Written by David Robinson
England ended their Group B campaign in disappointing fashion drawing a blank against Slovakia who had their eyes firmly set on the draw with it more than likely being enough for them to qualify through a third place finish. The Three Lions dominated possession and had numerous attempts but a lacklustre second half looks to have sapped any real belief from fans that the nation could go far in this tournament. Hodgson made 6 changes ahead of the game, I rate each players performance.
Joe Hart – 6/10
Again, England’s no.1 had little to do. His kicking picked up from the last 2 matches and dealt with any action comfortably.
Nathaniel Clyne – 7/10
A big threat in the first half, the Liverpool full back came in for the highly impressive Kyle Walker meaning it would be no easy task but most of England’s creativity in the first 45 came through Clyne’s right hand side where he picked the right passes and did well on the overlap. His impact reduced more and more as the game went on but he can be happy with his input. The 25 year old used the ball well and came very close to scoring in the second half.
Gary Cahill – 6/10
Another steady game under his belt, the Chelsea centre half dealt with any pressure with relative comfort. He was sensible playing out from the back and made sure he was in the right positions. Reliable.
Chris Smalling – 5/10
A poor game for a player that had little involvement in the match. While concentration was tested he almost failed spectacularly notably for chesting the ball short back to Joe Hart giving Slovakia their best opportunity of the game needlessly. He was a lot more comfortable in the air, winning some good headers but disappointed picking passes out from the back.
Ryan Bertrand – 6/10
Another full back who came in and took Danny Rose’s place. I felt he didn’t provide the same cutting edge that the Spurs full back has provided. A solid display but in a game where the space was mainly in the flanks he didn’t provide a spark to give England the vital opener. The Saints left back was caught out a couple of times defensively but generally remained a stable player.
Eric Dier – 9/10
In an uninspiring second half particularly, I think Dier can hold his head up high having impressed me yet again in an England shirt. He executed his role to perfection sweeping up and being hard in the challenge. However his eye for a pass was the most pleasing aspect of his game against Slovakia. He picked out some precise passes from deep and was willing to take risks which more often than not paid off in style. Fantastic.
Jack Wilshere – 4/10
Never got going, an improved Wilshere would probably have made all the difference driving through the heart of the midfield. Instead, he put in a lacklustre performance giving away the ball away frequently and contributing little else. The Arsenal man was hooked early in the second half.
Jordan Henderson – 5/10
A lack of quality was on show from the Liverpool man who made his first appearance in the competition. Plenty of hard work but he was slack in the pass despite the odd nice touch including a good delivery in the second half to Alli which was cleared off the line. Was a key part in a slow tempo game which made it easier for Slovakia to defend in numbers. Not the only one guilty of lacking creativity but still void of ideas.
Adam Lallana – 7/10
Should not have been replaced in my opinion. Lallana has impressed in the Euro’s so far and once again took up some intelligent positions which gave England openings in their more productive first half. Some nice touches and looked one of the most likely to break down the well drilled lines of Slovakia. He once again was not ruthless with the final decision but was still a threat.
Jamie Vardy – 5/10
Missed a good chance in the first half where he raced clear of Skrtel but shot straight at the Goalkeeper. He helped build attacks in the first 45 by stretching the defence and keeping it in the final third but after half time was non-existent and did nothing to help the side get the winner.
Daniel Sturridge – 5/10
The Liverpool forward didn’t stamp his mark on the game following his late winner in his last outing. He frequently came deep to pick up the ball but this time couldn’t make the desired impact despite a lovely waited pass in the second half to set Clyne through. This was a rare moment of threat where he also missed a well floated ball from Dier, making no connection and wasting one of the best opportunities.
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featured image by The Laird of Oldham