England suffers defeat in consecutive games for the first time since 1977 – is there cause for concern?
When the fixture against Germany was announced in October, there was reason for hope and optimism, as England were on the back of two crucial wins against Montenegro and Poland, ensuring their place in the 2014 World Cup.
These hopes were quickly dashed when England faced Chile last week, when a brilliant solo performance by Alexis Sanchez gave his side a surprise victory. Although with several notable absentees from the England team such as Carrick, Gerrard and Walcott, the team should have performed better against an intelligent but ultimately limited Chile side.
Hodgson was able to field a stronger side on Tuesday against Germany. However, although England arguably did not deserve to be behind at half time, the final result was certainly a fair one. After some sloppy defending mid-way the first half, with England unable to clear multiple crosses into the box, Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker was able to climb above the English defence and execute a powerful header in the bottom-left corner, past the helpless recalled Joe Hart.
England responded brightly until half time. Several changes on either side were made soon into the second half – none of which provided much impact on the game as a result. A lack of composure in front of goal when opportunities arose to shoot was a clear factor why England failed to get on the score sheet.
Gerrard, Rooney and Townsend, who hit the post in the second half with a crisp effort from his left, were the only bright sparks in what was otherwise a lacklustre display from the home team.
The final whistle brought many jeers from the home crowd, expecting a better game overall. Roy and his side have a lot to ponder if they are going to having a successful time in Brazil next summer.