Five things we have learned about England’s performance

England's Danny Welbeck (second left) celebrates with team-mates after scoring his sides second goal of the game during the UEFA 2016 Qualifying, Group E match at Wembley Stadium.
England's Danny Welbeck (second left) celebrates with team-mates after scoring his sides second goal of the game during the UEFA 2016 Qualifying, Group E match at Wembley Stadium.

Harry Kane scored just over a minute into his England debut as Roy Hodgson’s side continued their perfect march to next summer’s European Championships with a 4-0 win over Lithuania.

Here, we look at the five things we learnt from the comfortable victory that leaves England six points clear at the head of Group E.


Kane’s first England call-up was a no-brainer for Hodgson given the purple patch of goalscoring form the Tottenham striker is currently enjoying.

But it was a big decision by the manager to name Kane amongst his substitutes, with a host of former professionals and a large number of supporters venting their displeasure at the 21-year-old not being handed his debut from the start.

Hodgson, though, is fiercely loyal and trustworthy to the more experienced members of his squad and once he opted for a 4-3-3 formation there was really no room for Kane - unless captain Wayne Rooney made may.

Danny Welbeck had scored five goals in the previous four qualifiers heading into this contest and the Arsenal man justified his selection ahead of Kane as he doubled England’s lead on half-time having already created Rooney’s opening goal after his initial effort was saved and was named man of the match.


Hodgson may have held Kane back but there is no keeping the forward out of the headlines and he exploded onto the international stage as he scored just 80 seconds after coming on for Rooney.

It was the sort of moment he would have dreamt about on Thursday night and it came with only his third touch in an England shirt as he was on hand to head Raheem Sterling’s cross past the despairing Giedrius Arlauskis in the Lithuania goal.

Although that was his only real involvement of note, it could not have gone better for Kane - who will be hoping to feature from the start in the coming fixtures.


Michael Carrick won his 32nd England cap 17 months after his last game under Hodgson and once again showed that he should have so many more appearances to his name.

The 33-year-old Manchester United midfielder was overlooked for a place in the World Cup squad last summer as Hodgson looked to establish a team of young talent to take England forward.

But he has recently returned to his best at club-level and was fully deserving of an international recall - once again showing he has the ability to control a game from midfield at his own tempo as he displayed his vast range of passing.


The England skipper is now just two goals shy of Sir Bobby Charlton’s 49-goal record and he came so close to equalling Charlton.

Rooney headed in England’s opener but only after he had hit the inside of the post and he then saw a looping header come back off the crossbar.

He put the third goal on a plate for Sterling before being replaced by debutant Kane to a rousing reception - with a friendly in Italy on Tuesday night now his next chance to take the record.


Hodgson flirted with the idea of a diamond in midfield at the start of this qualifying campaign and was lauded for playing Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere at the base of his new system.

But the formation proved ineffective against fellow Group E opponents Slovenia as England laboured to victory when they visited Wembley before the turn of the year.

Playing with three in midfield, especially with accomplished passers such as Carrick, Jordan Henderson and Fabian Delph means Hodgson can deploy three attacking players further up the pitch - with the pace and trickery of both Sterling and Welbeck the perfect foil for Rooney, playing in his favoured position at centre-forward.