France will not adopt England's style of play, insists Blanc

The French boss insists he would never set up his side to play in the way the Three Lions did during the 1-1 draw in their Group D opener and vows to take the game to Sweden
France coach Laurent Blanc has hit out at Group D rivals England for their negative approach and claimed he would never implement that style with his side.

The 46-year-old reacted angrily to suggestions Les Bleus might adopt a similar set-up for their final group match with Sweden, where they require just a draw to advance to the quarter-finals.

 Robin Bairner
 France Expert
Before Euro 2012, Blanc admitted that he is a great fan of Barcelona’s style of football; the type of which is the exact antithesis of the brand played by Chelsea in the Champions League and to a lesser extent England thus far under Roy Hodgson.

He is a great believer in playing attractive, attacking football, and though his France side have had problems showing incision around the box, Blanc, who started his career as a playmaker, has been true to his values.

Although he finished playing as a centre-back, in the dugout he favours a more offensively-minded approach reminiscent of his early days at Montpellier, and it is hard to imagine him adopting a more defensive stance, or even offering great praise of those who do.

These comments come after France drew 1-1 with Roy Hodgson’s men in their Euro 2012 opener, where England deployed a pragmatic approach to the game, looking to contain their opponents rather than going for victory.

“The English just sat back and waited for us to come at them. But there is nothing worse than failing to achieve your objective by not playing,” Blanc told reporters.

“So if we want a result against Sweden, we need to play football.

“Before we start to think about scoring a lot of goals to improve our goal difference, we first need to ensure we win the game.”

The French, who are currently on a 23-match unbeaten streak, can guarantee top spot in the group with a win on Tuesday night.

 “We need to be very serious in the way we approach this game, as there is always a fear you will take your eye off the ball and pay the price — like we did early on in the Euro qualifiers,” Blanc added.

“There was a lot of satisfaction after the way we beat Ukraine last week but I have told the players we need a similar performance against Sweden. We are playing against a team that can’t qualify but they’ll still want to win.

“We have a lot of respect for them. I saw both of their games against Ukraine and England and they were the better team in both matches.

“We’re aware of what we want to achieve in this competition, so I’ll pick my strongest possible team and hope that will be good enough for victory.”