Forget the Dutch defeat, England’s week has been a success.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 14.48.53 by JACK PRENTICE

England’s defeat to Holland has gone some way to put a dampener on what was blind euphoria from most quarters following that last gasp win over Germany.

However, people should not be so fast to pour doom and gloom over what has been an enlightening week for Roy Hodgson and his coaching staff.

The performance in Germany matched the result as Hodgson’s young Lions completely outplayed the World Champions.

Last nights 2-1 reverse at Wembley, England’s first home defeat since 2013, did not match those standards.

Luciano Narsingh condemned England to defeat but it’s still been a good week for Three Lions. (Image Credit:

Nevertheless, there were more positives to take than what appears on first viewing.

Debutant midfielder Danny Drinkwater had a solid game in a two-man central midfield pairing, showing a calmness possessed by few on their first start for their country.

Fraser Forster showed once again why England fans have no need to worry about the strength in depth in goal, with first choice Joe Hart missing for these two matches.

This is despite an extremely cruel injury suffered by goalkeeper Jack Butland, who fractured his ankle in Berlin and will now miss Euro 2016.

But the biggest plus point of all to take away from these two fixtures is that Roy Hodgson is much closer now to finding out what his best team is.

People will moan and whine about these prestige friendlies and international breaks, but like them or loathe them, they’re necessary.

You will never find out what your best team is if the only international football you play is against Estonia or Lithuania.

And, despite defeat to a Dutch side that in the last two years has gone from ‘Total Football’ to ‘Totally Awful’, this break has been a success for an inexperienced England side.

Matches such as these will have been invaluable to players such as Dele Alli, who put in a stellar performance in that comeback win over Germany, while John Stones would have desperately needed playing time that he’s found hard to come by at Everton.

eng young lions
England’s young lions celebrate Jamie Vardy’s maiden goal for his country last weekend against Germany. (Image Credit:

Harry Kane’s fine goal and Jamie Vardy’s first two in an England shirt suggest that our options going forwards will be plentiful.

Despite the successes from the games this week, there was also a stark warning that England would do well to heed.

There is still an inability to keep clean sheets against top quality opposition and if England are to build on the attacking promise that will need to be rectified and quickly.

For all the good play, with all of the centre-back partnerships (Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill, Smalling and John Stones, Stones and Phil Jagielka) soft and sloppy goals have been conceded.

Perhaps Hodgson hopes that with an extended time with the squad before the tournament these inconsistencies may go away.

While a group containing Russia, Wales and Slovakia will not expose anything, they will have to go in order for England to advance past the quarter finals.

Actually, considering our recent performances in tournaments, the quarter finals would be dizzy heights.

England’s attacking play has rightly won many plaudits and has the potential to unlock even the best sides.

All we need is a defence to back that up.


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