In November 2011 Frank Lampard led England to a 1-0 victory over World Cup holders Spain in a friendly fixture at Wembley which at the time, offered fans a glimmer of hope that the Three Lions could mix it with the best of them ahead of Euro 2012.
As England wake up following a home defeat to Danny Blind’s stuttering Holland side, there is almost a certain resignation that despite beating World Cup holders Germany in their own back yard three days ago – not a lot has actually changed with our national side.
It is always nice to beat an elite nation simply because England has not been one for a very long time, however the difference in their most recent win in Germany in comparison to the victory over Spain in 2011 was this time around it was thoroughly deserved.
On record, 2011 saw Lampard head England to a win over a strong Spanish outfit – but in reality, England were completely outplayed on the night in what was almost an embarrassing display. The only thing Spain didn’t do was find the net. A three nil defeat would have been a much fairer reflection.
In Germany, despite being 2-0 down, the new breed of England players were at it from the word go; Playing attractive, dynamic and purposeful football. Not passing for the sake of it. Not trying to emulate other nation’s styles.
They were always looking to create openings and were extremely positive. It almost felt like England had their own identity and Germany could not cope.
Whilst most, if not all football fans find it incredibly hard work to get excited over international friendly fixtures due to their lack of competitive nature, a 3-2 win in the back yard of the World Cup holders via a last minute header was surely enough to get the most hardened of supporters cheering in their homes up and down the country – but it begs the question that has the hard work come undone already following the lacklustre 2-1 home defeat to Holland?
It has been suggested that after their defeat to England, Germany hadn’t actually got out of second gear and come summer, will be a different animal altogether.
Whilst it would be nice to say this about England’s performance last night, it wouldn’t actually ring true as it had a far too familiar feeling to it.
Of course there were wholesale changes to the side, with debuts being handed out and new combinations being tried – but the fact of the matter is this was a defeat to the worst Dutch side of the last fifty years.
Everybody is aware of a new breed of players coming through and with Roy giving them a go, trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t, there is finally a new level of excitement and love for the national side and certain players such has Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Jamie Vardy.
This is something which has been missing for a very long time.
Realistically, one victory over Germany doesn’t change the landscape of English football; but neither does one defeat to Holland.