The whole of England was confused last night.
Roy Hodgson’s decision to start Wayne Rooney on the bench in England’s 0-0 draw against Slovakia at Euro 2016 was the first thing to perplex a nation.
And then Gary Lineker bewildered the country with his assessment of Jordan Henderson’s performance.
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It was half-time when Lineker praised Henderson’s display in the opening 45 minutes.
Except, Henderson wasn’t good. In fact, he was pretty bad.
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The Liverpool man lost possession on numerous occasions and overhit passes. He improved in the second half and there are many England fans who are defending his performances but, over 90 minutes, Henderson failed to capitalise on his opportunity to make his first start in the tournament.
So, Lineker’s tweet at half-time led many to wonder what game he was watching.
Here’s how Twitter reacted.
If there’s any performance that outlines how differing opinions in football can be, it was Henderson’s. The Guardian claim his passing was “crisp and probing”, while the Independent said he “struggled with final ball and set-piece”.
What everyone can agree with, though, is that the 26-year-old wasn’t as bad as Jack Wilshere.
The Arsenal man received his first start of the tournament and Hodgson probably wishes he never bothered. Wilshere was ineffective and lasted only 56 minutes before making way for Wayne Rooney.
Hodgson defended his selection
Wilshere was one of six changes made by Hodgson to the side that started in Thursday’s 2-1 win over Wales.
Having not already clinched top spot in Group B, it represented a huge gamble for the England boss to ring the changes Ultimately, it was a decision that backfired.
However, Hodgson defended his decision to make such drastic switches.
“I suppose I have to turn the question round. What would necessarily have changed?” Hodgson said, per The Guardian. “Had Wayne started, would he have scored the goals the others missed from his left half position?
“Wayne and Dele Alli and Harry Kane came on and we still did not take the chances.
It’s certainly very disappointing to have all the play again and all the opportunities and not have been able to take one. That’s frustrating.
“But the ‘six changes’ [debate] amuses me. We finished the game against Wales with Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge up front and people said that was positive. And now it suddenly becomes ‘six changes’ with those two starting.
“It was four changes from the side which finished the Wales game. If we’d won, this game people would have said we didn’t miss those we’d left out, and when we don’t they say the team selection is wrong.”
The pressure is now on Hodgson to pick the perfect XI in the last-16 clash. His job could depend on it.