- Chris Sobey
As predicted on Monday Wales lost 1-0 against Ukraine and Northern Ireland made it 10 International matches unbeaten winning 1-0 against Slovenia. I also predicted that Barnsley, Bradford and Gillingham would all win their respective away matches on Monday, while leaders Burton were the biggest losers on the night going down 2-0 at Millwall. Burton’s lead at the top of League One was cut to one point by second place Wigan who beat Rochdale 1-0.
The excitement surrounding England’s come from behind 3-2 friendly win against Germany on Saturday night was short lived as Roy Hodgson’s thrown together new look eleven flopped against a weakened Holland 2-1 at Wembley last night. On a positive note Keith’s Over 2.5 Goals bet advice was landed and Jamie Vardy sent a clear message to Roy Hodgson with another goal and surely he must be one of the first names on the team sheet for Euro 2016.
I personally cannot fathom the benefits of making such extensive changes so close to a major tournament. Surely sticking with your strongest available team and giving them as much playing time together as possible builds understanding and confidence, which will be paramount come the summer. This still leaves room to establish a solid bench and the opportunity to blood in one or two squad players at a time to see if they have what it takes at International level.
All last night seemed to achieve was to confuse a lot of the squad players who were getting their chance to shine, but for the first half hour of the match the majority looked lost and all at sea. The second half was even worse and Hodgson’s decision to bring on some of the star players from Saturday in an attempt to rescue the game smacked of desperation and not surprisingly they failed to make an impact.
Elsewhere on the International friendly front last night there were impressive wins for Germany, who thrashed Italy 4-1 and Euro 2016 hosts France who thrashed Russia 4-2, partly thanks to goals from Premier League stars and birthday boy’s Dimitry Payet and N’Golo Kante.
The Republic of Ireland were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Slovakia with all four goals coming in the first half while Portugal were too good for Belgium winning 2-1 thanks to goals from star players Ronaldo and Nani, while Premier League star Lukaku continued his impressive soring form this season with Belgium’s goal.