Poll of the Day: Which England player staked strongest claim for regular spot in win over Moldova?

Three Lions kicked off 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign with a comfortable victory at the Stadionul Zimbru as squad players impressed in place of injured stars


England kicked off their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign with a comfortable 5-0 victory over Moldova on Friday.

Frank Lampard netted twice while there were also goals for Jermain Defoe, James Milner and Leighton Baines as Roy Hodgson’s side easily claimed the three points.

It was a professional performance from the Three Lions with many players impressing in the absence of key players such as Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole.

But who amongst the replacements made the biggest claim for a regular spot in Hodgson’s first 11?

Tom Cleverley played in the number 10 role and had a decent game behind Jermain Defoe, although he never looked fully comfortable and his finishing occasionally left something to be desired.

Defoe got himself on the scoresheet but could have had a hat-trick with some of the chances that came his way. His link-up play with Cleverley was good, but overall his play didn’t seem enough to oust Rooney from the spot when fit.

At left-back Baines impressed both defensively and going forward, his movement beyond Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain caused problems for the Moldovan defence all evening.

He got his reward with a goal albeit in slightly fortuitous circumstances and may have given Hodgson something to think about, despite the consistency of Cole over the years.

Oxlade-Chamberlain produced his best performance in an England shirt. His mazy runs down the left wing caused havoc all night and presented chance after chance for the Three Lions.

His link-up play with Baines and the rest of the midfield allowed Hodgson’s side to build attacking momentum quickly which they took full advantage of. He truly showed his potential and may have edged ahead of Adam Johnson to start on the left against Ukraine.


So who do you think did most to earn a regular England place? Get in touch by voting in the poll, leaving your comments below and letting us know your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.