Finding positives from last night’s drab 0-0 against Slovenia is rather like searching for a needle in a pile of haystacks, but there was one for England, it seems. This came in the shape of John Stones, who was, perhaps, the only ray of light in a pretty dark evening.
The Manchester City centre-back was at his ball-playing best and had it not been for Gary Cahill’s haphazard performance alongside him, Joe Hart may not have been called into action so regularly.
Stones’ modern approach to defending draws some criticism, but he appears to be moving in the right direction quickly following his summer move from Everton to Manchester City – and he got plenty of praise last night…
John Stones confidence and composure in possession is world class. He is England’s best defender and midfielder.
— City Chief ️ (@City_Chief) 11 October 2016
John Stones is the best player on the pitch. World Class defender. Too good for this England team.
— BlueCityZen (@BlueCitizen007) 11 October 2016
John Stones isn’t just England’s best defender, he’s their best midfielder too.
— Tony Scott (@Tony_Scott11) 11 October 2016
His composure under supreme pressure beats my mind.
— Ramsey. O (@elshegerry) 12 October 2016
And even Barnsley fans got in on the act, with Stones having risen through the ranks at the Championship club before moving to Everton.
Every Barnsley fan is so proud of John Stones.
— Philip Priestley (@PublicPriestley) 11 October 2016
However, it was not all praise for Stones, with some fans unconvinced by his performance…
What’s with all this praise of John Stones, he looked decidely dodgy to me. I thought we were very vulnerable down the middle.
— John Ramsay (@JohnR200) 12 October 2016
If last night was the real John Stones then Pep’s had a mare binning off Joe Hart. The bloke was bailing him out left, right and centre.
— BeanMalpass (@BeanMalpass) 12 October 2016