A disappointing evening at the Stade de France on Wednesday was capped for France striker Thierry Henry by the whistles he received from the crowd as he was replaced against Spain, though the veteran believes it was right he shoulder such criticism after a weak performance.
France toiled to compete with la Furia Roja, who looked a superior team on all levels, and Henry in particular had a quiet evening. The remorseless French crowd were not slow to let their feelings be known, whistling their captain as he was taken from the field midway through the second half.
“I was short of form, I had no rhythm, and was seen in a game against a big team where you run after the ball,” he explained to the media after the match, according to France Football. “It will not be a handicap for the World Cup because we have a great deal of preparation time before then.
“I’ve been whistled like ‘Nico’ [Nicolas Anelka] and Franck [Ribery] when they were released. As usual, this is not the first time. People hoped we would play a big game against Spain, so it's normal for them to be whistling when they are disappointed. Expect it.”
Les Bleus lost the fixture 2-0, with first half goals coming from David Villa and Sergio Ramos. “This defeat is a disappointment, but unfortunately we knew that Spain were daunting, but this is not an excuse,” he said. “We made two mistakes.
“The Spanish players were more confident. Sometimes they were untouchable; on another planet. We wanted to play a big game.”
Les Bleus now have less than 100 days before their World Cup campaign kicks off against Uruguay.