Gareth Southgate.

England: Three stars and three flops from Slovenia draw

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If England's performance during Saturday's 2-0 win over Malta was poor, then their display against Slovenia on Tuesday night was downright abysmal.

The Three Lions were lucky to secure a draw at the Stozice Stadium, with a number of defensive errors almost resulting in goals for the hosts.

Even in attack England were awful. Theo Walcott, Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard and Daniel Sturridge started as the attacking quartet but made very little impact, creating few genuine goalscoring opportunities.


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Indeed, if it hadn't been for the heroics of Joe Hart, who made a number of outstanding saves, England might have lost by at least two or three goals.

Here are three stars and three flops from the clash.

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Three incredible saves capped a magnificent performance for Hart.

The Torino 'keeper, on loan from Manchester City, denied Roman Bezjak in the first half following Eric Dier's calamitous back pass, clawed Jasmin Kurtic's header out of the top corner in the second and smothered Josep Ilicic moments later.


If there was ever a way for Hart to prove his worth as England's No.1, that was it.

I wonder if Pep Guardiola was watching.


For all of England's deficiencies at the back, Danny Rose was reasonably solid and made a number of dangerous runs going forward.

And that's about it really...



Can you tell I'm struggling for three positive performances?

Andros Townsend came on in the 62nd minute and immediately put a dangerous cross into the box, making more of a contribution than Theo Walcott and Jesse Lingard managed throughout their respective stints.

Slovenia v England - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier



Well, where do you start?

At 30-years-old, Gary Cahill is visibly on the decline and he was once again dreaful.

England Training Session and Press Conference

Erratic in possession and slow off the mark, the Chelsea centre-back is no longer a starter for England and should never have been started ahead of Chris Smalling.

Cahill is one of many who needs to be dropped.


Dier was but a bystander against Slovenia, with one moment in the first half encapsulating just how poor he was.

With possession down the left, the Tottenham midfielder inexplicably passed the ball back to Hart but instead gifted possession to Bezjak, who fluffed his chance to open the scoring in a one-on-one.

Slovenia v England - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

It was all downhill for Dier thereafter, offering very little going forward and misplacing a worrying amount of passes.

He, like many of his teammates, has a lot to learn.


To say Sturridge failed his audition for England would be an understatement.

The 27-year-old is frustratingly selfish in possession and he was so against Slovenia, often shooting from range when he should have passed to his teammates.

Slovenia v England - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

With the likes of Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford waiting in the wings, Gareth Southgate would be wise to drop Sturridge with immediate effect.

He's simply not good enough - nor intelligent enough - to lead the line for England.

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