Shearer Says: “England must take positives despite Russia’s late equaliser”


Sadly for England the late Russia goal last night will take away a lot of the positives that the team showed in their opening game of Euro 2016. I thought the system worked really well. Rooney was probably the pick of the bunch in midfield, Dele Alli played well, the two full-backs both got forward and knocked some good balls into the box and we created some good chances.

We did say though leading up to this tournament that England are going to have to score at least two or three goals a game if they are to win due to their suspect defence. They had plenty of chances but struggled to convert them and then the sucker punch came at the end of the game when from out of nowhere, Russia found the equaliser.

For some reason Harry Kane looked heavy legged to me, as he did in the Portugal game at Wembley before the tournament got underway. He didn’t have anywhere near the amount of touches that you’d expect in the box. What amazed me more than anything though was that he was taking corners from the left and right side.

You’ve got one of England’s best headers of a ball and he is not in the box when you have a chance to whip a decent delivery into the danger area. He’s got every right to go up to manager to ask for someone else to take them. He was the top goalscorer in the Premier League last season and is arguably England’s best goalscorer in this squad.

Surely there are other players in this England team that can take a corner kick? Lallana and Rooney are more than capable. It just does not make sense. He might be good in dead-ball situations but he took six or seven corners last night and he only put one good delivery in there.

It’s Wales next up for England now and they need to not let that late Russian equaliser affect their confidence for that game. We need to get a result and put in a good performance. They’ll look at the video and analyse it, after doing so, I’m sure they will accept there were plenty of positives.

Wales had a fantastic win against Slovakia in their opener, I watched that game earlier in the day. They were full of energy and passion, exactly what got them to the tournament. Gareth Bale came up trumps again, although the goalkeeper should have stopped it. It’s set up nicely for a good game. Both sides play attacking football so I expect it to be very open.

It will be interesting to see how Roy sets up his team because Wales play three at the back. There won’t be wholesale changes. I suspect he might go in with more or less the same XI, barring injuries. The midfield linked up really well so I don’t see the need for changes there. With better finishing England could have had three or four goals against Russia, so I am sure the goals will eventually arrive.


Check out the Shearer says archive for more of Alan’s opinions.

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