Euro 2012: Blanc vows to make experience count against England

France manager Laurent Blanc believes he has the edge over England boss Roy Hodgson in terms of experience in his role

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
laurent blanc
Laurent Blanc takes charge of France at his first tournament Photo: Valentin Trijoulet

laurent blanc

Laurent Blanc believes Roy Hodgson’s inexperience as England manager provides France with an edge ahead of their Euro 2012 Group D opener on Monday.

Blanc was named as Raymond Domenech’s successor after the World Cup in 2010, and the former Manchester United defender has masterminded France’s revival, with his side unbeaten in 21 games.

Blanc’s counterpart Hodgson, meanwhile, only replaced Fabio Capello in May, leaving the 64-year-old with under a month to prepare his England squad for the European championship.

“I’ve done this job for two years and Mr Hodgson knows it a lot less than me,” said Blanc.

“It’s difficult to put your ideas across to your players. You don’t have a lot of time to work with them and he’s had far less than me.

“There’ll be two very different footballing philosophies on show.”

The 46-year-old France manager also insisted his side will not be affected by England’s likely defensive approach to Monday’s game, saying Les Bleus will still be able to implement their own game plan.

“If we play the English way then it will be a 0-0 and we might get a goal from a set-piece,” he added.

“We’ll play our own game but I hope the side that plays more football wins.”

France v England: Pre-match facts

• England came through their eight qualifying games – five wins and three draws – unbeaten. Their last competitive defeat was a 4-1 reverse against Germany in the 2010 World Cup round of 16 on 27 June 2010, their all-time heaviest loss at a major tournament.

• Sven-Goran Eriksson’s team came unstuck in the closing stages of their Euro 2004 opener; with England 1-0 up, David Beckham had a penalty saved by Fabien Barthez and they then conceded two Zinédine Zidane goals in added time.

• France have six players with previous European championship experience, all from 2008: Steve Mandanda, Malouda, Karim Benzema, Samir Nasri, Patrice Evra and Franck Ribéry.

• Ashley Cole has gone a record 94 outfield appearances without an England goal. Gary Neville, a member of the coaching staff at Euro 2012, set the previous mark of 85.

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