Some England players put incredible shifts in within the group stage, most notably players performed best in the Wales game but strong performances throughout have led to the 3 lions qualifying in second place in group B. Just who were the 3 main stand out players? I'm going to be taking a look and giving my opinion on why.
1. Wayne Rooney
Captain, England's controlling midfield man. I think what made Wayne so good throughout the group stage was everyone's previous doubts over his ability. Many didn't believe he deserved a place in the team after a poor Premier League run of form. In the first two games more specifically he proved any doubters wrong. He was inspiring in central midfield controlling the play and has been praised for this. His ability to pick a pass helped England spread the play and his work rate allowed him to win the ball back from players who would otherwise be looking to attack. He struggled coming on as a sub against Slovakia but overall Wayne should be proud of his efforts, as he really did prove why he's worthy of the captaincy.
2. Kyle Walker
Despite only featuring in two fixture in the group stage, Walker was incredible asset down the right hand side. With players like Rooney picking him out more often than not, he had license to attack in both of the matches he featured in and particularly against Wales, where he had the beating of his man every time the ball was played out to him. His pace certainly helped him but he also showed good dribbling abilities to beat his man on countless occasions against Wales, he was certainly an unexpected stand out performer in this one.
3. Eric Dier
England's holding midfield man. Scored a wonderful goal in the first group game and looked steady in every game he played in. He just adds the extra support to the defence which meant throughout the entirety of the group stage they were never really put under significant pressure for long periods of time, as Dier was cutting the ball out. For a young player Dier shows great maturity with his ability to make the right decision under pressure with regards to passing, which some young players may struggle to do and make mistakes. Dier has a very level head and remains composed, and his consistency is what has earnt him a place in my top 3 performers for England.
We go on now looking towards our next opponent. We need more players to put in strong performances if we are going to progress. Hard work from attackers and chance creating from defenders are two things which stick out for me, we've got to get goals. This is because some teams will soak up all of our pressure then go down the other end and score, and there's nothing we can do about that. We need to remain confident and remain attacking, and then the chances and goals should come.