Written by David Robinson
England kicked off their Euro 2016 campaign last night in Marseille taking on Russia. The Three Lions went into the group once again with a lot of hope knowing that Wales, England’s next opponent had already won earlier in the day. A win would have been a huge step towards qualifying from the group stage. England dominated the majority of the match finally scoring in the second half thanks to an Eric Dier free-kick. Despite missing several chances this goal looked enough until a stoppage time equaliser from the Russians thwarted any efforts Roy Hodgson’s men had made. A good team performance but I rate the England player’s individuals performance from last night which involved a mixed bag of performances.
Joe Hart – 5/10
The Man City goalkeeper had a quiet evening however his kicking was not to the standard required and more often in not put a comfortable England side on the back foot unnecessarily. While playing out from the back was the right strategy, the execution wasn’t there and he almost cost England just a single point when he made the wrong decision to try and Sheppard the ball out and got caught but was unpunished.
Kyle Walker – 9/10
I thought Walker was fantastic. He put in a top display with defensive capabilities but going forwards he was a real threat linking up nicely with Lallana. He got past his man several times but more importantly his final ball was very impressive creating openings for the side.
Gary Cahill – 7/10
A solid outing for Cahill who went about his fashion in typical style. Concerns about the heart of the defence were understandable but the Chelsea man was pretty assured although he was not tested too much barring having to win headers against his 6’5” opponent which on the whole he dealt with him well.
Chris Smalling – 7/10
A pretty shaky Smalling looked uncomfortable during the opening period of the match but again dealt well with his his 6’5” opponent well winning plenty of headers. The Manchester United centre half intercepted well on occasions but wasn’t a dominant force.
Danny Rose – 8/10
Both the Spurs full backs were impressive and great to watch. Rose’s energy and confidence on the ball was a great asset for the side. He used the ball well for the large part and offered great options for his teammates. He stuck to his defensive responsibilities well.
Eric Dier – 9/10
A fantastic goal aside, Dier put in an excellent display doing everything that his position requires. He made very few mistakes picking out mainly simple passes but also the ability to split the midfield with more integrate passes showing his capabilities. His positional sense and cover for other players was exceptional. His free-kick that scored the opener was reward for his performance, brilliant.
Dele Alli – 6/10
Slightly disappointing given the expectation on Alli to now continue to perform regularly at a high level. The 20 year old didn’t look out of place at all showing some nice touches but he didn’t really contribute an awful lot against a poor Russia side. Hopefully we see a little bit more from the former MK Dons man in the upcoming matches.
Wayne Rooney – 8/10
A midfield role for the Captain and he showed that he was more than capable. A first half interception in his own box tracking his man superbly summed up his performance. He took up some nice positions and found some excellent passes while he would be a little disappointed he didn’t score when he hit the post in the second half.
Adam Lallana – 8/10
The Liverpool midfielder was a man possessed particularly in the first half where he contributed to winning the ball back relentlessly. Lallana used the ball intelligently however you do expect a lack of killer instinct with the former Southampton man and this was unfortunately the only criticism of him here missing a couple of good chances.
Raheem Sterling – 3/10
The only natural wide man in the squad but amazingly for a player who cost £49m, I think he can consider himself lucky to be in the squad. His poor form continued over to the England side putting in a pretty ineffective display wasting possession and offering very little cutting edge despite taking up his usual clever pockets of space.
Harry Kane – 4/10
Despite England’s dominance Kane was fairly quiet and didn’t contribute much at all in terms of a threat on goal. He held it up well on a couple of occasions but nothing really came off and this was certainly a disappointment with Kane now considered the Three Lions main man.
Do you agree with these ratings? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Nazionale Calcio