Football

England v Scotland: What did Roy Hodgson actually learn?

Published Add your comment

Football News
24/7

Pessimists out there would surely be questioning the need for an international friendly on the Wednesday before the start of the Premier League season but this was no ordinary friendly after all.

If you were ever going to schedule a friendly at this stage in a season then I suppose it has to be one that can whet the appetite of not only the supporters but also the players involved. 

Anything short of an Auld enemy clash would certainly not do. Playing your nearest geographical opponents is the only way to add that competitive edge.

Far too often do we witness meaningless international games but during this game the players sensed the occasion and this transferred itself onto the pitch. However, Roy Hodgson will have had mixed thoughts on what he witnessed.

England were poor in the first half. It was typical of previous lacklustre displays where the players play at such a low tempo that they cannot change through the gears when required. 

Their passing game and ball retention was poor. The usually reliable Steven Gerrard was clearly still on his holidays as passing went astray at an alarming rate. 

International football is all about ball retention and if England cannot do it against the likes of Scotland then they have no hope against much sterner opposition.

Scotland must be given respect but England must show more on the international stage. 

The first half only enhanced the general consensus that Joe Hart is always prone to errors and that England desperately need another keeper who is capable of challenging him for his number one spot. Hart at the moment is in a comfort zone that he needs to snap out of. Hopefully the other English keepers can up their game.

Jack Wilshere's return shows how much of a lynchpin he can be for England for many years to come. He is a very gifted individual and will be a truly world-class player in the future. 

Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill are still very new to international football and at times they showed their naivety, not least during the second half when Kenny Miller was allowed to turn and score Scotland's second goal.

The second half was a typical high tempo match which was more Premier League than a typical International. Possibly the reason why it was so engaging for viewers. It was tasty at times with tackles flying in when the realisation finally hit both sides that this was no ordinary game.

There must have been many club managers cowering behind their sofas when tackles were made, in the hope that their players don't pick up a crucial injury. It must be frustrating for club managers as they have no control over their players and in a sense are in the hands of Hodgson and the player themselves.

Hodgson will have been happy with the likes of Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley who once again proved they can be international players for many years to come. 

The main bonus for Hodgson will have been the debut of Rickie Lambert. Lambert has earned his first cap with a string of impressive club performances for Southampton. He has now firmly put himself in a great position to play in the next crucial World Cup qualifiers. 

Hodgson will have at least been happy with the character that England showed in coming from behind twice to earn their 3-2 win. Scotland were definitely here to cause an upset so in that respect England were able to resist their obvious passion to emerge victorious.

All in all this international friendly was one of the most successful in terms of replicating a competitive game. Hodgson will have been relatively pleased with this outing but I still can't help but think that he probably learnt more from taking charge of the under-21s game the previous night.

 

Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/130seMa

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeFootball.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeFootball.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms

Topics:
England Football
Scotland Football
Football
Internationals
Rickie Lambert

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author

DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again