England's management woes should not lull their Euro 2012
opponents into a false sense of security about poor team morale,
former France international Christian Karembeu warned on Friday.
"I know how when you keep changing the captain of a ship, it's
hard to stick to the same parametres and have the same crew," the
former Bleus' midfielder, now 41, told AFP during a visit to
Warsaw, capital of Euro 2012 host nation Poland.
"But there's always talent in England, so on the contrary, I
think they'll be able to rally round. I know that their fighting
spirit is real," said Karembeu, who lifted the trophy in 2000
along with team-mate Laurent Blanc, now France manager.
Critics have repeatedly urged England's Football Association to
wrap up their protracted hunt for a new manager, with the
European championships less than 50 days away.
Italian Fabio Capello resigned as England manager in February
after the FA stripped John Terry of the national team's armband
amid claims of racial abuse.
France, England, Sweden and Poland's fellow host nation Ukraine
have all been drawn in Group D at the 16-nation tournament, which
kicks off on June 8 in Warsaw and ends with the final in the
Ukrainian capital Kiev on July 1.
England and France open their group campaign against one another
on June 11 in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk.
While warning that England should not be underestimated,
Karembeu, who is a goodwill ambassador for Euro 2012, said he had
high hopes for France thanks to a run of 18 consecutive matches
"There's a tendency to see things as if it was 2010," he said,
referring to France's shambolic World Cup campaign in South
Africa which was marked by a player revolt against then coach
"But we're in 2012. Laurent Blanc has been the boss for two
years. He's pumped new oxygen into the team, a new order, and I
think this generation, whether it's (Franck) Ribery or (Hatem)
Ben Arfa, is booming," he added.
"We have a solid chance of going very far."