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Tuesday, 4 June, 2002, 14:17 GMT 15:17 UK
The French connection
Rio Ferdinand
Rio has a way with words

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The England squad apparently have a pact to drop in a random French phrase during television interviews.

Rio Ferdinand got the ball rolling last week by answering "C'est la vie" to the first question he was asked, before dissolving into fits of laughter.

But this is nothing new.

Open Quote
You won't be getting any Careless Whispers from me, Bob
Close Quote
Gareth Southgate

During France '98, Alan Shearer and co had a competition to see how many song titles they could sneak past their interrogators.

To make their task harder, they had to draw the name of a particular band or singer out of a hat before they went on air.

Gareth Southgate made the early running after picking out Wham/George Michael.

When Bob Wilson asked the defender what he thought of England's training facilities, he quickly replied: "It's hardly Club Tropicana."

Against all odds

During the same interview, Wilson repeatedly tried to glean some team news, prompting Southgate to say: "You won't be getting any Careless Whispers from me, Bob."

Meanwhile, Tony Adams was pressing his claims by getting four Beatles songs into one chat - Get Back, Something, Let It Be and With A Little Help From My Friends.

Pity he couldn't squeeze in Yellow Submarine and While My Guitar Gently Weeps - imagine the bonus points.

Phil Collins
Phil Collins helped Shearer make a point

The cat was finally out of the bag when Alan Shearer unwittingly mentioned the Phil Collins number Against All Odds and suddenly punched the air when he realised he'd earned an unexpected mark.

As for the French exercise, England's current crop might do well to brush up on a couple of handy phrases if their dire performance against Sweden is anything to go by.

"Qu'un tas des déchets" means what a load of rubbish, "maison postérieure" is back home and "merde"... well, you work it out.


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GROUP F
  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
ENGLAND 3 +1 5
ARGENTINA 3 0 4
NIGERIA 3 -2 1

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