England v Brazil
England – J. Hart – A. Cole, P. Jagielka, G. Cahill, K. Walker – J. Wilshere, J. Henderson – A. Townsend, W. Rooney, A. Oxlade-Chamberlain – D. Sturridge
Brazil – Jefferson – Marcelo, Doria, Dante, D. Alves – L. Gustavo, Sandro – Neymar, Oscar, Lucas – L. Damiao
Manager: Luiz Felipe Scolari
A clash against Brazil is always a difficult one, be it home or away, so to win the game by that margin on my managerial debut is great and one I hope will make a few doubters ponder a bit more on my appointment.
In fairness, it was far from a walk in the park as the score suggests. Brazil I felt were solid throughout and would have been leading but for the post and Joe Hart. We didn’t cope with Leandro Damiao’s threat as well as we should but I’m willing to give the Jones – Jagielka partnership time.
We were fortunate to take the lead through Marcelo’s own goal but once Luiz Gustavo was sent off, we really managed to tip the balance and seal our win. With Gerrard out through injury at the last minute, I chose to play both Henderson and Wilshere in the middle, a combination many are touting as the future.
Overall I felt they played reasonably well considering they had their hands full with the constant attacking of Lucas Moura, Neymar and Oscar. With Doria getting his international debut for Brazil, I soon gave Adam Lallana his time to shine and he didn’t disappoint, managing to get in between the lines and cause the Brazilian defence problems.
Star Man: Phil Jagielka
I’ve mentioned how Jagielka’s partnership with Jones wasn’t exactly a success but individually, I felt Jagielka was very impressive. In the first half, he organised well in a moment where we were under intense pressure and he was always keen to play to ball on the deck from defence. One of my tasks is to eradicate this hoof ball style England tend to play, so Jagielka’s style will be imperative.