10 Things we learnt from England vs. Sweden

1. Boring, predictable and conservative. Three words used to describe Roy Hodgson’s first three games in charge. Who’s saying that now?

2. Major tournament after major tournament we hear about how our national team has no bottle. Well, this outfit has more bottle than Charlie Sheen’s liquor cabinet.

3. Theo Walcott, take a bow. I’m sure you’ll go back to the anonymous headless chicken we’re all so used to in the next match, but what a splendid cameo.

4. Danny Welbeck is rapidly maturing into a striker of some quality. Always offers a threat to the opposition defence and that finish showed a touch of class as well. Given Hodgson a serious selection headache.

5. The defence looked assured for the vast majority of the game but any time a cross came into the box we looked suspect. Better organisation needed from set pieces.

6. Fair play to Andy Carroll, he got his chance and took it with both hands. For a man who’s suffered as much criticism as him this season, he’s done well to bounce back. Price tag is still ridiculous but there won’t be many questioning his squad inclusion this morning. Credit where credit’s due.

7. Glen Johnson has been England’s player of the tournament. That crucial late tackle on Rasmus Elm shows how much he’s developed defensively. More of the same please.

8. England look a much better outfit when Steven Gerrard gets on the ball and takes control. The skipper showed signs of grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck in a similar fashion to what he does for Liverpool. And that’s two superb assists to his name as well now.

9. Ashley Young has been a tad disappointing. Considering he went into the tournament as England’s in form player, the weight of expectation may be too much. Yet to deliver.

10. Why can’t England ever defend a lead at a major tournament? Every other country seems capable of shutting out games in a calming fashion. It’s never an easy ride watching the Three Lions.

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