Three things we learnt from the England-Holland game
Stuart Pearce had one shot to convince his bosses at the FA that he can manage England’s EURO campaign this summer and he has put on quiet a show last night against Holland.
Pearce decision to snub Gerrard and give Parker the armband has created an unnecessary debate but it was a great decision nonetheless. However, Pearce can kiss his chances goodbye as an uninspiring England side were beaten thoroughly by the Dutch.
Parker was industrious in midfield, making flying challenges and keeping van Persie subdued for most of the first half.
Though the 3-2 scoreline might not paint the whole picture, the warning signs were there for every fan to see.
Smalling failing to prevent the first two goals
Gary Cahill was paired with Smalling for the first time in England colours. Both as individuals make excellent centre-backs, but put them together in defence, they lack the cohesive force that binds a impregnable wall of defence.
Robben effectively used the inexperience of the centre-backs against them as he made a brilliant run from his own half, against the run of play, taking on the defenders head-on. Huntelaar made a dummy run, dragging the two centre-backs out of Robben’s path, before Robben struck a low shot past Joe Hart. Smalling must shoulder the blame for straying off his position and giving Robben an invitation to shoot.
Shortly after the first goal, Smalling was guilty of the second one as well. Dirk Kuyt cross met a rising Huntelaar as the Schalke striker headed home the ball before Smalling could get a touch.
Both their heads collided after Huntelaar powered the ball past Hart. The sheer impact of the collision left the two players lying on the pitch needing medical attention. Huntelaar wouldn’t have even known that he has scored the goal, as he lay down unconscious with his mouth stuffed with grass.
Huntelaar must start ahead of van Persie
The 6 ft 1 in striker came on for Robin Van Persie before the start of the second half. In the 13 minutes that he has played, Huntelaar has created a goal and scored the other before going off injured. Robin van Persie has been in tremendous form in the premier league this season, but his performances in the orange shirt has always been dull and uninspiring. van Persie’s club feats have eclipsed his compatriot’s exploits in the Bundesliga. But, Huntelaar’s goal tally looks more impressive than van Persie’s. He in the best form of his career this season as he scored 33 goals in 34 appearances at club level. During the Euro Qualifying matches, Huntelaar has two goals to his credit in just three games when Robin van Persie could manage just two goals in five games. van Persie might be just ahead of Huntelaar in the starting XI for Holland, but Huntelaar offers more than what the Arsenal forward could. Huntelaar can be a problem for the opposition during set pieces and dealing with crosses flying into the box. His dummy runs can create space for other players to take a shot at the goal. van Persie often drops deep into his hald when he doesn’t get any service from the midfield while Huntelaar keeps the defenders on their toes with his off the ball movement.
Adam will play a huge role in the EURO’s
Adam Johnson earning his 10th cap for England last night, was a joy to watch. He constantly harried the Holland defence with his nimble touches and quick change of direction. Micah Richards was brilliant in supporting his club mate with his overlapping runs from the right as the two players linked up very well to cause a few problems to the dutch defence. If Adam gets a decent run of games under Mancini, he might start for England in the EURO championship. Micah did a decent job holding off Robben barring one moment when he allowed the Bayern midfielder to venture into the box and test Hart at goal with a tremendous shot.