Why England's Friendly Win over Italy Was an Important Test of Their Credentials

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Why England's Friendly Win over Italy Was an Important Test of Their Credentials
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Jermain Defoe was the centre of attention for England after his winner againt Italy, but others shone too.

This was about as low-key as things get for England (especially in a game against Italy).

A friendly out in Switzerland just days before the start of the domestic season, the eyes of a nation only just readjusting their focus primarily to football after weeks of Olympic viewing.

The relative lack of attention directed at Roy Hodgson and his still rather new team was actually a refreshing change of pace.

It offered an opportunity for those involved to take stock of where they stand following this summer's European Championship, as they prepare to embark on the qualification process for the 2014 World Cup.

They were not left entirely to their own devices, of course; this is the England national team after all.

But those fans and media, watching in Bern and at home, will have been pleased to see Hodgson and his side making the best of a fixture that did not come at a helpful time for the club game, but was nonetheless of important value to his future plans.

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