England Euro 2012: Breaking Down Strongest Performers for the Three Lions
England appears ready to shake their trend of disappointment in major tournament play. They are 1-1-0 in Group play, and are in full control of their own destiny.
They also appear to be getting better. Roy Hodgson has coached a new atmosphere into this squad. They are playing like a team and they are set to get prized goal scorer Wayne Rooney back (via the Daily Mail).
This team did not wilt or throw in the towel in his absence. Here are three players who have made sure that wouldn't happen.
For England, success was always going to be closely tied to the play of their keeper Hart, and the 25-year-old has not disappointed.
Hart has not been perfect, but he has been very good. Against Sweden he made one diving save, and a few nice plays to deflect crosses.
Hart is playing poised and smart. England's defense has not been great, and Hart is saving them.
Gerrard has been the heart of this team. His energy and leadership is vital. In England's opening draw against France, Gerrard made sure his team stayed aggressive.
That said, this led to him being a little too aggressive at times. He played a much smarter match against Sweden.
He was more patient with his runs, and when he did make them they worked.
If Welbeck had done nothing else but the below goal, he would be on this list.
However, he has done more. He has been rock solid in both matches. Welbeck is right at home against top competition and while he didn't have a shot in the opening match, he did a great job with the ball.
Welbeck was following that matchup with a solid effort against Sweden, and that went off the charts with his sublime game winner.
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