Yesterday's group B game between England and Wales was one of drama, passion, tears and celebration for England fans. Gareth Bale struck for Wales shortly before half time, scoring a well hit free kick which Joe Hart could've done better to save. The goal momentarily silenced the 20,000 strong England crowd and everyone feared the worst, but after a superb second half performance where this time England did dominate,the 3 lions managed to turn the game around and win 2-1 with a late goal from Daniel Sturridge. The game was a tense one, a must win for England,and they did. What did we learn from England's performance yesterday? and where should we go from here looking forward to our last group game.
1. Roy the reactionary
One thing we learned from yesterdays game is that Roy Hodgson does see what the fans see, and he did understand the importance of getting 3 points from the fixture. He was criticised after the Russia game for only using one striker, and letting that one striker take set pieces. After this didn't particularly work he made and immediate change leading to Wayne Rooney stepping up to take corners. Also with some reluctancy, he did eventually bring on more strikers, 3 in fact, and this was the action which brought change into the way the squad was set up. Although we had to go 0-1 down before he made these changes, the changes he did make turned the game on it's head, and credit to Roy for changing things.
2. Rashford was a worthy choice
Now, I know he wasn't on the pitch that long, but what he did in the time that he was on was impressive. He looked so calm and composed when he got the ball, which for someone of his age, I know I wouldn't even be able to walk on the pitch in a game of that atmosphere and magnitude, so it's remarkable how composed and calm he is when in possession, he makes things look easy, and i definitely think he should have some involvement in England's next game, just to give him more experience at a different level.
3. Rooney needs to stay in midfield
For the second game running Wayne Rooney controlled the midfield, his work rate is incredible and he works so hard for the team. He always looked to be calm on the ball, playing good passes into wider positions in an attempt to push and stretch the Wales back 3, and he did this all game long and never looked to be stopping. I don't think that he could compete as well upfront now that he has matured, but he still could do a job further up the pitch, but why should he now he's performed well for two consecutive games at keeping England midfield together.
Yesterday after England scored a late winner, we saw just what it really meant to the squad and coaching staff. We saw true passion and desire which can go a long way in boosting the fans confidence in the team. It also gives a great amount of confidence to the players, as they go into the last group game top of the group. Be warned though, Slovakia have proved tricky opponents and aren't completely out of it themselves, so they will be looking to upset England. So England should look to stay sharp, play with intent and with the same desire as we did Vs Wales and Roy's side should come out on top. I think after such strong performances by second half attackers Harry Kane will struggle to get back into the team. So it will be interesting to see what Hodgson goes with for the next game, but lets hope we can win it. Stay tuned for a preview of the Slovakia game coming out soon.