As much as I wasn’t particularly looking forward to last night’s England game, the one hope I had was that Aaron Lennon would step forward and stake a serious claim for a World Cup spot. That’s exactly what he did and in some style!
Lennon’s first half performance was superb. He created two of the goals, secured himself the man of the match accolade and very likely a place in Capello’s squad for the 2010 World Cup.
As expected, Emile Heskey kept his place in front of Defoe and you can’t really knock Fabio Capello for his decision. Heskey gives the side better balance than a Rooney Defoe partnership would do. Although Defoe deserves to start a game for England on current form, it doesn’t look like it will happen while Rooney and Heskey are both fit. That being said, Capello may experiment a bit more now England have qualified.
While Lennon and Defoe may be a little fatigued going into Saturday’s game against Man Utd, we couldn’t have hoped for a much more positive and confidence boosting outcome to their England duty. The 5-1 drubbing might not have done Kranjcar the world of good though!
Although it’s hard to see Roman Pavlyuchenko starting at the weekend, he also put in a productive shift at the Millennium Stadium against Wales. He started the game on the bench but was introduced after 70 minutes and scored in injury time. I’ll be more than happy if our unlucky Russian can play a similar role on Saturday!