With Leicester City not playing this weekend it seemed an ample opportunity to turn the focus on England as they take on a much improved Chilean side at Wembley on Friday.

Being a friendly, it was a great chance for Hodgson to experiment, trying out a few different players while keeping the core of his team much the same to not disturb the balance, but what did we learn about this new look England side?

The answer is that defensive frailties are proving all too familiar. England sunk to a below par 2-0 defeat on the night, but the result for Hodgson would have been irrelevant if it had been for a good performance which was clearly missing.

Handing debuts to hot prospects Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana and Frazer Forster was one positive, each of whom turned in promising displays on their full international debuts.

On a night where Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez took all the plaudits, scoring too expertly finished goals, it was also a night when Frank Lampard made his 100th England cap, perhaps overshadowing what was a drab affair for the England fans.

But what was particularly pleasing on the eye was the positivity shown by both teams, highlighting exactly how a friendly should be played, fast and frenetic. We wouldn’t have expected anything less from a Chilean team with nothing to lose, but it was positive to see England reluctant to sit back, although in doing so exposing many frailties at the back. The first goal was if nothing else, a learning curve for Leighton Baines at this level. Giving Alexis Sanchez a fraction too much space proved decisive in the opening goal, the sort of fractions that make all the difference against top quality forwards.


Irrespective of the result which in a friendly doesn’t often reveal the bigger picture, the basis of a competitive team that could hold a respectful World cup campaign seemed to be there for both sets of players. Hodgson has a squad of players who understand at least exactly how he wants them to be set up, if at times, frustratingly inadequate to put it into practice.

Finally, congratulations to Frank Lampard on his hundredth cap. Not his finest performance in an England shirt but a great achievement all the same, something he was clearly and understandably immensely proud of.