It may have just been a friendly, but England’s 2-0 defeat to Chile on Friday night certainly set tongues wagging. Roy Hodgson set out an experimental lineup, using the match to explore his options prior to the World Cup, and the majority of faces, both new and old, failed to impress. Alexis Sánchez stole the ball off a slow-moving Leighton Baines and had the ball in the back of Fraser Forester’s net before ten minutes were out. The Barcelona forward added another deep in injury time, thanks to an error from Gary Cahill, who failed to gel with center-back partner Phil Jones. Chile were by far the better side and, considering England’s rather unimpressive qualifying run, the performance must have given Hodgson pause.
But the England manager feels it’s important to put this match into its proper context, stating: “I can’t talk away or explain away a defeat which I thought came to a Chile side who played very well. It’s not all doom and gloom. It’s how you deal with defeats and we’ll retain a sense of perspective.” A reasonable viewpoint to take, particularly considering this was England’s first defeat in eleven matches.
Hodgson also was unwilling to criticize England’s fans, even after a few boos rang out across Wembley at the end of the match. He said, ““Fans don’t accept defeats or want them. We don’t want them either. I’ll not criticise our fans. “They were very unhappy, sad a good run has come to an end. They’re entitled to show their frustration.” Hodgson went on to try and reassure the fans, saying England will try to do a better job and send the supporters home happy.
With England set to face Germany on Tuesday, Hodgson would do well to have a few tricks up his sleeve. It’s not as though England fans will take kindly to losing to one of their biggest rivals.