A day after a water-logged pitch postponed there World Cup qualifier, Poland and England finally played their match 20 hours. And after sitting trough a rather tedious 90 minutes, most fans will wonder why they bothered!
The home side started the brighter and created a couple of half-chances inside the first 15 minutes, with Kamil Grosicki missing his kick from Glik’s cut-back and Joe Hart taking the ball off Ludovic Obraniak’s toes following Łukasz Piszczek’s cross.
The best chance in the opening 20 minutes fell to Poland’s Robert Lewandowski, who far too easily shrugged off Tom Cleverley before putting his shot just wide.
But then, in their first meaningful attack of the match England scored after Steven Gerrard won a corner. Gerrard then took the corner and Wayne Rooney, having lost marker Piszczek, headed home. It was Rooney’s third international goal in five days.
The second half was all Poland as England were really disappointing and it was no surprise when Kamil Glik tied it up ith 20 minutes remaining as he beat Joleon Lescott and Joe Hart to head in Obraniak’s right-wing corner.
I think I have to go back to the era of Steve McClaren to find such a poor England performance. England were consistently overrun in midfield and when they had the ball they would give it straight away.
Hodgson went with a midfield four of Gerrard, Milner, Carrick and Cleverley. The lack of a true left sided midfielder player meant that Gerrard, Carrick and Cleverley all played more in the middle of the pitch. The result was that England had a lack of width and most of Poland’s attacks came down the flanks, especially their right flank.
Against San Marino last week I commented how well the young England players had passed and moved the ball around. Today in Warsaw England looked like the team that played in the Euros. They could not string three passes together all night as Michael Carrick especially looked out of sorts.
Not sure what the answer is for England. With the World Cup in less than two years, England need to get younger, while also qualifying for Brazil. Does Hodgson make the move now and just play the kids that impressed so much at Wembley last week, or can he get the older players to play the way that he wants?