England’s fixture against France was obviously about more than football, where the result didn’t matter at all, but I still feel we can take plenty of positives about the performance of a couple of our up-and-coming talents.
The England fans were fantastic in the respect they showed at Wembley, and while the game, understandably, wasn’t as full-blooded as it could have been, you’d have to be delighted with the performance of Tottenham duo Dele Alli and Eric Dier.
We are obviously going to have to wait for another competitive game to really assess the youngsters coming through, but there was a lot to like about their contributions.
You have to give Mauricio Pochettino a massive amount of credit for the way in which he has given the duo a chance at Tottenham.
Dier didn’t travel with the Under 21s when he said that he didn’t feel comfortable playing at right back and people gave him stick.
I said it at the time that you have to hand it to the player for recognising his deficiencies and for wanting to go back to his club and work on them.
Pochettino has then gone and played him in the position that suits his style of play and his qualities.
We don’t know whether Roy Hodgson believes he is the man for England in that role, but we will have to wait and see.
As far as Dele Alli is concerned he is only going to get better, it is as simple as that.
Karl Robinson was on Goals on Sunday last season and said that he was yet to work with a better player than Alli.
People might pour scorn on that suggestion with that being at League One level, but Robinson was keen to stress that he could see the player mixing it with the best teams, and if he couldn’t then his judgement was totally wrong, and it certainly hasn’t been that.
Plenty of time for Roy to formulate plans
The England manager has been in the news today saying that he hopes to have a winter getaway with his Three Lions team, but I’m not so sure that is necessary right now.
I think it would be better to have a get-together closer to the Euros, a lot can happen between now and the tournament.
What Roy might perceive to be his best team in December might not necessarily be his best team in June.
I would be looking for the England squad to play as many games as they can, be it for their clubs or on an international level, and then have longer preparation with the players before the major tournament.
Then we can hopefully have a solid unit to go and try and make a challenge in France next June.
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