England’s 1-0 win in Oslo can be best described as solid but unspectacular, although Roy Hodgson won’t mind one iota as Ashley Young’s 9th minute strike gave him a debut win as manager of the Three Lions, in what was England’s first win against Norway for 32 years
There were plenty of positives to be taken from the friendly, notably the performance of Rob Green in goal and that of Andy Carroll who put in an excellent shift on his own upfront and look very much the domineering centre forward that saw Liverpool prepared to pay £35m for his services.
Other positives to take from the evening were the international debuts of Martin Kelly and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Scott Parker appears to be over the Achilles injury that saw him miss the end of Tottenham’s campaign. Unfortunately England did pick up an injury setback last night with Gareth Barry who limped off and will have a scan today on his groin to discover whether he will be fit enough for the tournament.
Hodgson however seem pleased with his England side’s first outing, although felt that the players should have done a little more with the attacking chances they had.
“I think the discipline of the team, the overall desire of the players to really work hard for each other and to make certain that we did come away with a victory after a good start with the early goal.
“After that we did have to withstand quite a lot of pressure from the Norwegian team, at least in terms of ball possession, but we kept our shape very well and we worked very hard.
“If we are going to criticise ourselves, it is maybe that we could have done a bit more on occasions with the counter attacking chances that we had. We did produce a couple of shots that hit the post and a couple of good saves from the keeper, but occasionally after winning the ball back and defending so well we had some great opportunities on the break.” Sky Sports
England take on Belgium next Saturday in the final friendly ahead of the Euro Championships that kick-off against France on the 11th June.