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Hughton on French exit

Posted on 11 June 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Chris Hughton comments on the shock of the tournament so far - the first round exit of world champions France.

WITH FRANCE HEADING home after no wins, no goals and just one point from Group A, I think it just goes to show the way the World Cup and the global game is going.

I thought the 8-0 win by Germany over Saudi Arabia was the exception, I don't think you'll see that too often nowadays. It is much closer now and lots of teams are capable of beating sides perhaps they wouldn't have got near ten years ago.

France going out is a major surprise. Perhaps not quite as big after the first game against Senegal, because I think that set the tone.

Everybody expected them to start well and they didn't start well enough. As soon as Henry was sent off in the second game you knew it was going to be difficult for them against Uruguay and, going into the Denmark game, I didn't fancy them to go through.

At the beginning of the tournament, and even after the Senegal defeat, I still expected them to go through. But not today.

Zidane was a massive blow for them. If you look at the team they've got, it is obviously a good side, but Zidane is the one real creative player they have.

The fact that he was missing for the first two games probably affected them more than they thought it would do.

What I also think contributed is that fact that they've gone into the World Cup not having had to play any competitive games. They've just played friendlies and it can work in your favour or not - and it's gone against them this time.

I think the demands of the Premiership have already been mentioned on radio phone-ins, but I just think the timing wasn't right for them. They have got players who have played a lot - and sometimes that would work for them.

World Cup 2002 just wasn't their time.

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