England player ratings v Portugal: Forwards toil in system

Date published: Friday 3rd June 2016 8:26

England: Hodgson to change his team

England’s forward players all struggled to make an impact against Portugal on Thursday night as Roy Hodgson tested a new system.


JOE HART: Not the best of distribution on an otherwise quiet night for the England goalkeeper, who was rarely tested. 6

KYLE WALKER: England’s best player, offering width, defensive guile and attacking option. Must surely start against Russia. 8

GARY CAHILL: A relatively comfortable night once Portugal were reduced to 10 men, he looked at ease in possession and ended the night with the armband. 6

CHRIS SMALLING: An unlikely match-winner in a scrappy encounter. Looked comfortable on the ball despite playing on the left side of the defence. 7

DANNY ROSE: Did nothing wrong but failed to truly shine in the absence of the injured Ryan Bertrand, with Dele Alli and Jamie Vardy both taking up space down the left flank. 6

ERIC DIER: Effective as ever in front of the back four, but his limited creativity was exposed once Portugal retreated behind the ball. 7

DELE ALLI: Didn’t look a natural fit on the left side of the diamond, and was starved of his fruitful club partnership with Harry Kane but was lively throughout. 6

JAMES MILNER: One of England’s most experienced players underwhelmed at Wembley, barely warranting a mention apart from when he produced an uncharacteristically bad pass that could have caused the defence problems. 5

WAYNE ROONEY: Some decent link-up play with the front two but failed to continue his recent form in a deeper role. His presence seems to force others into unnatural positions. 6

HARRY KANE: A surprise choice as England’s set-piece taker and was forced to drift out to the right flank, rendering him largely ineffective. 5

JAMIE VARDY: Back in the starting line-up after getting married, his place on the left-side of attack did not allow him to get behind the backline with enough regularity. Like Kane, he was ineffective through little fault of his own. 5

JACK WILSHERE (for Milner, 66): Provided a spark in midfield and raised the tempo, providing more of a threat from deep than his fellow midfielders. 6

RAHEEM STERLING (for Vardy, 66): Claimed the assist and was an impressive attacking threat after being brought on. 7

DANIEL STURRIDGE (for Kane, 78): His snap-shot across goal highlighted his threat, but did not have enough time to make a significant impact. 6

ADAM LALLANA (for Rooney, 78): A few nice turns and clever passes, but too little time to really make a mark. 6

JORDAN HENDERSON (for Alli, 90): A late run-out without any note. 5

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