England’s two matches against Slovenia and Lithuania were pretty rubbish, weren’t they?
The Three Lions qualified for the Russia World Cup next summer after beating Slovenia on Thursday thanks to an injury-time strike from Harry Kane.
With World Cup qualification secured, you might think that Gareth Southgate’s men would entertain against Lithuania on Sunday evening with absolutely no pressure on them.
If you did think that, you’d be very much mistaken.
That’s because it was boring. Totally and utterly boring.
Kane’s first-half penalty saw England win 1-0 and that’s about as exciting as it got.
One positive from the match, though, was the fact that Southgate gave opportunities to a few squad players with Michael Keane, Harry Maguire and Harry Winks all playing 90 minutes.
And the trio could be very satisfied with their performances - especially Winks.
The Spurs midfielder impressed in central midfield alongside Jordan Henderson and kept possession very well.
But a central midfield pairing of Henderson and Winks isn’t exactly very adventurous against a fairly poor Lithuania side.
While the pair did alright, it was all very safe.
It’s a criticism levelled at Henderson regular - constantly passing sideways or backwards rather than forwards.
Ryan Giggs' comment
And it’s something that Ryan Giggs discussed in the ITV studio at half-time.
“When I played midfield the first thing I thought about was passing forward,” the Welshman revealed.
“Where can I hurt the opposition? Is it a little dink over? Is it a little pass to the centre-forward’s feet? That’s my first thought.
“Is it this England’s midfield first thought? Or is it: ‘I better not give the ball away.’”
Nail. On. Head.
England have have bossed the possession stats but surely, with qualification already confirmed and absolutely nothing to lose, they should have taken a few more chances on the ball.
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