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Five more things we learned when England played Estonia

| 13.10.2014

Following the Three Lions’ 1-0 away win over Estonia, they now have a maximum nine points from their Euro 2016 qualifying group. They followed up their routine 5-0 victory at Wembley against San Marino, by just edging past a hard-working Eastern Europesn outfit.

Coral take a look at five things we learned after a Wayne Rooney free-kick sealed the advantage for Roy Hodgson’s men, who are odds-on at 1/8 to win Group E.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the future of England’s midfield
The Arsenal man was arguably England’s best player when he came on, putting himself about, chasing every ball, and linking up nicely with fellow substitute Raheem Sterling. Perhaps unlucky not to see one of his strikes hit the back of the net, the 21-year-old was playing out of his skin. After a performance like this he deserves his place in the starting XI.

Diamonds aren’t forever
Playing with a diamond, utilising one touch, pass and move football is all very well and good; however, variety is key. Trying to walk the ball in has never worked for England, and Spain showed at the World Cup that this no longer works. They need a flexible system with personnel who can drift wide if needed, and offer more direct dynamism.

Estonia are hard to beat
There is a reason why the likes of Uruguay have lost there, and Brazil only won by the odd goal. They are compact and hard-working, and while Hodgson will have warned against complacency, it did start to creep in at times.

Wayne Rooney still can’t score the easy chances
During the international break, the England captain could have quite easily surpassed the long-standing England goalscoring record held by Bobby Charlton, and in the first half against Estonia alone fluffed two chances from as far as five yards out. As is often the case with Rooney he hit the spectacular, bending an effort in 20-yards and catching the goalkeeper out at his near post.

Nathaniel Clyne was unlucky not to make an appearance
Arguably the best right back in the Premier League so far this season, and on that basis he should have at least made an appearance. Calum Chambers, although progressive with Arsenal this term has made errors, while Clyne has demonstrated dynamic attacking ability and also chipped in with a couple of goals.

If you fancy England to win Euro 2016 based on these performances, we’re offering the Three Lions at 14/1.



Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.