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Lithuania vs England a few quick thoughts

  • I’ve only watched the highlights of this game so cannot give my full take on proceedings on last nights England game
  • But in fairness I think that was all that I need to watch as once again it was a very uninspiring performance
  • With qualification booked on Thursday this was always going to be a dead rubber
  • It is fair to say that it very much lived up to those expectations
  • Harry Kane scored his fourth England goal in as many matches as his spot kick proved to be the difference
  • The goal had a Tottenham connection as the returning Dele Alli was tripped in the box which lead to the award of the spot kick
  • The team did have a Tottenham air about it as Harry Winks made his England debut and it is fair to say he looked assured in the full national setup
  • The same cannot be said about Jordan Henderson who offered a pretty turgid performance in what was a much changed England side
  • Once again Gareth Southgate decided to switch the shape of the team around in terms of formation and personnel
  • After already booking qualifying that is his right but even watching the highlights it did feel that this encounter had the air of a training fixture
  • Michael Keane was handed another cap and nearly shanked the ball into his own net, he had Stoke’s Jack Butland to thank for sparing his blushes
  • Harry Maguire was also given his debut as a full international and looked solid if not spectacular
  • England weren’t really troubled by Lithuania but that was more down to their finishing then anything else
  • Had they been against sterner opposition then it could have been a different story
  • That sterner opposition will come in the form of Brazil and Germany next month in international friendlies
  • If the eleven that played last night went up against either of these two sides I don’t think it would make for pretty viewing
  • And that is exactly what England have not been under Gareth Southgate – pretty viewing
  • Again they laboured to another win last night
  • They ended their campaign with victory but it was nowhere near ending with a flourish
  • Do you have to just admit that England need to look at pragmatism over points, just get the job done regardless of performance
  • In a sense that is fair enough but with the talent which is on offer there should be a lot more on offer from this England team
  • Quite simply England are going to have to be better than this when they reach Russia
  • Once again they just seemed flat, whether that was a consequence of already qualifying and going through the motions could be argued
  • But at the same time it was no different then what they showed against Slovenia
  • At the end of the day two very flat performances have warranted six points but it has been an absolute chore to sit through, even when watching the highlights
  • Last night was always going to have an air of experiment behind it, it was an experiment where we didn’t really learn anything new
  • Except perhaps Harry Winks, I may be biased as a Tottenham fan but keep an eye on him he could end up being very useful for England.
  • We certainly need something a bit different in the middle of the park
  • Roll on Russia
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