England Starting team : Hart, Clyne, Cahill, Smalling, Bertrand, Henderson, Dier, Wilshire, Sturridge, Vardy, Lallana
Subs: [3 allowed] Forster, Walker, Rose, Milner, Sterling, Kane, Rooney, Stones, Barkley, Alli, Rashford, Heaton
Subs used : : Rooney for Wilshire (58 min), Alli for Lallana (60 min) , Kane for Sturridge (75min)
Well, well, well, Roy Hodgson seems determined to prove us critics right and demonstrate that he is in terms of competence an absolute nightmare of an England manager, doesn’t he?
He has had years and years and years to build a team and England end up today against Slovakia with a bunch of certainly talented players who have NEVER ever played with each other before and will NEVER ever likely to play together again, surely?
When it is the normal ambition of football managers to establish a stable team that has gelled, Hodgson’s crass explanation for fielding an new experimental line-up was that with a strong squad he could afford to ‘rest players’ – indeed the players he needed to ditch (oops!) rest were still playing. He didn’t piss about did he? No, with a wholesale SIX changes no less, he shook-up the defence, the midfield, and the attack all in one go – no stone unturned as the saying goes, eh? He has NO idea as to what his best team is, does he? It is only unfortunate that Hodgson didn’t go to gamblers anonymous before going to this tournament, surely?
This time he started with two strikers and that was promising but again he prefers midfielders – four this time. Gives plenty of possession but no goals of course as they don’t know where the net is, do they?
One cannot really question the Manager’s use of 3 substitutes in this match –simply because one cannot find a logical explanation for them or comprehend what was actually going through his muddled mind at the time, could one?
So what was the end result then? Well, a dreadful goalless draw against a lowly team (everyone scores against them?) who then couldn’t believe their luck in getting a chance to proceed to the knockout phase. Consequently, Wales have taking the Group B table after a convincing win against Russia, leaving England going forward of course, but embarrassingly as one of the six seeded countries who fail to win their group to justify such a privileged start to these games, eh?
Oh yes, England were dominant but all their supporters had a frustrating experience watching them dominating possession and creating untold chances but failing to capitalise on such pressure to finally score a goal, didn’t they?
[Being positive, we all should remind ourselves that England could get their act together (or even get lucky perhaps) in the knockout stage, to give hope to us all, perhaps?]