Adopting the Liverpool Philosophy
With five of the Liverpool squad which dazzled in the Premier League on their way to finishing second included in Roy Hodgson's plans this summer, many have seen it natural to suggest it plausible than England can replicate the Reds' philosophy in Brazil. Brendan Rodgers' men were swashbuckling, goals-happy and entertaining during the 2013/14 campaign – everything England have built a substantial reputation for failing to produce. After a timid display against Peru, either Hodgson merely requires more time to finely tune this style of play or, more realistically, that such a transition cannot and will not be achieved. Not for the first time, expectations must be tempered.
Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney's partnership
Much has been made of the scant 336 minutes in which Sturridge and Rooney have played together in the same England team and while it's perhaps unfair to criticise their performances as a pair, there comes a time when Hodgson must stop waiting for them to click into gear. Though Hodgson claims him to be dispensable, you find an England without Wayne Rooney at a major tournament to be near unfathomable. In Sturridge, while he possesses a flash of brilliance as showed against Peru, he is not the percentage footballer a England team looking to hold and contain this summer can honestly accommodate. However, in Danny Welbeck England have a player who has produced in the Hodgson era at a major tournament, has provided evidence of being a passable foil for Rooney and has an unmatchable work rate. He has the right to feel hard done by if left out in Manaus.
England's fitness concerns
If you thought the trend of England bringing injured players to major tournaments was over then this 2014 World Cup could force a re-think. Despite a cold-ridden Luke Shaw expected to be the only omission on Friday evening, both Phil Jones (shoulder) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin) were left out of the squad and will have a maximum two games to prove their fitness ahead of the finals in Brazil. The likes of John Stones, who made his international debut against Peru, and the much-maligned Tom Cleverley will be licking their lips at the prospect of a late call-up.