England can still be positive heading into the next round of Euro 2016

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It has been a tournament of misfiring.

Unthinkable things have happened; Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty, Robert Lewandowski has failed to convert his chances and Wales have the highest goals to game ratio.

So is it fair to berate England for missing their opportunities over the last three games when most teams have been underperforming so far?


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If England had taken their chances last night a 3-0 victory would see Roy Hodgson making his ascent to the realms of legend, critics saying they always knew this young England side had goals in it and the nation making sure they don't have plans on July 10.

The real shame is that it could so easily have happened. If Vardy had chipped the keeper, or if Sturridge and Lallana had kept cooler heads for their shots on goal, today's papers would be telling a different story.

The fact remains that the opportunities were missed, which against teams like Wales, Russia and Slovakia is inexcusable. Or is it?

It will be interesting to see England face an attacking side as the rounds progress, instead of sides camping out in their own half and playing for a draw.

Joe Hart told ITV in his post-match interview that he's had little to do in the Euros so far, and while that may not be strictly true, his point is that the England defence are yet to be tested by high-quality assaults on their goal.

When England begin to play teams that come at them they must take their chances. If they draw Portugal in the next few rounds, a team more celebrated for their attacking prowess than their defensive stability, or even France whose ageing back line makes them vulnerable, both teams would attack England and leave themselves open to counter-attacks. Then, Hodgson's young charges should find it easier to break them down.

So while it's difficult to find positives in a performance that saw 27 attempts but only five on target, there's still the hope that playing different set ups will bring out the goal-scoring prowess that England so obviously have.

In the meantime, let's all hope Roy Hodgson gets them working on their finishing in the week leading up to their next clash.

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Wayne Rooney
Euro 2016
England Football
Premier League

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