clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Euro 2016: Vardy and England struggle in 1-0 victory over Portugal

It could be a tough Euros campaign for the Three Lions following a sluggish friendly against Portugal.

Dan Mullan/Getty Images

England scraped past a 10-man Portugal side at Wembley Stadium, securing a 1-0 victory in their final friendly before Euro 2016.

The match was intended to be a glimpse of the side and playing style to feature in the tournament. If England put in similar performances in France, another early exit could be in the cards.

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy started the match up top for the Three Lions, in what was expected to be a 4-4-2, partnered by Tottenham hitman Harry Kane. Although Vardy started the match a tad lively, his energy was instantly vanquished thanks to the inept tactics of manager Roy Hodgson.

A Vardy-Kane strike partnership seems to be what the majority of England fans wish to see in the Euros. However, Hodgson seems to be set on a 4-3-3 look, with captain Wayne Rooney playing in the central role.

This is a problem for multiple reasons. For one thing, Rooney found himself beyond Kane and Vardy on numerous occasions, pretty much killing the striker chemistry. This formation plays to the strengths of neither Kane nor Vardy, as both are at their best centrally.

Vardy, in particular, is the most lethal along the shoulder of the last defender, using his pace to get in behind and score the majority of his goals.

If Hodgson is going to even going to consider throwing Vardy in a wide role, it might be a good idea to have a player on the pitch who knows his game well. Putting Danny Drinkwater on the pitch would have proved an intelligent move to get Vardy into the game, with Drinkwater's knowledge of the striker's runs being a great tool to catch a compact Portugal defense off guard.

But alas, no Drinkwater in the squad meant a bad day for Vardy, and a bad day for England on the creative side.

Hodgson will be forced to have a good look at his tactics for England's opening match of the Euro's against Russia, because as of right now, his system is benefitting very few of the England players.