Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes Patrice Evra's criticism of England's dour performance on Monday night was unjustified and insists manager Roy Hodgson would have been delighted with the draw in Donetsk.
Manchester United defender Evra accused England of following Chelsea's example in order to collect a Euro 2012 point against France in their Group D opener.
Les Bleus dominated possession and made double the amount of passes as their opponents in the Donbass Arena. Nevertheless, France were unable to find a second goal after Samir Nasri cancelled out Joleon Lescott's first-half header as England held on for a share of the points.
"We are frustrated because I think we played much better," said Evra.
"At times it was like there were 15 bodies in front of us. It was really difficult to find space.
"People laugh but they played the way that Chelsea played against Barcelona."
But Dalglish insists England will be satisfied with their performance in sapping conditions and said he was unconvinced by France's Euro 2012 credentials.
"As far as I can recall, Chelsea lifted the trophy that night in Munich," Dalglish told the Daily Mirror. "It's not a bad beginning to a tournament if you start playing like the Champions League winners.
"It's not as if France had that many opportunities. I didn't see Alou Diarra venturing too far forward. Yes, Mathieu Debuchy attacked well along the right but the French didn't really cause England that many problems going forward.
"France played like a poor man's Spain. They moved the ball around a lot and tried to play it short but they didn't make much impression.
"If England met France again in the final - I know that's a big if, by the way - there would be nothing for England to be afraid of."
Nevertheless, while the overall performance against France was more encouraging than Evra's comments suggest, Hodgson's defensive line-up ensured they were always second best in Donetsk.
England completed 307 passes compared to France's 634 and as a result kept possession for just 35% of the time, a damning statistic with a potential quarter-final against Spain on the horizon.
UEFA's statistics reveal that England's pass completion percentage was significantly lower than France's. James Milner's was 48%, Ashley Young 47% and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 46%. England's most accurate players were all defenders, starting with John Terry (78%) then Glen Johnson (77%), Ashley Cole (74%) and Joleon Lescott (73%). After that it went Scott Parker (70%), Danny Welbeck (67%) and Steven Gerrard (66%).
The comparison with the France players makes for sober reading. Beginning with Florent Malouda (87%) then Patrice Evra and Adil Ramil (86%), Yohan Cabaye (85%), Philippe Mexès (84%), Alou Diarra (82%), Karim Benzema (80%), Samir Nasri (79%), Mathieu Debuchy (78%) and Franck Ribéry (70%).
The French average, 82%, was higher than any of the English players. Nasri, with 86 passes, had more than twice as many as any player in Hodgson's team.
However, Dalglish remains adamant Hodgson is unlikely to alter his game plan for the match against Sweden on Friday, although a change of personnel is expected.
"One issue that Roy Hodgson now has to tackle is whether to make changes for the next game against Sweden the day after tomorrow," added Dalglish.
"It was hot in Donetsk and you could see how much it was taking out of players from both teams.
"I have seen some suggestions that England will start with the same eleven against Sweden but I would guess Roy will be thinking about mixing things up a bit to give a couple of players some recovery time.
"Even if he wanted to play the same team again, I'm not sure that he could. I would expect a couple of changes.
"England will not be complacent but they can be confident going into the game against Sweden.
"I liked Sweden better when they played 4-4-2 but I thought they were poor against Ukraine.
"There was nothing for England to be scared of, though. They made a good start against France. Now they need to build on it."
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