A France versus England friendly: for some reason the fixture doesn’t stimulate high emotions.
Despite France being our closest continental neighbour, England’s footballing rivalries tend to run in different directions. Perhaps part of the problem is our shared history: England and France have never met at a major championship finals beyond the group stage––World Cups in 1966 and 1982; European Championships in 1992, 2004 and 2012. No knock-out games. Ultimately, the matches have never meant much and, as such, past encounters have been largely unmemorable. There is no grudge to bear; no wrong to right. Even the possibility of a more meaningful encounter––when it seemed that the two teams might be destined to meet in the quarter finals of Euro 2016––was scuppered by England’s painful defeat to Iceland.
Three haikus recall three past encounters.
England 1 France 2, 13 June 2004
Coasting to victory;
Until ZZ’s late free kick/
England 0 France 0, 14 June 1992
A nil-nil bore draw
Makes the Swedes and Turnips gloat.
Do I not like that.
England 3 France 1, 16 June 1982
With one minute on the clock,
A goal to the good.
© Donnie Blake
Donnie Blake can’t get over-excited by the France vs England friendly.