England had to settle with a second-placed finish in Group B after drawing 0-0 with Slovakia.
Despite dominating possession and creating a host of chances, Roy Hodgson’s team were unable to break down a stout Slovakia defence that seemed.
The draw allowed Wales to capture top spot thanks to a 3-0 win over Russia.
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Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson were heavily criticised for their performances in the draw but credit was also paid to one of Slovakia’s players.
Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel was hailed for his efforts in denying Daniel Sturridge, Jamie Vardy and co., with many on Twitter even comparing him to AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini.
Hodgson lived to regret his decision to make six changes to the team that started in the 2-1 win over Wales last week.
Wilshere, Henderson, Vardy, Sturridge, Ryan Bertrand and Nathaniel Clyne all came in but Hodgson admitted he had no concerns over their readiness heading into the game.
“He [Wilshere] and a lot of the players haven’t played or started games, but they are all looking pretty sharp in training so I don’t have any fears for the sharpness of players,” Hodgson said, per the Daily Mail.
“Obviously, had we not needed to win this game, I don’t think there would be any discussion about making changes.
“But as it is, I have to think a lot more carefully because we have to win the game and I don’t want to be accused of not taking the game seriously enough by making changes that people don’t understand.”
Even after the game, people don’t understand Hodgson’s changes. Finishing second means a trickier tie in the last-16 and, all of a sudden, the pressure on England has heightened drastically.
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