Harry Maguire’s late heroics ensured England would retain their perfect start for World Cup qualification. The eighty-fifth-minute winner came after a Harry Kane penalty in the first-half, meanwhile, Jakub Moder would score the initial equaliser for Poland. For England, this marks their last appearance before this summers European Championship.
A Lacklustre Showing:
While England’s U21’s today crashed out of their group in the Euro’s with a dominant two-one performance, the senior team may have matched the scoreline, but not the quality.
The Three Lions lacked intensity, desire and any real redeemable qualities. For large portions of the game, they were eleven individuals and not a team. The England players walked around the pitch with all the arrogance of a team who expected everything handed to them on a silver platter.
Sterling’s penalty was arguably soft, Stones error for Poland’s goal was concerning, and the issues persisted.
The reality is, the England squad is stacked with quality from top-to-bottom. However, the performances we’ve seen against relatively solid teams such as Poland have far from inspired confidence.
Recent losses against Belgium and Denmark were the same and, with a tough group awaiting Southgate’s squad this summer, is it really coming home?
Is it all doom and gloom for England?
No. That’s the simple answer. England are still the fourth-ranked international team in the world and with that have just two losses since the start of 2020.
They are captained by the best striker the national team has seen since Wayne Rooney burst onto the scene. Minus Stones error, they have conceded zero goals in their last four games and seem to have excelled defensively in a more traditional four at the back
Alongside this, the depth in the team is tremendous. Also, Gareth Southgate for all his faults is the first manager to take England to a World Cup semi-final since 1990.
This summer, the quality is there and the trophy could be within touching distance. For England, it is not a matter of starting at square one, but, rather putting on the finishing touches to make The Three Lions roar again.