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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Les Bleus will host Fabio Capello's men at the Stade de France on Wednesday March 26, the day after an 'A' squad faces Mali in the capital.

Arsenal quartet Gael Clichy, William Gallas, Bacary Sagna, Mathieu Flamini are included alongside Chelsea trio Claude Makelele, Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda.

Manchester United duo Patrice Evra and Louis Saha are also named, with Lassana Diarra (Portsmouth) completing the English-based contingent.

Former Arsenal duo Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry, now at Inter Milan and Barcelona respectively, are also in the squad but there is no place for David Trezeguet.

The Juventus ace, the leading scorer in Serie A, refuses to take part in 'A' fixtures, a stance that means he is unlikely to play at Euro 2008.

Domenech has also called up four new players.

In-form Lyon midfielder Matthieu Bodmer, 25, and 23-year-old forward Mathieu Valbuena of Marseille have earned their first call-ups as have centre-backs Mathieu Delpierre of Stuttgart, 26, and 22-year-old Adil Rami of Lille.

"I wanted to broaden the squad," said Domenech.

"I wanted to have the maximum number of players to keep my options open and to cover potential injuries that may occur.

"There are a couple of minor injuries so this is a preventative measure. So if somebody calls up on Sunday and says they can't play, it is not a problem.

"Everybody who needs to be on the list is on it. There are no surprises."

On Trezeguet, Domenech said: "It is the same as last time. I talked to him, listened to him, and I know him well. There is no point kicking up a fuss.

"If we need him, it's possible I will call him. That's possible, and I'm not closing the door on him."

The match against England is dominating the thoughts of Domenech, who has previously spoken out against the decision to appoint Italian Capello as manager.

Domenech commented about the same issue again on Thursday, saying: "Let me repeat, I never criticised Capello.

"I know him - he's an excellent coach and a nice guy.

"I never doubted his abilities as a coach. It is just on a personal note, I see it happening in England and I fear it could happen in France.

"I hope France never hire a foreign coach.

"But Capello is doing excellent work. I noticed in his first match (against Switzerland) that England's team work has improved.

"It will be a tough match for us, against their Italian-style organisation."

David Beckham has been included in the England squad to face France in a friendly next week - and will be hoping to win his 100th cap in Paris.

Beckham, who plays for LA Galaxy, was included in Fabio Capello's provisional 30-man squad on Thursday.

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott and Middlesbrough's central defender David Wheater have also been called up.

Portsmouth striker Jermain Defoe has also been included while Chelsea pair John Terry and Frank Lampard, who missed Capello's first game in charge due to injury, are also there.

Those named in Capello's first 30-man squad in January who miss out this time are Micah Richards and Curtis Davies, both injured, as well as Ledley King, Nicky Shorey, Michael Carrick and Emile Heskey.

Capello has not named his captain against France - he has said he wants to try different players before deciding on a permanent choice.

Steven Gerrard wore the armband against Switzerland last month and Terry or Rio Ferdinand are the favourites for this game.

Los Angeles Galaxy president and general manager Alexi Lalas insisted Beckham is fit and "ready to go".

"He's a great player and I think he would help any national team in the world," said Lalas. "At the Galaxy we are so proud having any of our players called up, especially David because it could be his 100th cap."

As for Beckham's fitness, former USA international Lalas said on Sky Sports News: "I'm telling you right now, you are getting a player who is healthy, fit, motivated and ready to help England. He's ready to go."

Walcott, meanwhile, said on his club's website: "I celebrated my 19th birthday on Sunday, so the call-up is a great birthday present for me.

"I'm looking forward to meeting up with all of the lads after the weekend's game."

France Squad:

Goalkeepers: Coupet (Lyon), Frey (Fiorentina), Landreau (Paris St Germain), Mandanda (Marseille).

Defenders: Abidal (Barcelona), Boumsong (Lyon), Clerc (Lyon), Clichy (Arsenal), Delpierre (Stuttgart), Escude (Sevilla), Evra (Manchester United), Gallas (Arsenal), Givet (Marseille), Mexes (Roma), Rami (Lille), Sagna (Arsenal), Squillaci (Lyon), Thuram (Barcelona).

