England Deliver Below Par Performance Against Turkey
England were well below par in yesterdays friendly against fellow Euro Championship qualifiers Turkey at the Etihad Stadium, but they did find a way to dig out a win as they scored a late goal to make it 2-1 on the evening.
Of course the team they started with will not be the team that starts in the Euro`s as the Manchester Utd and Liverpool players were missing, all the same I think all England fans expected a better performance as the old defensive failings reared their ugly head.
They started the game very well indeed and were 1-0 up after around 3 minutes of play when good link play between Sterling and Alli set up Harry Kane for an easy side foot finish although to be honest he was a yard offside and the assistant referee really shouldn`t have missed such an obvious one.
But the lead didn`t last very long at all with Turkey looking very dangerous going forward and the England defence at sixes and sevens. Good build up play led to Joe Hart coming off his line when he probably should have stayed put and the ball was slipped past him to allow an easy finish.
Joe Hart did pull off some good saves as the game progressed and there is no doubt he will be the No 1 at the Euro`s but the defence was too easily breached by a team who will not be serious contenders in next months tournament.
John Stones may be our best centre half by 2020 but at present he should be nowhere near the England team, he is a ball playing centre half who has not yet fully learned the art of defending. Cahill is first choice but is nowhere near in the same class as John Terry when it comes to defensive duties.
The two full backs Kyle Walker and Danny Rose performed well, particularly Rose who was man of the match. In midfield Eric Dier patrolled the defensive midfield areas but he may need more help plugging the gaps against better opposition. Jack Wilshere and Dele Alli were the other two in midfield which left the team a little lightweight I felt in there as they were too easily bypassed.
Upfront Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy look a serious partnership, Vardy scored the winner following in a Cahill header from a corner and he also won a penalty which Kane blazed wide. But Raheem Sterling has gone backwards and I wouldn`t even have him in the squad.
It will be interesting what team Roy Hodgson puts out against Australia on Friday and if there is improvement.