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England vs Slovenia – a few quick thoughts

  • Well it may not have been pretty but at least out place at the next year’s FIFA World Cup has been booked
  • A pretty abject performance against Slovenia in all fairness but three points are in the bag and ultimately should give us something to smile about
  • As is the norm people will look for the negative’s rather than the positive’s when it comes to England
  • But at the same time they should not be quick to forget that we’ve reached an international tournament
  • Admittedly the offering at Wembley last night did not make for good viewing and if England played like that against tougher opposition then they would be in a for a very long 90 minutes
  • Harry Kane started October as he finished September with the all important goal that gave Gareth Southgate’s side the win
  • He and England left it very late though as it needed a 94th minute winner to break Slovenia’s resolve
  • Jan Oblak had just collected the ball and with Slovenia needing a winner of their own he threw the ball out quickly
  • A decision that was to prove costly for the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper as Kyle Walker picked up the errand pass and surged down the right hand side
  • It took three touches for the Manchester City defender to tee himself up for the cross that was placed perfectly into the box for Kane
  • Kane did not perhaps get the best of connections but it was all he needed as the ball edged over the line to finally break the deadlock
  • Joe Hart had arguably the busier night of the two goalkeepers
  • He could have given away a Penalty in the first half when luckily for him the referee gave a corner
  • But he was called upon to make a very important double save in the second half when England were all at seas
  • Their was a hint of offside but the assistant’s flag stayed down and Hart who took a knock in the process saved his teammates bacon
  • It did look like being a frustrating night for England as first Marcus Rashford wasted a chance after deciding to lob Oblak
  • And then Raheem Sterling saw a late effort cleared off the line
  • Sterling has looked impressive for Manchester City this season but that form did not carry over to last night
  • He was more effective when placed out wide
  • Dele Alli will surely resume his role as number 10 against Lithuania on Sunday
  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain once again offered little and questions will have to be asked as to how he is making the England starting eleven
  • The defence was not at it’s best, whether it was at it’s full strength can be argued but as a unit they will have to play a lot better when it comes to the finals
  • That is something that the whole squad will have to do in all fairness as they laboured to a win last night
  • Wembley seem strangely muted, even Clive and Glenn did not seem all that interested in the first half
  • Many would have left to beat the traffic and would have not witnessed Kane’s winner
  • A lesson learned that you should never leave early but then again getting out of Wembley is a nightmare.
  • So the FIFA World Cup is eight months away and the bandwagon starts now
  • Gareth Southgate is still learning on the job but he will have to learn quickly if England are to improve
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