Midfielders: Bodmer (Lyon), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Lassana Diarra (Portsmouth), Flamini (Arsenal), Makelele (Chelsea), Mavuba (Lille), Nasri (Marseille), Rothen (Paris St Germain), Toulalan (Lyon), Vieira (Inter Milan).

Strikers: Anelka (Chelsea), Ben-Arfa (Lyon), Benzema (Lyon), Briand (Rennes), Cisse (Marseille), Govou (Lyon), Henry (Barcelona), Malouda (Chelsea), Ribery (Bayern Munich), Saha (Manchester United), Valbuena (Marseille).

England's Squad:

Goalkeepers: David James (Portsmouth), Scott Carson (Aston Villa), Chris Kirkland (Wigan).

Defenders: Wayne Bridge (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), David Wheater (Middlesbrough), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), John Terry (Chelsea), Wes Brown (Manchester United), Joleon Lescott (Everton), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Jonathan Woodgate (Tottenham).

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham), Owen Hargreaves (Manchester United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), David Bentley (Blackburn), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Chelsea).

Forwards: Michael Owen (Newcastle), Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Peter Crouch (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth).

1,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Barry: Hargreaves And I Can Co-Operate

Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry feels that he and Manchester United man Owen Hargreaves are different enough in style to be able to offer Fabio Capello's England something good together...

Barry revealed that he and Hargreaves had been able to co-operate together before, and that they can do so again.

The 27-year-old told The Daily Mail, "I've been in a few under-21 squads with Owen years back and this year when he's been in the England squad.

"You get compared to any player who plays in your certain position.

"I don't think we are similar players. We play in the same sort of position - or that's where the England manager sees us - but we can both do different jobs and I'm sure we can play together too."


Although Barry debuted for the Three Lions almost a decade ago, he admitted that the experience of playing under a new manager unnerved him.

But the Aston Villa captain added that the experience of facing Switzerland under new boss Fabio Capello helped to settle his nerves.

He said, "The last time around I was pretty nervous with it being a new manager because they always have different ideas from a previous regime.

"But once you're in, it settles you down and I was pretty confident I would get back in this squad.

"At the same time you can never rest on your laurels and you should never presume it's going to happen."


With media attention turning towards Beckham's 010th cap, he added, "A lot of the headlines building up to the game will be about David Beckham but on certain occasions like this, Beckham winning his 100th cap deserves the headlines.

"It's not often that a player achieves something like that and anyone being a part of it will be proud to be there when he gets to the milestone.

"Captaincy? There's been a lot of speculation and the manager may want to try a few different captains. I'm not really that bothered about it.

"You can name so many players who are candidates or who have got a possibility. I'm not going to choose anyone.

"A number of the squad are captains at their club and who do the job well so it would be unfair to just single one out.

"There are also players in there that have captained their country before.

"I've not thought about it at all really. I'm sure anyone who turns down an England captaincy would be foolish."

1,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Rooney And Lampard May Miss England Game

England boss Fabio Capello may have to do without both Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard for Wednesday's friendly in France as the after effects of Sunday's big four clashes emerge.

Manchester United striker Rooney will have a scan on his knee today after he picked up a knock during Sunday's 3-0 win over Liverpool.

Doctors at Old Trafford seem to think the injury will keep him out of the midweek friendly in Paris.

"Rooney has a problem and was limping at the end," commented United boss Sir Alex Ferguson after yesterday's game. "We will have a look at it, but we don't want to make any decisions at this stage."

Lampard's Hip And Miss

Meanwhile Frank Lampard has admitted his chances don't look good after damaging his hip during the 2-1 win over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

"I got a knock on my hip in the first half and it was pretty painful all the way through," said the midfielder. "I'm going to report with England and I just hope it's okay."

Lampard missed Capello's first game in charge with a thigh injury.

