England 1-0 Slovenia: Five talking points from the 2018 World Cup qualifier | Dominic Fifield

A late goal against Slovenia was enough for England to qualify for Russia 2018 but the 1-0 win masked a humdrum performance lacking in subtlety

So England have booked their place at the World Cup in Russia and, before the final group game in Lithuania on Sunday, have now qualified for the past four major tournaments without losing a match. Yet the level of choking anticlimax in evidence here should not be masked by Harry Kane’s stoppage‑time winner, and will ensure no one departs for the team retreat outside St Petersburg next summer expecting too much. This campaign has been a plod and, while the set-up might spy reasons for optimism, the nation still seeks evidence of clear development and, indeed, real progress. There was precious little to enjoy at Wembley. It says much that, Kane’s goal aside, the crowd here was only whipped up into a frenzy while amusing themselves arrowing paper aeroplanes down on to the turf.

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A late goal against Slovenia was enough for England to qualify for Russia 2018 but the 1-0 win masked a humdrum performance lacking in subtletySo England have booked their place at the World Cup in Russia and, before the final group game in Lithuania on Sunday, have now qualified for the past four major tournaments without losing a match. Yet the level of choking anticlimax in evidence here should not be masked by Harry Kane’s stoppage‑time winner, and will ensure no one departs for the team retreat outside St Petersburg next summer expecting too much. This campaign has been a plod and, while the set-up might spy reasons for optimism, the nation still seeks evidence of clear development and, indeed, real progress. There was precious little to enjoy at Wembley. It says much that, Kane’s goal aside, the crowd here was only whipped up into a frenzy while amusing themselves arrowing paper aeroplanes down on to the turf. Continue reading…

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/05/england-slovenia-five-talking-points-russia-2018-world-cup

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