In the second warm up game prior to England heading to France for Euro 2016 they stopped at the Stadium of Light. Giving different players a chance to start the game and put in a claim for a role in the opening game of the European Championships or leaving everyone wondering how they are even in the squad to begin with?
Line up (subs)
Forster (Heaton), Clyne, Smalling (Dier), Stones, Bertrand, Wilshere (Milner), Drinkwater, Henderson, Sterling (Townsend), Rashford (Barkley), Lallana (Rooney)
Manchester United’s 18 year old forward Marcus Rashford was given his full debut and it did not take him very long at all to make an impact scoring his first International goal for his country. Following a very crazy few months, the only problem was after he had scored it then seemed as though he was shifted to a wider role instead of being central.
The biggest problem for England was the lack of impact from midfield three Wilshere, Henderson and Drinkwater. With Wilshere playing as the holding midfielder, or at least attempting to, he was not convincing in that role at all. Henderson also left question marks to whether he should be a starting player, especially given his lack of first team games in recent months. Drinkwater was not to be seen much in the first half, but after some changes at half time looked a little bit better.
Wayne Rooney coming on at half time and not taking long to get on the score sheet raises questions to why he suddenly classes himself as a central midfield player. For me he either players up front or he does not play at all. With his finish as well showing that certainly is his better position, when he takes the ball early and has a shot.
Sterling is another player who seems to do the hard work but then fails to deliver the quality when needed. I thought Andros Townsend did a lot more in a much shorter time when he was brought on, brilliant to see a current Newcastle United player represent England again. Can’t even think of who the last one was?
Eric Dier did not have the best of times coming on at centre back when he headed the ball into his own net, but I think we need him to be playing in front of the back four in the holding role. Easily the best player for that position in the squad.
The stupidest thing of the night though had to be subbing a goalkeeper with about three minutes of normal time to go and giving Heaton a cap for that? Honestly a total joke. Why not play him at half time, what benefit was coming on for about five minutes?
All in all a very poor game and performance. The last warm up game comes on Thursday before the Euro’s I am sure it will be same old England once they get to France!