Opening England Euro 2016 tournament is a match against Russia and it’s going to be a competitive match.  Let’s face it Roy Hodgeson has got a bigger headache sorting out the England defense than whether he is going to field Wayne Rooney or not.

Before Russia Hodgeson will surely play the three lions; Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, and Wayne Rooney, forming the top of the diamond formation. Could Rooney give them the service they need in an attacking midfield role?  Rooney’s inclusion would force Dele Alli into a deeper midfield role.  Hodgeson has shown to prefer his play making abilities behind his team mate Kane.  England’s next friendly match against Australia on Friday 27th May (7.45pm) should provide clues as to how things will play out.

Alli will be the player to watch in this tournament.  Sir Alex Ferguson said ” Dele Alli is the best young midfielder since Paul Gascoigne “.  Teddy Sheringham, former Tottenham and England hero, has echoed Fergie’s sentiments.

England vs Turkey saw defensive mishaps including but not limited to four on two marking in the first half leaving Jeo Hart wide open to Turkey’s advances.

A missed second half penalty by Kane was a surprise.  A mistake that may make Kane the weak link if push comes to shove regarding Rooney’s inclusion for the opening match against Russia.  England are notorious for not being good at penalty shootouts.  Hodgeson won’t want a re-run of the Euro 2012 quarter final shoot-out against Italy.  Ashley Cole missed the last kick to seal England’s exit.  A quick history lesson on England’s penalty shoot outs, 1990 World Cup England was knocked out by West Germany, to West Germany again in 1996, and Argentina in 1998.  Who can forget the massive misfortune that Gareth Southgate had in 1996 World Cup semi final.  After drawing five goals all the penalty shootout moved to sudden death.  Southgate’s missed penalty condensed thirty years of hurt into one kick.  Fast forward to Euro 2016 surely Roy’s squad will be practicing their penalties.

Jack Wilshere’s first England appearance since last June looked convincing, but, lacked the play making imagination that Hodgeson has spoken of in the past.

Excellent threaded passes between Vardy and Kane and service by Delle Ali ensured that there where confident attempts on goal.  Both strikers looked hungry for goals possibly at the expense of cooperation that might have produced more.

Roll on England’s Friendly match against Australia at 7.45pm Friday, and, Portugal Thursday 2nd June at 7.45pm.


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