by STEVE BRENNER
ROY HODGSON would not have enjoyed this.
If he did not know before this emphatic display, the England boss must now realise he is in for one hell of a major tournament baptism of fire on Monday.
French boss Laurent Blanc saw his men easily extend their unbeaten run to 21 games thanks to a solid, professional display sprinkled with class.
Yes, their backline may be suspect. Yet with a front three of Samir Nasri, Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema, Les Bleus have a classy, world-class attacking trio ready to really hurt teams at Euro 2012.
Ribery bagged one and Benzema two while Nasri floated around with typical intent.
They will be licking their lips at the prospect of taking on England’s patched-up back four next week.
Blanc admitted: “England will be more difficult, a more rigorous test and we must play it in simpler fashion.”
But then he warned: “Collectively we are moving forward for the moment of truth on June 11.”
The French fans, like us, are fretting about their defence with Philippe Mexes enduring a dodgy season at AC Milan.
And the stopper looked shaky early on, a piece of dithering on the edge of the box almost allowing Estonia hitman Henrik Ojamaa to bag the lead.
Konstantin Vassiljev then sent a 20-yarder whizzing past Hugo Lloris’ post as France wobbled.
But then Ribery produced the kind of magic which can really frighten any defence.
Lille’s Mathieu Debuchy floated the ball to Benzema and his sweet back-flick fell to the Bayern Munich ace, who controlled on his chest before rifling home.
It was just what Blanc’s boys needed and Newcastle ace Yohan Cabaye almost made it two soon after from 25 yards.
The goal gave them confidence to start spraying the ball around. And 10 minutes before the break, Benzema made it two.
The ball fell to the Real Madrid star on the edge of the box and he blasted a beauty in off the post.
Benzema made it three just seconds after the restart from Ribery’s centre before Jeremy Menez made it four at the death.
Nine players in this squad were in South Africa two years ago when Raymond Domenech’s men threatened to strike and heaped shame on the game.
But the mood is very different now. They actually resemble something close to a team.
Good luck, Roy. You’re going to need it.