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It wasn't so long ago that England had an embarrassment of riches in central defence. The likes of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Ledley King, Jamie Carragher or Jonathan Woodgate would all walk into this current defence if they were at their peak today.
The partnership between Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling looked frail at times. Both are capable defenders, but better alongside a commanding partner.
Together they didn't convince and were guilty of completely losing concentration at the start of the second half. First Cahill lost the ball, allowing Fred to score. Then he and Smalling were both culpable as Fred almost grabbed a second goal a minute later.
The more senior players at Hodgson's disposal such as Cahill, Joleon Lescott, Phil Jagielka and Michael Dawson aren't quite up to the standard of the previous and aforementioned generation.
Meanwhile, the younger players coming through such as Smalling, Phil Jones and Steven Caulker have yet to hit their peak or achieve consistency.
It's anyone's guess who will be England's central defensive partnership come the World Cup in Brazil.