Another round of England friendlies is in the books. As we edge towards this year’s European Championships and Roy Hodgson’s final squad announcement, let’s take a look at the winners and losers within the England squad from the matches against Germany and the Netherlands.
Without a doubt the biggest winner over the two games. A brilliant finish for the equaliser in Germany in a game he completely changed with his pace and direct style. He gave the Dutch similar treatment at Wembley and finished his simple chance well to end a great team move. The Leicester striker looked great alongside Kane and confirmed for all of us that he should at least feature in every England game this summer - if not start.
It’s a fact – England are a better team with him in it. Man of the match in Germany and completely ran the show against the world champions, playing well above his age and experience. Yes, he should’ve scored the goal that could have been the winner but England wouldn’t have even been in it at that point without his excellent performance. He also would’ve been chuffed for his best mate to grab the winning goal in his place.
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The newly transformed midfielder was fantastic against the vaunted German attacking midfield containing Mesut Ozil and Marco Reus, completely nullifying two of the most creative players in European football.
He also kept the ball moving up the pitch - something that England missed in the second game. The Tottenham youngster didn’t really manage to get involved with his cameo against the Dutch but scored the winner in Berlin with a brilliant header and inked his name into the starting eleven with an excellent all-round performance.
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He wasn’t the best England player on the pitch against the Netherlands and he shouldn’t have been man of the match. Nor will he make the starting eleven for England’s first game in France this summer. However, he guaranteed his place in the squad with a good, solid performance in an underwhelming midfield in the second match.
Grabbed his opportunity to start both games with both hands. He was superb against the Germans and after a slightly inauspicious start at Wembley last night, he grew in confidence and looked England’s best player in the first half.
The 25-year-old found himself a little unlucky in giving away a slightly strange penalty before being given a well-earned rest halfway through the second half. Always on the ball and involved in all of England’s best moves in both games. Rose has surely done enough to prove himself as the first choice left-back for the Three Lions.
Our euphoric mood following the Germany win may have been dampened slightly but he was exactly right when he spoke after that match. It was the best performance of his tenure as manager and it was the first time in a long, long while that England actually looked really good in attack.
It was tough for the excellent young Stoke keeper and a game he will certainly want to forget. Most England supporters were particularly disappointed as he had fully earned his starting place but sadly the injury which prompted the subsequent error has ruled the young keeper out of the Euros.
Hopefully, Butland can come back even stronger from his fractured ankle and still has a very bright future ahead of him.
The Arsenal frontman can’t hide behind the old ‘well he always plays well for England!’ line this time.
Utterly forgettable against Germany and England looked significantly better once he was replaced by Vardy. He’s earned Hodgson’s trust and Welbeck will be in the England squad this summer but the Arsenal forward has slipped behind his contemporaries in the pecking order.
The experienced Liverpool man didn’t do much wrong against the Netherlands but his inclusion as a loser is more based on what he didn’t do.
England just did not create enough going forward in their second match and the vast majority of attacks that went through Milner seemed to go nowhere. He did put a nice ball into the middle in the build-up to the goal but overall, didn’t do enough to dispel the rapidly-growing school-of-thought that England’s best midfield does not contain James Milner.
One nice turn, plenty of pace, but a complete lack of anything that actually helped Walcott's side get a result. A sentence which could define his career and a performance that may signify the end of his international one. He’s miles off the squad as a forward and is fast becoming a very, very poor man’s Jamie Vardy. Roy – we’ve seen what he can do, in hindsight, should he have given Troy Deeney a try?
If your manager comes out and has to confirm that you’re still going to be starting despite the good performances of those around you and the clamour from the general public for you to be demoted to the bench, it has probably not been a good week.
The captain had a great qualifying campaign (as he always seems to) but worryingly, England’s best performance in recent times came from a starting eleven that didn’t contain him.
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