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Euro 2016 Group B Final Matches a few quick thoughts

  • As gambles go in Footballing terms that one certainly backfired for Roy Hodgson
  • His decision to rest six players from the dramatic late win against Wales last Thursday was proved not t be a wise one as they were held to a frustrating bore draw against Slovakia
  • A draw made all the more frustrating as it allowed Wales to leapfrog them to the top of Group B
  • Wales did what England could not. That was not only just score last night but also beat Russia
  • The Russians were simply no match for Chris Coleman’s side who got off to the perfect start thanks to Aaron Ramsey’s opener
  • The night got even better for the traveling of army of Welsh fans as Neil Taylor doubled their advantage soon after
  • He may have needed two attempts to slot home but he got their in the end to already put the game out of Russia’s reach and also send them packing
  • It was a job well done when Gareth Bale got his third of the tournament in the second half and Wales’ third of the night
  • That wrapped up the win and now Wales fans would be keeping a keen ear as to matters in St-Etienne
  • It must be said that Russia were awful last night and it begs the question as to how England didn’t come away with all three points from their opening group game
  • Those two extra points would have seen England top of the group but as it stands they have to make do with the runners up spot
  • So now time for the inquest
  • Did Hodgson make the right call in rotating his side
  • You can see the logic in the decision but after such an impressive second half against Wales then surely you should be looking to continue that momentum and not make wholesale changes
  • Football is a fickle sport
  • If England win last night then the changes are a smart move
  • If they fail to pick up three points well you do not need me to explain the backlash that has come around this morning
  • Let me be clear though it wasn’t a bad performance last night, it just once again lacked cutting edge
  • Eric Dier was imperious in the centre of the park
  • Especially as he had to carry an unfit Jack Wilshire and a once again average Jordan Henderson
  • Personally I think Henderson has never had a decent game in an England shirt
  • It also doesn’t help that Slovakia turned up just to play for a point
  • The fact that third placed teams can get out of the group stages is having a negative effect in these final group matches
  • The format is strongly creativity and rewarding safety
  • If Slovakia needed to finish in the top two then they would have had to go have gone for it last night
  • But they obviously felt comfortable taking their chances with a 3rd place finish and waiting until Wednesday to see if they advance
  • Wayne Rooney was bought on for an ineffectual Jack Wilshire but even England’s Captain Fantastic couldn’t really get a foothold in the game
  • The 30,000 plus England fans were incredible in terms of support it’s just a shame that they had to make do with watching a near training exercise
  • Credit begrudgingly has to go to Slovakia as they defended incredibly well
  • They are not obliged to make a game if it but you kind of wish they did
  • After the delight of last Thursday the mood now is somewhat tempered
  • Despair, resignation, anger all in equal measure but the important thing is that we are still in the tournament
  • Monday night is where it really starts, the nation will now be hoping that Cristiano Ronaldo finally wakes up and fires Portugal to victory tomorrow night as we would then subsequently avoid them in the Round of 16
  • If the Real Madrid star fancies another lie in and they stutter out of the group then our participation at Euro 2016 could be much shorter than hoped
  • As for Wales they play on Saturday but will have to wait for their opponents
  • Whoever it is the draw is looking very favourable for them
  • Top of the group for Wales and nothing short than deserved
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