Malouda blames naivety
New captain wants youngsters to take responsibility
Last Updated: 04/09/10 10:02pm
Malouda: Blamed naivety
France captain Florent Malouda has lamented his team's naivety after their shock 1-0 defeat to Belarus in their opening Euro 2012 qualifier.
In what was supposed to be the dawning on a new era under new boss Laurent Blanc, Les Bleus were stunned in the Stade de France as Sergei Kislyak caught the home defence cold to score an 86th minute winner.
It proved to be decisive in a game the French press branded a 'catastrophe' and 'nightmare' in what has been the end to an atrocious summer for the 1998 World Cup winners, after being eliminated from the group stage of this year's tournament with just one point and a public enquiry over the team's behaviour.
"We showed our naivety toward the end. When we were going for victory we forgot to ensure the draw, which is the minimum requirement," Malouda said.
"It was hard to take, I don't think many players expected us to lose this game."
Blanc fielded a team full of inexperienced and young players due to suspensions surrounding France's World Cup debacle, but it proved to make little difference as the side lacked a cutting edge when it mattered.
Malouda, who was promoted to skipper following the international retirement of Thierry Henry and the ban of Patrice Evra, called on their younger players to take the criticisms and learn from them.
"You have to be ready whether you have one cap, two or 100," he added.
"I told the young players before the match that you have to face up to your responsibilities."