Alan Shearer looks ahead to England v Slovakia
Coral football ambassador Alan Shearer had plenty to say to our very own Nicola McGeady following England’s last-gasp win on Thursday, and the choices facing Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson as they go into their final Euro 2016 group stage game with Slovakia on Monday, June 20th.
When asked about England’s performance in their previous Group B outing against Wales, Shearer said: “I thought it was pretty poor, though we did have the best chance with Raheem Sterling.
“I didn’t think we moved the ball quick enough. I didn’t think we stretched Wales enough, i.e. move their back three around. We didn’t have enough width and Roy had to do something at half-time. The only question was whether he would bring one forward on or bring two forwards on.
“Thankfully, those guys [Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge] did the trick and scored a goal each. I thought it was a lot better in the second-half. We got good width, we got a lot of bodies into the boxes and created lots of chances.
“I thought they deserved the win, but it was cruel on Wales scoring so late. It now gives the manager a dilemma what he does in the next game, but that’s a god dilemma to have because you want options. He has got guys on the bench that have been in form and scoring goals, and long may that continue.”
Shearer picked out skipper Wayne Rooney as England’s key player from the group games so far.
“I thought he bossed the game in the first game [against Russia]. He got balance right between defending and attacking,” Shearer added.
“Kyle Walker played very well [against Wales]. He gave us great energy. He certainly gave us width in the second-half and got balls into the box.”
When asked who he would select in the England attack for the final group fixture against Slovakia, Shearer said: “I would, without a doubt, pick Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge, because as a manager when you put substitutes on you want them to make an impact in the game and you want them to change the game.
“There’s no doubt about it. Those two did that [against Wales].
“Having said all that, I do feel very sorry for Harry Kane, because he was asked to play the first game up front on his own. He was asked to the corners, which I thought was very harsh. He was rightly given the nod in the second game, but again he was up front on his own with no support and very little chances.”
Shearer maintained his belief that Hodgson’s side can reach the business end of the tournament. “If everyone starts to perform to their maximum and we get a little bit of luck, then it could be a semi-final,” he continued. “If not there, then the quarter-finals.”
Check out Shearer’s thoughts on other topics as well as plenty of other Euro 2016 features here.