Shearer Says: “England win down to bold and brave changes by Hodgson”
The first half performance wasn’t good enough. We had one or two chances but certainly not enough. We didn’t move the Wales back five around much at all. Roy had to make changes at half time and he did. He was bold and he was brave and the changes worked.
We were quick to criticise Roy in the Russia game when he didn’t make changes, but in this game he did and they worked out well. Both substitutes scored and England got the right result in the end.
Wayne Rooney was excellent again, and Kyle Walker did very well. Raheem Sterling struggled and Harry Kane did too. I have some sympathy with Harry as he came off having played the first half and the game against Russia, up front on his own, and he then had to watch the two subs play up front together and both get a goal. He had little support when he was on the pitch so I do feel sorry for him.
The whole match pretty much sums up the up and down life of England footballers, the manager and the fans as well. If Raheem Sterling puts away that chance in the first half it could have been a different story. He didn’t and then Bale scores a goal, which lets be honest, Joe Hart should have saved. But then the changes were made, there was more energy about the performance, we had a little bit more width, and piled much more pressure on Wales with the numbers of bodies we were getting in the box. It was only a matter of time until the pressure told. It was the right result, England deserved it on the second half performance, and they can now look forward to the next game.
Sturridge’s goal was a great finish. There was so little back lift that the goalkeeper didn’t have time to set himself at all. Indeed Sturridge did well to get in the position in the first place and then the finish was superb.
Now England must keep that positive energy and build on their fine performance in the second half. They need to carry on that positive vibe. They are obviously going to be feeling very good about themselves. They’ve gone from one extreme to the other. The game against Russia where they would have been feeling so disappointed after conceding in the last minute, to this match where they scored in the last minute and will be on a massive high now. That’s the rollercoaster of emotions in football and they need to carry that good feeling into the next game, win against Slovakia and finish top of the group.