Hoddle: Jack Wilshere Learned a Valuable Lesson in England's Draw with Ukraine
Ex-England manager Glenn Hoddle has signed on to write a weekly column for Bleacher Report UK. Learn more out about Glenn's exciting new website venture, Zapsportz, here.
Jack Wilshere is billed as one of English football's great hopes for the future, but I have some advice for the Arsenal midfield player after an England performance that was more about the result than the substance of their display.
Wilshere learned a very valuable lesson about international football. More often than not, it doesn’t work holding onto the ball too long and trying to beat your opponent. He was caught in possession too often.
He needs to shift the ball quicker and choose more carefully the time to take on opponents.
Wilshere was disappointing, but it was not a World Cup tie where anyone really shined. I did think Steve Gerrard had a rousing game, however—a real skipper's performance.
It was all pretty dour stuff. England were in control in the first half to an extent, but it was an awful second half.
Gary Cahill put in a sound defensive display and he needed that after taking so much criticism for the Kenny Miller goal against Scotland. Joe Hart was sound in goal, and I don’t think he touched the Ukraine forward after 40 seconds, so it was most definitely not a penalty.
But Kyle Walker needs to have more awareness about his defensive duties—he's great bombing forward but he was caught out at the back. He reminds me of Glen Johnson at the same age. He had to learn how to defend better.
It was good that Ashley Cole was around on the other flank, where his vast experience came in handy at times. He was magnificent clearing danger, and that comes from experience.
England have now got themselves into pole position with two final games at Wembley against Montenegro and Poland. Roy Hodgson lost so much quality up front with Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck gone—they didn’t have a cutting edge up front.
I was a bit disappointed with Theo Walcott, who got tied down too often out wide when he needs to know when to go through the middle at times. He still looks as though he needs a bit of coaching in order to learn when best to make the right runs into dangerous positions.
If England are in Brazil in the summer, they are not going to look back at this performance, so if I were in Hodgson’s shoes I would be a very happy man on the flight home, delighted with that result.
* Zapsportz.com is the new exciting website where Glenn Hoddle reveals how kids from all over the world can enter the X-factor style Zapstarz, the former England manager's search for a new generation of footballing talent.
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