Five talking points: Brazil 2-2 England

Positives for Roy Hodgson as England end the game strongly while Wayne Rooney continues to enjoy the national spotlight

1 Hodgson's decision to have a go worked well

Having been accused of sending England into the dark ages, Roy Hodgson came into this match boasting about how many passes his team had completed in their draw with the Republic of Ireland (500, in case it was missed). So it was ironic to see so many of his players give the ball away, often under the mildest of pressure. Hodgson cannot do much about that but he is responsible for the utter lack of adventure England shown prior to Fred's opener. Credit to Hodgson for pushing his players on towards an equaliser, which Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got prior to Wayne Rooney's strike, and while England could not hold on to their lead they were far more of a joy to watch in attack-mode. One can only wonder if the manager now sees the benefit of allowing England to go forward with gusto.

2 Rooney continues to revel for his country

A sense of drift may surround the forward's club career but at international level he is flourishing. Prior to this match Wayne Rooney had scored six times in his last six appearances for England and, although he failed to find the back of the net against Ireland, the 27-year-old still caught the eye with his incisive passing from a position behind the main striker. Here he was the main striker and, while cutting an isolated figure early on due to England's lack of urgency, he showed a willingness to come deep to get involved and led England's attack later. Rooney's curled finish on 79 minutes was a fitting reward for an industrious and intelligent display.

3 Neymar shows he can be the great entertainer

"My objective is to entertain" is the mantra of the player Barcelona have just spent £50m on. For some it is a case of wondering what the fuss is all about but here the 21-year-old showed glimpses of his talents. Positioned behind Fred, Neymar was an elusive presence, bristling with creativity, and could well have given the hosts the lead on 22 minutes with a wonderful curling shot having twisted Michael Carrick inside and out. There was a lovely clipped pass to Filipe Luís early on, too, but there were other moments of frustrating play. Neymar is by no means the finished article but he looks like a man who will entertain the Camp Nou faithful.

4 Jones finds little joy in the heat of the battle

It says much about Phil Jones's versatility that the Football Association's official website has him down as a defender but at the Maracanã he started on the right of a three-man midfield. This was the 21-year-old's seventh cap and, while he showed admirable willingness to receive the ball, often under pressure, this was a difficult game for the player as he was forced to chase yellow and blue shadows in Rio's sapping heat. It did not come as a surprise to see Jones eventually moved to right-back.

5 Oscar shaping up to be World Cup's leading man

Whatever the fixture and whatever the era, it always intrigues to see Brazil in action. What caught the eye here was how often they were prepared to hit long, straight balls from deep. Once in England territory, however, their movement was as fast as it was fluid, with Oscar in particular impressing from the right side of Brazil's midfield. The Chelsea man could well be one of the stars of next summer's World Cup.


Sachin Nakrani

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
England v Portugal: five talking points from the Euro 2016 sendoff | Dominic Fifield
England’s disjointed sendoff highlights numerous nagging doubts for Euro 2016

Dominic Fifield at Wembley

02, Jun, 2016 @8:59 PM

Article image
Italy 1-1 England: five talking points from the friendly in Turin | Simon Burnton
England’s first-half diamond dulled their shining lights, while Italy’s reputation as masters of the defensive dark arts remained undimmed

Simon Burnton

31, Mar, 2015 @10:24 PM

Article image
Germany 1-0 England: five talking points from the friendly in Dortmund | Jamie Jackson
Gareth Southgate’s world is brave and bright; Jake Livermore and Michael Keane show promise in Dortmund, and Wayne who?

Jamie Jackson

22, Mar, 2017 @10:22 PM

Article image
England’s Wayne Rooney can make all the difference in Brazil | Zico
Zico: Daniel Sturridge has movement and an eye for goal but Rooney remains Roy Hodgson’s most important player and he can have a big impact at the World Cup finals


21, May, 2014 @3:16 PM

Article image
Ecuador 2-2 England: five talking points from Miami World Cup warm-up | Nick Ames
Nick Ames: England’s defensive hesitancy appears systemic, there’s no bar high enough for Rickie Lambert, and Arsène Wenger might be Roy Hodgson’s best friend

Nick Ames

04, Jun, 2014 @9:22 PM

Article image
Talking points: Roy Hodgson’s chance to experiment with England | Dominic Fifield
England’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania and the friendly in Italy are ideal opportunities for Roy Hodgson to try out a few things

Dominic Fifield

23, Mar, 2015 @3:45 PM

Article image
England draw with Brazil represents 'coming of age', says Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson praised England's players for recovering from a poor first half to match Brazil in their 2-2 draw in a friendly in Rio de Janeiro

Daniel Taylor in Maracanã Stadium

02, Jun, 2013 @11:51 PM

Article image
Five talking points from England's friendly with Brazil | Owen Gibson
The Wembley crowd warm to Ashley Cole at last while Jack Wilshere shows what England have missed

Owen Gibson at Wembley Stadium

06, Feb, 2013 @9:27 PM

Article image
Switzerland 0-2 England: Five talking points
Roy Hodgson should now be allowed to get on with it, Jack Wilshere can learn from Gökhan Inler and this is as exciting as qualifying will get

Nick Ames

08, Sep, 2014 @9:17 PM

Article image
Wayne Rooney: thanks for the goals but not for the waning influence | Michael Cox
Michael Cox: England looked more lively after the captain was substituted and when Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge played upfront with Raheem Sterling in the No10 role

Michael Cox

04, Sep, 2014 @3:38 PM