SWANNY’S WORLD OF SPORT: Losing to Holland will do Hodgson a favour

Dele Alli is the best player in the England squad.
Dele Alli is the best player in the England squad.

It probably wasn’t a plan, but well done to England for losing to the worst Holland side in recent memory on Tuesday (March 29).

The 2-1 reverse will hopefully dampen the absurd expectation levels raised by the admittedly exciting 3-2 win in Germany the previous Saturday (March 26).

England must keep the ball away from Gary Cahill.

England must keep the ball away from Gary Cahill.

England were dazzling in one of the best international friendly matches I’ve ever seen in Berlin.

But it was just a friendly. I wouldn’t bet against the Germans peaking when it matters in the Euros Finals this summer.

I wouldn’t also bet against England coach Roy Hodgson reverting to type and picking a negative line-up designed not to lose and including ponderous Wayne Rooney, even against the likes of Wales, when the serious business starts in France in the summer.

Hodgson needs to be bold and keep the ball away from England’s central defenders for as much of every match as possible.

Even if young players like Dele Alli and Harry Kane (above) don’t succeed in France, the experience will stand them in good stead for the next World Cup

Alli used to play for MK Dons which must be his only negative. What a ridiculously gifted teenage player he is, something he showed again against Germany.

Classy on the ball with a mean streak when he’s tackling, I reckon he is already the best player in the England squad.

Easter is usually a decisive time in the Football League with bumper crowds guaranteed.

Instead, England in Germany aside, we were invited to watch awful international friendly games between unwatchable sides like Wales and Northern Ireland.

Replica shirts remain the biggest rip-off in football with the exception of Arsene Wenger’s salary.

England’s new kits are an embarrassment and look they like they were designed by reception class toddlers who had a few minutes to spare and a crayon in their hands.

At £60 a shirt, it’s also a tad dear.