Yesterday evening England dispatched fellow Euro 2016 team Turkey, in a performance from the home side that has room for improvement. England move on to their next warm up game against Australia on Friday but before then let’s have a look at what we learnt from last nights game.
English Defensive Frailties
The English defense showed some frailties last night against the Turks and this was especially clear with their equalising goal from Hakan Calhanoglu on 14 minutes.
First of all Dele Alli sent a wayward header back towards England’s back four and this caused a mild panic. Once the ball was ‘cleared’ the back line were to too eager to step up and left gaping holes at the back; Danny Rose’s left side being exploited. Hart then rushed out committing himself and left an empty goal which Calhanoglu found through a flurry of off balanced defenders. Not a good passage of play at all.
Just five minutes before that Turkey were offered a sight of goal but this time Kyle Walker stuck out a leg to block it.
These two incidents combined with the last 5 minutes of the game show England need to stay switched on. Stronger and more experienced sides such as Germany, France and Spain will punish England for defensive displays such as the one we saw yesterday.
Goals Will Not Be A Problem
Despite missing a penalty yesterday Harry Kane got on the score sheet as did his strike partner Jamie Vardy.
Vardy was excellent yesterday showing in the first hour his ability to support play and drop back when required. In the final 30 minutes he showed his unrelenting pace and quick reactions, earning himself a goal, and making a strong argument for why he deserves a starting place.
Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney are still to join up with the squad plus Dele Alli’s club form proves that goals will not be a problem for the England team in the summer.
Turkey Are Tricky Customers
Its been 14 years since Turkey made it to the 2002 World Cup Semi Finals and despite not being as strong as they were then, it doesn’t mean this side can’t reach the quarter finals stage this year.
The group they have been drawn in is a very tough one including current European Champions Spain, Croatia and Czech Republic but Turkey more than justified their 13th place world ranking yesterday.
They were calm and concise in possession, their striker Cenk Tosun was a handful for England as was goal scorer Hakan Calhanoglu.
With Barcelona’s Arda Turan still to join up with the squad an outside bet could be for Turkey to become the surprise team of the tournament.
They may not have many ‘household’ names but the squad represent sides such as Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and new Turkish Champions Besiktas. Teams that demand attention in European club competitions.
England Need Second Enforcer
Much of the new-found optimism within the England squad this season has come from the surprise midfield rise of Eric Dier.
He’s proved his talent this year and is almost a certainty to make the Euro squad, cementing his place as our best holding midfielder option.
Roy Hodgson has only named three centre backs in his 26 man provisional squad and that is down to the fact that Dier can cover if needed. The burning question isn’t about who should play in the back four but who will play in Dier’s position if he is asked to play at centre back or worse gets injured.
Danny Drinkwater is probably the best midfield option however his success this season has come from having the tenacious N’Golo Kante next to him at Leicester. Another option is Everton’s John Stones but unlike Dier, Stones has not played there much and in all honesty hasn’t had the best season; therefore it may be a huge ask for the young prospect.
Dier is one of the first name on the team sheet today and losing him could cause an uncomfortable looking England side.
Jack Wilshere Is Going To Be Fit
The final thing we’ve learnt is Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere looks fit and will go to France on this evidence.
Wilshere played 65 minutes yesterday and performed very well, completing numerous dribbles and showing his keen eye for a pass.
A lot of people questioned Hodgson for taking Wilshere after missing most of the season but I genuinely feel he showed his fitness and his desire to prove that.
If Wilshere can complete 90 minutes in the Australia game Friday I strongly believe he will make the 23 man squad.
So that is what we learnt from the England vs. Turkey game last night. Don’t forget to use Betfect for all your Euro 2016 bets. England are currently 17/2 to win the tournament, Harry Kane is 16/1 to be tournament top goal scorer and Jamie Vardy is 33/1.
If you fancy following my tip of Turkey as quarter finalists, you can get 10/3 on that.
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(images: zimbio.com, goal.com, yahoo sport)