England 1-0 Denmark
As I regularly read player ratings and retort in disgust I can relate to anyone who thinks mine are a load of rubbish. It's worth remembering that football is subjective. Being honest this was a poor game that even Andy Townsend's thrilling insight couldn't enhance. Here's how I rated the players.
Joe Hart 6
Didn't have much to do but made a great save when called upon. He quickly narrowed the angle to deny Rasmussen proving his quality. But we know he has quality. Why didn't Roy give someone else a go?
Glen Johnson 6
A pretty standard performance. Tried to get forward and started quite well. His crossing was however of mixed quality.
Ashley Cole 6
Similarly to Joe Hart, we know Cole can do it at this level. Why didn't Shaw start?
Gary Cahill 6
Did his job. Cahill looked a touch shaky and certainly seems to prefer working with a CB seeminngly better than himself ie John Terry. He did well to block the best chance of the first half from Poulsen's shot, although I wasn't entirely convinced.
Chris Smalling 5
He did alright. Defended as well as he could but always looked a touch suspect. I cannot wholly relax with him in defence and I'd worry if he faced quality opposition at the World Cup.
Steven Gerrard 6
Struggled to impact the game in an attacking sense although his work-rate was admirable. Not as bad as some.
Jordan Henderson 6
A real shame for Henderson. I'm a big fan and really hoped he would continue his Liverpool form tonight. His shot from miles out was a sign of how desperate he was to prove himself, although this sailed over the bar. In truth he did the basics well but nothing else.
Jack Wilshere 6
Is this lad made of glass? I am sick of seeing him spending hours on the floor because his foot has been clipped. Aside from faining injury he looked one of the most likely to penetrate, but I wasn't overly impressed. Needs to do better if he's to fulfil his potential.
Wayne Rooney 4
Absolute rubbish! I get the sense that Rooney just coasts when it comes to England. I wrote an article a few weeks ago suggesting that England may actually be better without Rooney and he did nothing tonight to prove me wrong. I recall him having 4 shots, three of which sailed miles over the bar, whilst the other hit the wall from a freekick. Needs to seriously buck his ideas up. Is that all 300k a week gets you?
Raheem Sterling 7
Looked very lively and one of the most likely to create the big chance. Having said that his decision making and delivery in the final third wasn't brilliant, but he was more creative than his colleagues. I felt when presented with the chance where he hit the post he should have thrown himself at the ball to give the defender no chance.
Daniel Sturridge 7
My Motm, see more on him below.
Luke Shaw 7
A great debut. Why didn't Roy start him? Looks a real prospect, who wasn't fazed at all by the occasion and he put in some nice crosses when he broke forward. To be honest I think he'll be our future LB and he has to go to Brazil.
Danny Welbeck 5
Got a decent shot away that was well saved by the excellent Schmeichel, but didn't have many other chances.
Adam Lallana 7
He really impressed me. He looked different from our other midfielders in that he welcomes having the ball at his feet. Did superbly to work the assist fro Sturridge's goal. Has he pushed himself ahead of Wilshere in the pecking order?
Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain 5
He wasn't on for long and it seems harsh to move his mark up or down.
See comments on the Ox.
Man of the match: Daniel Sturridge.
Why won't Hodgson play this lad up-front? He bangs them in for Liverpool and I just feel that he will take chances that come his way. Took his goal really well and showed some lovely touches whilst staggeringly being played out of position once again. I'd sooner start him up there than Rooney.
Overall this was a terrible game and performance by England from which it was extremely difficult to pick a MOTM. Let me know what you think in the comments below.