England Report v Ireland
England returned to Dublin on Sunday for the first time since that infamous game in 1995, I think we all know what happened then by now don't we so I'll not cover it once more...this, as with the last four and that abandoned game, ended in a really tame 0-0 draw!
A game that will quickly be forgotten I know that...
1pm on a Sunday afternoon is hardly a 'traditional time' for an international game with Ireland arguably settling into this better but it was Rooney left frustrated a couple of times, feeling he should have had one freekick of the edge of the area when a shot away earlier would have been better advised with his touch letting him down on another occasion - both greeted with jeers from the Irish.
Ireland, playing some good football, really looked threatening from freekick deliveries, which caused problems. One delivery was sliced away for a corner with another needing Rooney to intervene as he carried out his defensive duties.
The opening half an hour or so didn't have much in it and there weren't too any openings bit as this approached Ireland went close to breaking through, 'sloppy play' by England saw Ireland profit but Murphy was denied.
Murphy again, from another of those dangerous deliveries, had the best chance of the game when he got in but he wasn't able to direct his header on target, thankfully! If he was it would have certainly, or should have, challenged Hart.
Friendly by name friendly by nature at half time....
Ireland made a couple of changes at the break, England nothing with Hodgson deciding that he was happy to stick and not twist, I'm not so sure that I would have been as happy to do this as we needed some change, someone positive to change the game.
Rooney, chasing that all-time record - it's inevitable he'll get it, had a great chance in the opening minutes of the 2nd half with Henderson winning the ball from Wilson, who dwelt on the ball too long, he put in an on-side Rooney who again had a poor first touch and the ball got away from him and the chance was gone.
The game started to open up a bit, at least with chances, or half chance with Rooney at least hitting the target with Westwood's last action before, being replaced in goal by Given, to save his freekick with Hart beating away a Walter effort that was right at him.
And then the game died again!
It took until the 66th minute for changes, Sterling - roundly booed - coming off for Townsend and Wilshere off for Barkley, both players made an impact against Italy in our last game from the bench so we hoped for more of the game.
Vardy was another that got on for his international debut but there really wasn't much, if anything to write home about and as much as next weekend is the priority for both nations with important Euro 2016 qualifiers to come you question what the point of this game actually was, it wasn't of much benefit to many of those watching on, well the coaching staff of both aside...
Like Vital England on Facebook.