yes, he used to play for us’.