I’m currently out in Poland for the Euros, but I’ll be keeping a diary to keep you bang up to speed with the inside track at the tournament.
Draw the right result
England did what we all expected against France – they sat back, defended well and were well organised.
But let’s forget about the manner in which we played – England had to find a way to get a result, and they did that.
It wasn’t a vintage performance or one full of attacking flair but England certainly did enough to deserve a draw.
People will argue that England only had three chances, and just one on target, but one of those off target was the James Milner chance, when let’s be honest, he should have scored as it was a glorious opportunity.
For all the shots that the French had, apart from that one save that Joe Hart produced from the Diarra header, everything else was outside the box so they were pretty routine for him.
Yes we did concede the majority of possession, but that was expected.
I genuinely think it was a decent start – and hopefully something to build on.”
French more disappointed
If you ask who is the most disappointed this morning, I’d have to say it’s the French. I know it’s disappointing when you go 1-0 up and don’t win the game – but they didn’t create many clear-cut chances apart from that header.
There were too many shots from outside the box and Karim Benzema didn’t really get behind anybody.
I was a little bit disappointed with the goal, though. There were six players in a line, being a little bit over-protective. I’d have preferred someone to get a little bit closer to Nasri – but apart from that, it was a good, organised performance, which was what we’d expected.
Playing to our strengths
I think we always knew that France’s weakness is at the back, but if you get too adventurous, you start to leave space at the back. The likes of Nasri, Cabaye and Ribery are very free-flowing and dangerous in the midfield area, and if you start to attack, they can hurt and open up space.
The most important thing in the tournament is not to lose your first game. It makes it exceptionally difficult to go on and win after losing your opener.
England played to their strengths, simple as that. We have to accept it wasn’t an outstanding performance but they did enough to get a point, and we’ve got to be relatively pleased with that.
Expectations were supposedly at their lowest going into a tournament – but then there are still a few grumblings about not playing that well. You just can’t win as the England team or manager.”
A solid knock – 6/10 for me
I thought Joe Hart was solid, apart from a few dodgy moments early on. John Terry and Joleon Lescott looked pretty solid and Benzema didn’t cause them too many problems. Steven Gerrard was a bit deeper than you’d like, but that’s down to the nature of the set-up.
I don’t think anybody was outstanding – and I don’t think anyone was awful. You have to say it was a good, all-round performance, a 6/10 for me.
Give my thoughts a read and let me know what you think in the comments box below – Danny.
You can listen to Danny on Sky Sports News Radio every day during Euro 2012.