England have struggled to break the opposition down in these games before so it was positive to see the way they started (probably the best I’ve seen them play in a tournament since 2004 in that first 25 minutes or so). It was also refreshing to see them passing better. There’s definitely a mistake or two in them and the finishing needs to be better, but with Kane there’s always a chance of nicking a win from a draw or a draw from a defeat, and it’s been a long time since England have had a striker like that.
The middle third of the match has to be a bit of a worry as there were some signs of the old England in there, however fair play for them for being patient and then having the character to keep going ‘til the end. I think more than ever they’re going to need the whole squad to chip in and Southgate/Holland used the bench well IMHO. Being able to bring on hungry players with pace is a positive, in case the starters are showing tiredness or lack of purpose.
There’ll be tougher tests ahead but one of the criticisms of England is they don’t win the games they should do, so at least they’ve managed to answer that now.
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