By Andy Hyslop
- Roy Hodgson made six changes to his England team
- Smalling one of five players to retain place
- Rooney started game on the bench
Despite dominating possession throughout the ninety plus minutes England weren’t able to find the breakthrough that would see them win Group B.
England manager Roy Hodgson made six changes from the team that started against Wales last Thursday. Hart, Cahill, Smalling, Dier and Lallana were the only players to retain their places.
In came Vardy and Sturridge after scoring the goals that beat Wales as second-half substitutes. Wilshere, Henderson, Clyne and Bertrand were all give their first starts of Euro 2016.
Captain Wayne Rooney started the game on the bench and in his absence Gary Cahill was selected to lead the team out.
Team changes: Gamble or Not?
Much of the reaction after the game has been around Roy Hodgson’s decision to make changes to his team. Was this a gamble by the manager or the right decision?
I agree that if the team didn’t perform well you could say that it was a gamble. But that isn’t the case, they performed just as well as the team selected did against Russia and Wales.
Also now pretty much every player in the squad has had some game time and Hodgson will be able to call on any of his squad in the knockout rounds.
You also have to look at how the opposition play, in all three group games England’s opponents have sat back and showed no desire to attack for large parts.
A well organised resolute defence can be very different to break down whoever you have in your team and you would think that teams will be slightly more open in the knockout rounds
Where does the result leave England?
After last nights results, England have qualified for the last sixteen as the second placed team in Group B. Wales finished top of the group following their 3-0 win over Russia.
While Slovakia will have to wait to see if they go through as one of the four best third placed teams.
In their last sixteen tie, England will face the runner-up in Group F. Their potential opponents are Hungary, Portugal, Iceland or even Austria depending on the results of their last group games on Wednesday afternoon.