England didn’t start Euro 2016 on a high note due to a late Russian goal, meaning the Three Lions had to be satisfied with a 1-1 draw in Marseille.
England were hugely impressive in the first half in particular, when their supporters inside the stadium roared their approval as Russia were pressed into submission and made to look pedestrian. It made that cruel conclusion, Vasili Berezutski’s header, even more painful.
Next up for Roy Hodgson’s squad is Wales, who beat Slovakia 2-1 during ther first game in France. England can’t afford another drop of points despite the fact that 16 of the 24 teams will qualify for the second round.
Much is expected from the Three Lions, but as the chances racked up and were not taken in a fine first half, the argument that this England side lack a ruthless streak gained weight.
This was suprisingly also voiced by Liverpool flop Mario Balotelli. In an exclusive interview with Goal, the Italian striker talked about his feeling that England are not a top team as he never had the sensation about losing when facing them on the big stage.
“Their stikers are very good”, Balotelli started. “But I’ve played twice against England, once at the World Cup and once at the Euros. Both of those teams were young and strong, with big players.
“But I never felt we were going to lose that game. I always felt we’d win, even if they maybe were stronger. I think that if you play a top team, you might have the feeling you’re gonna lose.
“But I never had that sensation against England. I did have that feeling against Germany.”
Meanwhile, Wales star Gareth Bale voiced his opinion on England’s squad with one very simple but harsh quote. When asked how many England players would get into Wales’s team, Bale told reporters as reported by The Times: “None.”