England took the field against Slovakia knowing that 3 points will ensure first place in their group. They dominated proceedings from start to finish but failed to make the breakthrough , with Slovakia frustrated them and earned a vital point from their perspective. Here are the key takeaways from Slovakia vs England.
1 England have a tough road ahead
England may have won the battle , but they lost the war. They beat Wales 2-1 but their inability to beat Russia and Slovakia cost them vital points and Wale’s demolition of Russia meant Chris Coleman’s side finished top of Group A. They now face a tough road ahead and will potentially face Portugal in the round of 16 , should they progress , their probable quarter Final opponents will be the hosts France.
2 Roy Hodgson’s team selection was bizarre.
Hodgson made 6 changes to the side that beat Wales, although 2 of them were Vardy and Sturridge who came in the second half in that game, still the England manager decided to gamble even when the Group was not decided , leaving out key players like Rooney and Dele Alli and Harry Kane on the bench. His gamble did not pay off as ultimately his side was left frustrated by the Slovakians.
3 Slovakia defended well
Slovakia were on the back foot for most of the game and defended pretty well. They kept things tight and never really allowed England to move the ball freely in and around the box. They played well against Russia as well and now with 4 points from 3 games, they look certain to advance to the next round.
4 England need Rooney and Alli not Wilshere
Wayne Rooney and Dele Alli both came on in the second half and turned displayed their versatile passing abilities. Alli, only 20 looks like a natural fit in this England side and almost scored with his first touch in the game. England face a tough fixture ahead and will need both Alli and Rooney in midfield. Jack Wilshere had a disastrous game filling in for Rooney , The Arsenal midfielder tried to be the side’s playmaker but constantly gave the ball away as attacks broke down time and time again.
5 Hodgson’s time is Running out
It’s been more than 4 years since Roy Hodgson was appointed England manager and in that time he has not managed anything significant apart from a quarter final appearance at Euro 2012. They had a good qualifying run for the 2014 WC but failed miserably , coming home after the group stages. They qualified in style for this year’s championships as well but have once again disappointed in the group stages. They now need a decent run in if Hodgson is to stay in the job after the Euros.