England gave debuts to a number of players in the friendly defeat away in Sweden but how did they get on?
Caulker looked relatively assured in the centre of the defence until he was replaced by Ryan Shawcross in the second half. Sweden had a lot of luck with their goals and Caulker rarely made any defensive errors. He looked a little nervous to begin with and as such he was slightly off the pace but his defensive position was good and he looked strong in the air.
Sterling also looked quite nervous at the start of the game but got into the match as he was fed more of the ball. He can play down either side of the pitch effortlessly and seems to be at his best when he is allowed to dribble at the full backs. He showed some good touches and played a perfect pass to Ashley Young for England’s first goal of the evening.
Competed well in the middle of the pitch for the whole match. He rarely gave the ball away which allowed England to retain possession well and he read the game superbly with a number of good interceptions and tackles in the midfield areas. His attacking play was way off the mark with a few half chances that were never going in but he never found himself presented with a golden opportunity.
Jenkinson came on for the last quarter of an hour of the match at right full back. He looked comfortable but Sweden were ahead by this stage before adding a spectacular fourth goal. His forward runs are clever and he protected his side of the England team well which forced Sweden to switch the play quickly.
Shawcross replaced Caulker in the second half and never really had the time to show what a good central defender he can be. He wasn’t at fault for the third or fourth Swedish goals and dealt with the physical presence of the big Swedish strikers well which allowed England to try and mount a little bit of pressure towards the end of the game.
Zaha came on with only five minutes of the game left to play so he never had any chance to show what he can do. His first couple of touches on the ball were superb and there is definitely something about this winger. However, he needs to learn how to beat a full back at international level because it was too easy for the Swedes to read him and intercept the ball.
Who impressed you the most?
image: © Mick Baker