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England v Italy: The Positives

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Sadly England's opening World Cup match ended in defeat, but there were some positives.

Richard Heathcote

It's often easy to focus exclusively on what didn't quite go to plan where England are concerned but the game last night featured many positives. Here's a few to whet your appetite for the remaining group games.

Raheem Sterling

The lad was simply brilliant. He created chances left, right and centre, ran at people and struck fear into the heart of the Italian defence.  If he puts in two more performances like that in the final group games our strikers will have plenty of chances, that's for sure. 

The only negative is however, he made me lose my voice celebrating a 'goal' that hit the side netting (I'm sure you thought it was in as well).

Daniel Sturridge

Sturridge scoring was a pleasing sight. He really is starting to look like England's main man and his confidence in front of goal could prove the difference in the now crucial game against Uruguay.  Also, there's a slim chance Suarez might forget he's not playing for Liverpool and slip Sturridge a through ball. Think positive people.

Jordan Henderson

Henderson has come a long way. He started the game last night in impressive fashion and were it not for fatigue would have likely stayed on the pitch ahead of Wilshere (who was once again hopeless).  At times Henderson looked more commanding than Gerrard in the centre which was really great to see.

England's overall attacking intent

England's approach to the match was excellent. They really got at Italy early on and continued to create chances throughout the match.  The only downside is that despite sustained pressure we could only muster up one goal, whereas the Italians created very little, yet outscored us. Nonetheless, some of the relatively inexperienced England players put in exciting displays that bode well for the future.

We're still in with a chance of progressing

Despite a disappointing result, if England replicate that performance against Uruguay we're still in with a real chance of qualifying for the next round.

It's often easy to focus on the negatives, but there were certainly positives to take from the Italy game. As Steven Gerrard infamously said 'WE GO AGAIN!'