England 3 Scotland 2: Five things we learned from victory at Wembley

Defence among Roy Hodgson's top concerns

1. England are conceding too many goals

At Euro 2012 Roy Hodgson, with a few weeks to organise the team, set out to stifle opponents and was rewarded with clean sheets against Ukraine and Italy. Since then he has tried to make England more expansive with some success but one consequence is a defensive vulnerability with only three clean sheets in 12 games, against San Marino (twice) and Moldova. Steven Gerrard, for all his qualities, is not a screening midfielder but recalling Scott Parker, even if he got back into the Tottenham side, would be a regressive step.

2. Joe Hart's place is far from guaranteed

One reason England look porous in defence is the decline in Joe Hart's displays. The prospect of a decade as his understudy may well have influenced Ben Foster's initial retirement from international duty but increasingly it seems the No 1 shirt is up for grabs. Hart had a moderate season last year and needs a consistent run.

3. There's nothing wrong with thinking short term

Rickie Lambert may be getting on a bit but he is at his peak and will only be 32 during the World Cup next year. Just as Chris Rogers, three years his senior and barely more experienced internationally, has shown in the Ashes, an advanced age (in sporting terms) need not be a bar to breaking through.

4. Danny Welbeck is a goalscorer

Welbeck scored twice in 39 games for Manchester United last season, suggesting he was the heir to Diego Forlan rather than Andy Cole. But for his country he now has six in 17, scoring all types of striker's goals: close quarters, one-on-ones and headers. At Old Trafford he has to, understandably, play second fiddle to Robin van Persie but there are obviously goals in him.

5. Scotland may finally be flowering

Scotland's decline was looking irreversible but under Gordon Strachan a victory in Croatia and Wednesday's invigorating display at Wembley suggest there is hope. Qualification for 2014 has gone but an enlarged Euro 2016 could bring their first tournament since 1998.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash