Everything we can take from England’s first defeat at the new Wembley since 2013.

  1. Vardy and Sturridge?

Jamie Vardy may have all but booked himself a seat on the national team’s flight to France with his second England goal in four days but his upfront partnership with Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge was mediocre at best. Both strikers played well and after not representing the Three Lions for 18 months Danny was certainly still as sharp as ever. However, as a pair they didn’t seem to click, the interplay wasn’t there and service for the two came primarily from the midfield and not one another. Evidence suggests that North London’s Harry Kane would match Vardy’s game with greater efficiency.

2. Defence.

England’s defence has never been solid and since the likes of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand have departed the set-up, it has looked permanently unsteady. Tonight was no exception. Danny Rose may have been unlucky to concede a penalty in the second half but the national team were lucky not to see more of Holland’s efforts sneak into Forster’s net. The Dutch broke through just a little bit too much and John Stones was particularly shaky on the ball. Simple passes were not made and debutant Danny Drinkwater had to mop up loose balls on more than one occasion.

Danny’s Debut: Drinkwater earned himself the man of the match award on his first England game. Photograph: The Daily Mail.

3. The End of Theo Walcott?

Let’s be honest Theo’s appearance tonight was nothing more than an English cameo. He wasn’t ready at 17 for a major tournament (despite the genius Sven taking him to Germany) and he doesn’t look ready now. His pace may be fierce but his decision making is poor and tonight he didn’t show much to merit a spot in Roy Hodgson’s England. He spent his time on the pitch doing what he does at Arsenal, running to the by-line and hitting the ball very hard at something in the box.


Cameo Substitute: Sturridge gives way for Arsenal’s Theo Walcott. Photograph: The Independent.

4. Captain Milner.

James Milner may graft like a black market salesman and put his heart, body and soul on the line in the match but he isn’t a leader. Cahill did a fair job on saturday of occupying the injured Rooney’s role as England captain but the Liverpool midfielder didn’t appear to match his ability to drive the team forward. He has a lot of experience and will be vital to guiding England’s tournament virgins through Euro 2016 but leadership isn’t for him.

5. Over confidence?

The hype of Saturday’s defeat of the world champions clearly had a lingering effect on England and English fans. We all love beating the Germans and the nation went into overdrive when the young and inexperienced Lions came from behind to clinch victory in Berlin. However, despite Roy’s constant assurances that England could not allow their victory to give them an untapered confidence, it clearly had a effect tonight. Don’t deny it, you had visions of Vardy lifting the trophy as soon as the final whistle blew on Saturday. England need to take a leaf from Leicester’s book, stay humble and take every game as it comes.


Tough Night: England protest Holland’s second goal after Danny Drinkwater was fouled inside England’s box. Photograph: The Dailystar.