Keeper Change

Elsewhere, Capello has had to make further alterations to his squad, calling up West Ham's Robert Green to replace the injured Chris Kirkland.

1,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Ferdinand Made Captain For France Friendly


Fabio Capello has announced that Rio Ferdinand will captain the England team in the friendly international against France on Wednesday evening.

The Manchester United defender has been give the responsibility of skippering the Three Lions in Paris after a heated debate in the media about who would be given the armband.

Ferdinand was a doubt for the fixture with a back injury, but having played in the Red Devils' win against Liverpool has now been given the green light to play for England.

John Terry, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham and Michael Owen were all in the frame to be named as captain as Capello continues to give different players the chance to prove themselves as leaders in the friendly games.

“Fabio Capello has confirmed that Rio Ferdinand will captain England against France tomorrow night in Paris," a statement from the Football Association said.

“Capello has confirmed this continues his policy of rotating the captaincy between players in the friendly matches before confirming a permanent captain for the World Cup qualifying games.”

1,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Ribery Ruins Beckham's Century

France 1-0 England

A first half penalty won by Nicolas Anelka and converted by Franck Ribery was enough for France to pip England in an uninspiring affair at the Stade de France in Paris - on an evening to forget for skipper Rio Ferdinand and centurion David Beckham.

A low-key first half with few chances for either side was finally brought to life just after the half-hour mark when Nicolas Anelka won a penalty after being brought down by England goalkeeper David James.

A great through pass by Clerc saw Anelka race past his club captain John Terry and slip the ball past David James who was too slow to react and brought the striker down leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot. Ribery then stepped up to send James the wrong way and put France into a 1-0 lead.

Despite going a goal behind England failed to respond and went into the break at half time trailing. Although they had their fair share of possession the away side struggled to create any clear cut chances with Joe Cole, Gerrard and Rooney all failing to trouble a well-organised French defence.

France, in contrast, were looking dangerous on the flanks with the pace of Malouda and Ribery worrying England full-backs Ashley Cole and Wes Brown and a lively Anelka proving a handful for Ferdinand and Terry.

Capello shuffled his pack at half-time with Rooney, Gerrard, Terry and Joe Cole being replaced by Owen, Crouch, Downing and Lescott to give England some much needed bite up front and some extra width in midfield. However it was France who made the better start to the second half with Anelka and Malouda both going close.

The home side grew into the game in the second half, dominating possession and trying to slide passes through the England defence for Anelka. England in contrast were looking sloppy with Crouch and Owen struggling to make their mark on the game and Downing proving wasteful in possession.

David Bentley eventually replaced Beckham just after the half hour mark and it will be interesting to see whether the LA Galaxy man did enough to persuade Capello that he merits his place in the side. Fortunately for the former England captain Bentley had little opportunity in his half hour to suggest he could be a better option.

The second half finally dwindled to a close, the home side dominating possession and England struggling to assert themselves or fashion any chances. Domenech replaced Anelka and Trezeguet with Cisse and Govou, but the substitutions did little to change the pattern of the match which remained largely with the home side forcing the English back but with both goalkeepers having little to do.

For England the night was always going to be overshadowed by David Beckham earning his 100th cap for his country. In truth Beckham had a quiet, if unspectacular game, picking up a yellow card in the first half before being replaced just after the hour mark by Bentley.

Yet Beckham's performance largely reflected that of the whole team; England were a little disappointing and lacked penetration and creativity, particularly in the final third. Although Capello will not be too disheartened by the performance he will be aware that there he has a lot of work to do, especially against opposition of the quality of France.

Meanwhile France, who despite missing Henry, Vieira and Benzema still fielded a strong side will be extremely happy with this result in the run up to Euro 2008. Ribery and Malouda did enough out wide to suggest they will cause problems in the summer and Anelka looked lively up front.

Trezeguet, in contrast, had a quiet game and did little to improve his chances of making the squad this summer. Despite being drawn in the so-called ‘Group of Death' the French will expect to go far this summer. England can only look on enviously.

