The past few days have given England different levels of practice in what they can expect throughout virtually the whole of Euro 2016 qualifying in Group E.
Switzerland aside, every other team will get numbers behind the ball and make creating chances difficult. Against Estonia, England largely failed to show the level of creativity required, even against 10 men.
Here are three ways that England can improve in upcoming fixtures, with Slovenia up next at Wembley on November 15th. England are 12/1 to win Euro 2016.
Calum Chambers is not the answer at right-back
Getting the full-backs forward is arguably the most important thing against narrow, compact defences and Chambers didn’t do anywhere near enough.
He regularly gave the ball away or cut back into a compressed midfield and played a limited pass. John Stones was previously as restricted when picked by Roy Hodgson at right-back.
What England need is someone more in the mould of Glen Johnson in an attacking sense, who is willing to take on players and get to the byline consistently.
Nathaniel Clyne is the answer and Slovenia at home would be the ideal chance to give the Southampton man his England debut.
Adam Lallana can play deeper in the diamond in this group
As well as Fabian Delph has done in his England career to date, his main attributes of winning back possession and keeping it simple aren’t needed against this calibre of opposition, especially when the Three Lions dominate possession to such an extent.
Lallana dropped deeper in the second half against Estonia when a raft of attacking changes were made and his ability to play a more telling forward pass or beat a player with a simple sidestep would be of much more use.
His tackling and tenacity was also visible against Estonia.
Ross Barkley can’t come back fast enough
Barkley is due back in training at Everton this week and is expected to return to action in early November, which could make him available for selection for the Slovenia clash.
England are not short of number 10s at present, but Raheem Sterling doesn’t seem to have the technique and ability to link play in tight spaces. He is better with space to run into, which he won’t get against defensive-minded opposition. Sterling would be better out wide.
Barkley has acceleration, a better touch, two good feet and a great shot. His ability to find a yard of space and create is what England were crying out for against Estonia and this is what will again be required in other Group E fixtures.
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