Vardy and Kane do the trick but England must do a lot better

The duo scored 49 Premier League goals between them and were both on the score sheet here but England must go to Euro 2016 in better form


All's well that ends well. That's precisely the message that Roy Hodgson should not be taking from this 2-1 victory over Turkey. England might well have got the win here at the Etihad but don't let the result fool you. They must improve and improve quickly if they are to satisfy expectations at Euro 2016.

Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy were both on the score sheet which is a pleasing outcome for Hodgson, who responded positively to the suggestion of both being included in the starting line-up. There was no Wayne Rooney after the FA Cup final and so new options were tested. 

Whether this England have the capability elsewhere to extract the best from the 49-goal duo is another story. Vardy smashed home a close-range winner after Volkan Babacan parried the ball from his goal line and that was in truth his one outstanding moment.

The Leicester City man was not an orthodox partner for his Tottenham counterpart, instead playing in behind during spells of the first half as well as from the left wing. That was the position from which he drew a second-half penalty from Turkey captain Mehmet Topal and was one of the few opportunities Vardy was given the chance to do what he does best - eat up the grass and bear down on goal. That Kane missed was immaterial in the end.

When England seek to control possession and move up the field in stages, the space for Vardy to work becomes compressed. He's not a threat for Leicester because of his pure footballing ability; he's quick and dangerous and must be permitted to play as such for the national team too.

Likewise, Kane, one of five Spurs players to start here, might well have got his goal but his true strengths are wasted in this set-up. He stood over every set-piece when he might well have done better to be on the end of them. He played both in behind as well as at centre forward. There is the germ of a partnership between these two but it must be nurtured properly. To include the two would mean doing more to protect the midfield area. It's an awkward compromise to ask Vardy to run the left channel because that's not his position. 

In truth, only the role of Eric Dier is truly recognisable in this team to that of his club side. He is a magnet for opposition attacks and distributes well, just like he does for Spurs.

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In front of him though, Dele Alli had more touches bounce off him than into him. John Stones tried to get beyond his midfielders once or twice but his on-the-ball skills were not utilised either.

More worryingly, the England back four were making errors too. Danny Rose and Joe Hart were flustered for the first-half Hakan Calhanoglu equaliser. Dier and Gary Cahill dropped their men at set-pieces. It will only take one header to flash in against Russia, Wales or Slovakia and England woulld very much be chasing the game. For a team with no great attacking threat, that element has to be right. 

Fans of Premier League clubs have grown accustomed to watching these players do well each week in domestic competition. Naturally, they expect the same to happen when they get together with the English national team. They did well in the qualification phase no doubt, but the run of competitive games to come will be a step up.