Dele Alli and Eric Dier must learn from France stars

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France started their Euros adventure with a 2-1 win against Romania on Friday night, but it wasn't as easy as some may have expected.

Didier Deschamps' side were expected to glide through the game, however, most players in the squad never really looked ready to apply the quality to break down the organisation of the Romanians.

However, there were two exceptions to this trend - N'Golo Kante and Dimitri Payet.


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Both Premier League players and both not even in consideration at the start of this season for the France squad. Now, they are the two players who could be guaranteed a spot in the starting XI.

Kante did what Kante does best. He won the ball back, he screened the defence and he carried the ball forwards. He gave the team an injection of pace and energy, to make sure the team played their way, however uninspiring that way was.

It is quite amazing that while sharing the midfield with global superstar Paul Pogba, who is rated £80 million, and equally famous Blaise Matuidi, Kante was the player to shine.

Payet was genuinely just a level above everyone else though. Fielded by Deschamps on the wing, Payet tried to make use of Olivier Giroud's height advantage by playing countless balls into the box with immense quality.

Two of the crosses reached Giroud in acres of space, but he could only header these wide before finally bagging, unsurprisingly, from a Payet cross.

The two best players on the pitch then linked up, Kante playing a smart ball to Payet on the edge of the box who fired home with a sublime left-footed shot.

The goal made the difference, as the final whistle went with no further changes to the scoreline, and both players stamped their authority on a France side filled with quality.

England field a similar formation to France, a 4-3-3, and much in the same way Payet and Kante were so important to France, Dele Alli and Eric Dier could be for England. 

Although Payet started the game on the wing, he moved into the midfield and was equally influential, and Alli may have to try and emulate Payet as England look to progress in the competition.

The difference will be made by Alli's quality. He has to avoid looking for the unbelievable pass every time, but keep the ball on the ground, and keep it moving smoothly round, much like Payet.

Alli has the closest technical ability to Payet, and will hope to fully exploit this, with a few touches of quality that could make the difference throughout the tournament.

Dier will have to learn from Kante as well. Kante possesses far more energy than Dier, which means he won't be able to work the same way the player does, however, what Dier should observe, is the way Kante diligently makes tackles and interceptions all throughout the game.

England's defence has been touted as a weak spot, and it will be Dier's job to relieve pressure on the back line, therefore, Dier should use minimal energy going forwards, and focus solely on his defensive job.

Although Dier got himself on the score-sheet, it wasn't enough for Roy Hodgson's men to win their first game of the tournament, as a late goal meant they drew 1-1 with Russia.

However, if Alli and Dier perform to the best of their ability for the remaining games, they could have the same influence as Payet and Kante, which could be key for Hodgson.

How far will England go at Euro 2016? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

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Euro 2016
West Ham United
Tottenham Hotspur
England Football
Premier League
Dimitri Payet

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