Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Kids Are Alright

... but nothing special. I nipped down to White Hart Lane last night to see England U21 play their French counterparts, just for a change. Mainly because it was only £10, quite a novelty to see Premiership players for that money. Once I was used to the strange sensation of being at White Hart Lane and wanting the home team to win, I quite enjoyed it. Quelle surprise, the French team were much better technically, while the English had the edge physically. After an uneventful first half, Les Bleus took a deserved lead through ex-Liverpool forward Antony Le Tallec. England then huffed and puffed a bit harder, Bent had a header cleared off the line after chasing a long punt, and then skied a volley from 8 yards out when he "should have done better" in punditspeak, that is a Premiership striker should have scored. Dean Ashton came on with 10 minutes left (although a player with such a large bald spot should surely be ineligible for an under 21 team on principle) and his scuffed shot was turned in by Darren Ambrose, who for my money probably was England's best player on the night.

I also quite liked Huddlestone and Taylor at right back ; Whittingham looked out of his depth against a very skilful right winger though, and Richardson plays too much with his head down for a central midfielder. The rest I have to say were much of a muchness. On the French side, they had an extraordinarily quick and skilful forward who looked exactly like Gary Neville would look if he was French. You'll know him straight away if you see him. I would expect France to win the second leg if you fancy a bet. All in all a nice change from League Two, much as I enjoy a day out at Underhill.

17/11 Update : The "French Gary Neville" I mentioned, his name is Frank Ribery and according to the Daily Mail (I know but anyway) Tottenham are lining up a £1m bid, or "swoop" as the tabloids say. I'll tell you now, this guy would be a hell of a bargain for £1m, he's a top player already, and only 20 years old.


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