Wayne Rooney put aside allegations surrounding his private life to open the scoring in England’s 1-3 win against Switzerland in Basle. Adam Johnson was a stand-out player for the away side after coming on for the injured Theo Walcott and adding England’s second by taking the ball round keeper Diego Benaglio. Xherdan Shaqiri’s wonder goal only two minutes later did give Switzerland hope, but the pressure died down after Stefan Lichsteiner was sent off for a second bookable offence. Another substitute Darren Bent added England’s third to cap off a convincing win.
Joe Hart – 6
Slight fumble from a high-ball followed by a nervous looking punch/catch could have ended in tears. The decision to continuously clear at the last possible moment also wasn’t welcomed well by Capello, or the fans. The reason why he’s number one is largely due to the fact he barely has a mistake to his name, so here’s to hoping he gets a lecture from the coaching staff and it stays that way. In no way could be blamed for the goal.
Glen Johnson – 7
Was his usual self as he weaved his way in and out of a lot of possession which mainly ended in him just passing it back. Goal was at the other side, and he still hasn’t been tested by a world-class winger.
Phil Jagielka – 6
Evidence of his nervous start at Everton emerged as clearances were rushed and headers were left uncontested as his teammates were left to pick up the pieces. Was drawn in time and time again by Frei dropping deep and seemingly couldn’t deal with the array of playmakers the home side had on the field. Another player that needs to be more consistent with his form.
Joleon Lescott – 6
Was the weak link in a defence that was only occasionally tested. Although naturally a back to the walls sweeper, he failed to deal with several high-balls- most of which he simply flicked on to the back-post. Needs to get his club career back on track before he starts thinking about getting ahead of Dawson and Terry amongst others.
Ashley Cole – 7
Marched on as the Swiss were penned back by England’s high defensive line. Was the only man that could be at clear fault for the goal as he allowed a gap to emerge for Shaqiri to shoot. Same problems with leaving gaps. Same threat going forward.
Theo Walcott – 5
The jury is still out as the Arsenal man was carted off after just 10 minutes with an ankle injury, and wasn’t Reto Ziegler glad. One of his two runs down the right-side ended with the Swiss left-back 10 yards behind with the other eventually ending with the ball in the net. However, there was still time for a cross to miss its mark.
Steven Gerrard – 7.5
Not as effective with going forward as usual, but a real asset when the going got tough after Shaqiri’s goal. Several bundles in the box were met with a hefty boot out of the area, much to the relief of the nation. Tackles flew in when the Swiss decided to take a rare route through the centre. It really is a luxury to have a player who can always offer something, whatever the circumstances
Gareth Barry – 6
Was quite innafective as Gerrard seemed to do all his work for him. Fans even saw the dirty side to him as he was forced to ‘tactically foul’ to avoid engaging in pace battles with the forwards. Backed-up the defence nevertheless, and came up with a few blocks as the shots reigned in. Will offer more in the slower paced games.
James Milner – 7
Made some nice charges down the left-hand side as Lichtsteiner received his orders for two fouls on the City man. Crosses found good areas as Defoe’s volleys cannoned over- something that should have been capitalized on as the initial threat died down. Got stuck in when the away side got physical, but didn’t get overly aggressive.
Wayne Rooney – 7
Had he have not scored the papers would have had a field day. Thankfully, for his sake, he did. Tacticians wouldn’t have needed to see his tap-in to see that he had a good evening. His passing and movement was immaculate- linking up numerous times with Defoe to get him in behind the back-line. Putting aside the tabloids, fans saw a decent performance by Wayne Rooney.
Jermain Defoe – 6.5
Really could do with getting whatever operations he needs out of the way as injury marred another good game. Missed a few volleys in the box that could have made his last five days that much sweeter. Could have even been accused of missing England’s best chances following the opening goal, but you get that kind of treatment after you’ve scored a hat-trick of difficult finishes. Being stretchered off in the second-half will catalyze whatever measures have to be taken regarding treatment.
Adam Johnson – 9
The boy is on fire. In Milner and Johnson England have two wingers with raw hunger about them as well as the usual flair and trickery. Although not as quick as the man he replaced, his elusiveness and ability to slip through markers more than makes up for it. His second goal in two games is something that won’t be overlooked when compiling the stats for the last five days. It will be interesting to see where he is in the pecking order following a good run of games whilst Walcott’s (presumably) out.
Darren Bent – 7
Came on for the injured Defoe and as a result was mainly used as a target man as the away side resorted to hoof ball tactics to close in on the three points. But after a few missed headers the ball was brought to the ground again. His goal sums up what he brings to the side- a man who pops up just when you need him.
Shaun Wright-Phillips – 4
Was the final Man City player to come on to complete the six that ended up on the field. Didn’t do a great deal and as a result it will make the selection process that bit easier. His woeful attempt at putting England’s third on a plate for Bent before the Sunderland man eventually did was welcomed by a packed away end’s worth of groans. Fortunately England were home and dry by the time he had missed his second chance to grab an assist.