With Italy on the way, I was up to test Eric Dier, Jamall Lascelles, Alex Demetriou and Jordan Woodward against tougher opposition, unfortunately the three defenders that would be tested where injured. Thus I called up the confirmed players Kelly and Smalling. It would also be a good chance for Tyler Blackett to prove himself against a stronger nation and stamp his spot as a reserve for Jack Robinson. Tottenham’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also gaining my respect, and deserves to be part of the Euro Cup group. Andy Johnson is carrying Brighton on his back this season, and playing extremely well, he is back in the group, and I will test him to the maximum!
We played an excellent game against Italy, and my experiment with Andy Johnson did well! He scored one, and played a good match! Theo Walcott as a forward organized the goals and Jack Wilshere scored twice in the game. We didn’t have our usual dominant ball possession but we won off great counter attacks! Tyler Blackett has proven himself against stronger opposition and definitely figures within my EC20 group!
Against Cyprys, Nathaniel Chalobah showed me great ability, but at the same time, Cyprus was terrible in the pitch and we scored seven goals! Definitely not the best opposition to evaluate players. Jordan Woodward made his debut with England, but got sent off with a criminal tackle! The big name of the match, Luke Meadows with five goals scored! Not much to say after this great performance!
With Alex Smithies, Jack Butland and Joe Hart injured, it was a chance to experiment John Ruddy. To my surprise, experienced reserve at Arsenal, but now a starter at Ipswich Town, Ruddy managed the Man of the Match and prevented England from losing against Norway. It was a good game to see James Tomkins and Eric Dier being tested against stronger opposition, and though we suffered a bit, they did fine! Another great surprise was young Glenn McCormack and Timothy O’Toole. Both players played well under Nordic pressure and ended up the match with good ratings.
Against Andorra, again a weak opposition, and again lots of goals scored! Daniel Lacey noticed that Clyne’s performance can obfuscate him and he had a great match. Another player who noticed that his chances are slimmer, Marvin Sordell, was named man of the match, scored once and participated well during the whole 90 minutes.
As a final result for the Euro Cup Qualifiers, Italy, Russia and Greece guaranteed their spots in the competition winning respectively against Georgia, Slovakia and Wales.
As for our preparation, we will face tougher opposition till Euro Cup! Our next friendlies are against: France (6th), Germany (8th), Portugal (3rd) and Spain (2nd). I made sure to book the friendlies against the top 10 European countries.