France: Coupet, Clerc, Gallas, Thuram, Abidal, Ribéry, Makelele, Toulalan, Malouda, Trezeguet (Govou 64), Anelka (Cisse 80)

England: James, Brown (Johnson 64), Ferdinand, Terry (Lescott 46), A Cole, Beckham (Bentley 64) , Hargreaves, Barry, J Cole (Downing 46), Gerrard (Crouch 46), Rooney (Owen 46)

1,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Player Ratings: France 1-0 England


Coupet: 6.0 - Rarely troubled. Dealt with crosses quite well when needed.

Clerc: 7.0 - Was never out of position and distributed well. Played a magnificent through ball for Anelka's penalty run.

Abidal: 6.5 - Defensively solid against a paltry attack, got forward in support throughout the match.

Gallas: 6.5 - Did not have much to content with all night. Rooney posed no problems in the first half while he Crouch was uncomfortable under aerial pressure.

Thuram: 6.0 - Used all his experience to provide an adequate shield for his defensive colleagues. Was never under any immediate danger.

Toulalan: 8.0 - One of the home side's best performers. He was metronomic in central midfield and seems to be learning an infinite amount from Makelele. Looks to be an immense prospect for club and country.

Makelele: 7.0 - Used this occasion as an exercise in tutelage to Toulalan. Rarely missed a tackle and was always an outlet. Provided accurate pass after accurate pass.

Ribery: 8.0 - Ran much of France's attacking play. Lively in possession and never shirked responsibility. Coolly taken penalty.

Malouda: 7.0 - Looks a different player for France than Chelsea. Seemed at ease in his surroundings and was always willing to provide an attacking option.

Anelka: 8.5 - Such a threat. Constantly harassing his opponents and looked to be the only genuine French goal threat throughout. Made clever runs, mazy dribbles and provided outlets all evening. Man of the Match.

Trezeguet: 5.0 - Struggled. Barely had a touch of the ball in a game he would regard as a missed chance to impress.


Govou: 6.5 - Struggled to make an impact in a limited amount of time.

Cisse: 7.0 - Looked eager to make an impression and caused fleeting problems for England on the break.


James: 6.0 - Slow off the mark on a couple of occasions, including his up-ending of Anelka for the penalty. As usual, a reliable shot stopper.

Brown: 6.5 - Looked a little jittery at times but was generally solid in a position that he does not favour.

A Cole: 6.0 - Would like to have contributed more in attack, struggled to contain Ribery.

Ferdinand: 6.5 - Made no mistakes in his debut as captain. A solid individual performance, but not a game he will remember the way he would have wanted to.

Terry: 5.5 - Blind-sided by Clerc's clever pass - which also exposed his lack of pace - but otherwise had a decent game.

Hargreaves: 6.0 - Did not provide the kind of shield that Capello requires. In possession however, he was consistent.

Barry: 6.5 - Lots of energy and enthusiasm from the Aston Villa captain. Used the ball well.

Beckham: 5.0 - Looked unfit as he struggled to adjust to the pace of the game. Reluctant to play simple passes.

J Cole: 6.0 - A quiet game from a fantastic player. Showed only glimpses of his vision and passing.

Gerrard: 5.0 - Anonymous. Made no meaningful contribution apart from two mistimed first half headers.

Rooney: 6.0 - Struggled because his team-mates failed to involve him adequately. Eager to win possession and distribute, unfortunately for England, this was more often than not in the wrong areas.


Crouch: 6.5 - Made the ball stick when play involved him and was willing to shoot from distance.

Owen: 4.5 - Hard to recall a significant contribution.

Lescott: 6.0 - Coped well alongside Ferdinand, did not have an opportunity to make a mistake or a telling contribution.

Downing: 6.5 - A good option for Capello to have. Provided natural width on the left; crossing was occasionally wayward.

Bentley: 6.5 - Showed some nice touches and vision but did not have a chance to influence the game.
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