England shine in attack but Holland highlight defensive frailties in defeat at Wembley

30 Mar

It should have been a foul, but England will prefer to look at their own shortcomings.


Perhaps it was not surprising they lacked rhythm given Chris Smalling, Rose and Lallana were the only ones starting here who had also lined up from the outset against the world champions in Berlin.

The biggest difference, however, was that the onus fell on England to set the tempo and it remains a reality that they are not nearly as comfortable when confronted by that scenario.

However, it is something they have to grow accustomed to in the group stages of when Russia, Wales and Slovakia will not stand toe-to-toe and trade blows. 

There was not the zip or verve of four days ago and Sturridge’s first England appearance for 573 days offered little to suggest Hodgson should rip up his pecking order. 

He is not yet back up to speed. Alarmingly, neither is England’s defence.

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