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4 Takeaways From England's 0-0 Draw With Slovakia on Monday Night

Described by one colleague as 'the most excruciating 90 minutes of football I've seen all year', it's fair to say that England's 0-0 draw against Slovakia​ - even though it earned them a place in the last 16 of the tournament and extended their unbeaten run in competitive games to 14 - didn't set hearts racing. 


Excruciating or not, some talking points raised their heads...

4. Hodgson's Changes Weren't the Difference

Slovakia v England - Group B: UEFA Euro 2016

​Roy Hodgson making six changes to his starting lineup dominated the buildup to the match, going with a mixture of resting and rotation after victory over Wales more or less assured his side of qualification. 


His decision to switch up his team so much caused some consternation among the fans, especially when England failed to win, but it's hard to blame his rotation for his team's struggles against Slovakia. 


England dominated. They had 29 shots. The only issue was the same one they suffered from against Russia and in the first half against Wales - an inability to finish off chances. That wasn't new. 

3. Jordan. Bloody. Henderson.

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​Jordan Henderson is an international footballer. No, really. He even plays like it sometimes - but he had an absolute horror-show on Monday night, pinging balls out of play like his legs belonged to somebody else. 


Somebody on Twitter quipped that Henderson was a nailed on 'void' voter in Thursday's upcoming EU referendum, on the basis that he's pathologically incapable of landing a cross inside a box. The joke was more or less the only good thing to come out of his performance. 

2. England Have Impressive Depth

Slovakia v England - Group B: UEFA Euro 2016

For all that Henderson (and Jack Wilshere) may have underwhelmed in midfield, England's strength in depth remains laudable. Jamie Vardy looked dangerous when he was fed a ball to run onto, Daniel Sturridge looked...well, if not impressive, then at least on the verge of causing some trouble of his own. 


Meanwhile, Nathaniel Clyne looked brilliant bombing down the right, giving Hodgson a real and unexpected selection dilemma after Kyle Walker's pair of good performances against Russia and Wales. 


Monday night's game may have featured a handful of understudies, but most of them showed that they can be stars in their own right if given the chance. ​

1. It Was - Ultimately - Still A Promising Performance

Slovakia v England - Group B: UEFA Euro 2016

​It's very easy to be cynical when it comes to England matches. There were mistakes, and some players underperformed, it's true. But there were also a lot of positives to take. 


Nathaniel Clyne and Kyle Walker have both shown that no matter who starts, England will threaten with brilliant pace down the right-hand side, and it'll just take a little tweak on the right-hand side (it feels odd to say, but James Milner is the best crosser of a ball in the squad...) to really unlock defences down that channel. 


The other positive? England aren't likely to play another team like Slovakia for the rest of the tournament. Putting 11 men behind the ball and nicking a point to almost guarantee qualification in a third place spot is one thing, but teams will have to come out to England later in the tournament. 


At that point, England's pace and attacking power will show. There will be space for Jamie Vardy to run into. Harry Kane will get half a second more to engineer a shot. England's attack will be more free - and they could well prosper.