On Wednesday evening, the French team moves to Wembley to challenge the English selection. It is the opportunity for me to return on the future opponent of "Les Bleus".
England is THE homeground of football par excellence. The sport which is the most popular in the world today was born there in the XIXth century. The english clubs, more than centenarians for many of them, are known all over the world and enjoy a big popularity both in England and outside, thanks to the broadcasting, every week, of the First League in worldwide television broadcast. A championship considered as the best of the world, mainly thanks to four giants (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United) combined under the naming " Big Four " who accumulate since ten years the performances in European competitions with plethoric staff and the stars of the round ball.
A championship face in which the selection has a great deal of difficulty in existing.
Nevertheless, the national team of England is the world's oldest. The English federation of football (named "FA" for " Football Association ") is established in 1863 and the selection plays its first match in 1870, in front of her Scottish neighbor. It is nevertheless necessary to wait to see her becoming famous at the international level. Indeed, the english federation enters FIFA only in 1946 having refused to participate in its foundation. Her first participation in the World Cup date of 1950 with a catastrophic elimination from the first tour: a victory for two defeats among which one, historical, was granted in front of the modest squad of the United States. She alternates then the eliminations between the first tour and the quarterfinals.
1966 is the year of the only english coronation during an international competition. This year England organized the World cup and is triumph in finale against former FRG (4-2 a.p.) due to a purpose of Geoffrey Hurst in the extra time, about which we still do not know if it crossed or not the goal line.
Since, nothing or almost. The last big english performance goes back up in 1996 with a semi-final during the organized European championship at home, in shots on goal in front of Germany. It's worse in the World Cup since it is even necessary to go back up to the 1990 edition, in Italy, with an elimination in semi-final in front of FRG in shots on goal to find the track of a real English success.
Since, England goes from disappointment to disappointment, never crossing the quarterfinals. Worse, "The Three Lions" did not even succeed in qualifying themselves for the Euro 2008, a real cataclysm as far as at the same moment the english clubs were reigning over the continent. Indeed, some weeks before the final phase of the European championship, Manchester United and Chelsea were in confrontation in Moscow in finale of the Champions' League.
Measures were taken after this loud defeat and Fabio Capello arrived at the beginning of 2008 to try to restore his former sheen in the English selection. Experimented Italian trainer made a success partially of his mission by qualifying England for the World cup 2010 in the term of an attractive qualifying course (9 victories and 1 defeat) but was not able to prevent his team from sinking during the final phase. Having crossed just the first tour, the English squad collapsed in 1/8th finals in front of Germany (1-4) even if we should talk again and again about the goal inequitably refused to Frank Lampard while the Germans led only 2-1. An injustice which does not however have to hide the sad show proposed by the english selection during the competition and particularly during this match which will have highlighted the gaps of an ageing team.
Always with Capello as selector, England has henceforth for objective to qualify herself for the Euro 2012, what will be probably the last last-ditch struggle of a globally old team. At present the British selection clocks on the second place of her group with seven points, that is three less than the Montenegrin leader who counts however a match furthermore. Having been led easily in Switzerland (3-1 ) then in front of Bulgaria ( 4-0 ), England stumbled has place of residence on the iron defense of the selection of the Balkans, in front of which she granted a draw.
It is though difficult to explain the constant failures of this team by the weakness of its staff. Many english players are considered as being among the best, but it looks like they don't known how to evolve together under the national shirt, and play as a real team. It is certainly difficult for players who are stars in their club to sacrifice themselves for the selection. The Euro 2012 will be the last opportunity for this talented generation to fetch an international trophy. Indeed, in the start of the next edition of the European championship of nations, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand will be 34 years old, Steven Gerrard, John Terry and Ashley Cole will be 32-year-old, for example. It will be necessary then for a new generation to relieve, led by Wayne Rooney, still young ( 25 years) in spite of a big international experience.
The team thus seems complete on all plans and seems even to have found a goalkeeper in the person of Joe Hart. Distrust however, because in past Paul Robinson, Scott Carson, Robert Green even David James were presented as the solution for this post where the talents miss in England.
We must say that it is the very decimated English team which will appear in front of France. Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, John Terry and Ashley Cole are failed and in the absence of the executives, the young people (excellent in the lower categories of age) will be lucky. Among them, Micah Richard, Jack Wilshere, Adam Johnson and Andrew Caroll among others are presented as talents in power even if they again have to confirm. Some of them are not moreover holders in their respective clubs. But this trend to appeal to the young people also shows that players' reservoir of very high level is rather weak in England, except the holders. In cause: the short-term policy of many teams of the First En conclusion,League which often prefer to appeal to foreign players rather than to local youths.
In conclusion, we shall note that England dominates very widely the direct confrontations in front of France, with 23 English victories for 9 French victories and 5 draws. At Wembley, the English were 4 times winner for 1 draw and a single defeat, granted in 1999 ( 0-2 ) in front of Les Bleus as the world champions. This day, a young player had shown himself with one victorious doubled (and perhaps even a hat trick ???), certain... Nicolas Anelka.
Nevertheless, England did not win against France since 1997 in Montpelier during the Tournament of France. Since, France and England were in confrontation with four occasions for three French victories ( 1 ) and a draw ( 2 ).
(1) 2-0 in London in (friendly) 1999; 2-1 in Lisbon in 2004 (Euro 2004); 1-0 in Saint-Denis in (friendly) 2008
(2) 1-1 in Saint-Denis in (friendly) 2000
Signé Karim HAMEG,
New co-worker of pages Sports football of the BLOGaL