The loosening of Roy Hodgson’s tie over the course of an entertaining warm-up encounter perhaps provided the best measure of what it may well be like to follow England this summer.
Exhilarating at times but unnerving at others, they had their manager looking distinctly dishevelled by the end thanks to a brand of football boasting plenty of attacking flair but an alarming lack of finesse at the opposite end of the field.
England can certainly score goals, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy providing the finishing touches on this occasion to secure what amounted to an impressive victory; Turkey’s first defeat in almost 18 months no less.
Harry Kane celebrates with fellow goalscorer Jamie Vardy after giving England the lead after three minutes
Vardy plays it cool after his goal from close range inflicted Turkey’s first defeat in 18 months as Euro 2016 looms large
Kane congratulates his strike partner after Vardy’s goal saved the Spurs man’s blushes and gave England victory in the friendly
Hakan Calhanoglu celebrates after equalising for the Turks after turning home Volkan Sen’s cross following a defensive mix-up
Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson was left with plenty to ponder as he watched his side’s win against Turkey
Kane cannot hide his anguish after missing the penalty that would have given his side the lead in the second half
Tense England fans watch on as their side secured a narrow win – and there may be more nerve-jangling moments ahead this summer
England (4-2-3-1): Hart 7, Walker 6.5, Cahill 6.5, Stones 6, Rose 6, Dier 7, Wilshere 6.5 (Henderson 73, 6), Alli 7, Sterling 6.5 (Drinkwater 73, 6), Vardy 7.5, Kane 6
Subs not used: Forster, Heaton, Bertrand, Barkley, Townsend, Delph
Manager: Roy Hodgson
Goals: Kane 3, Vardy 83
Turkey (4-1-4-1): Babacan 5; Gonul 6, Balta 6, Topal 5.5, Erkin 6 (Koybasi 70, 6); Inan 6.5 (Erdinc 87); Sen 6, Ozyakup 7 (Tekdemir 70, 6), Tufan 6, Calhanoglu 6.5 (Sahan 78); Tosun 6.5
Subs not used: Kivrak, Ozbayrakli, Yilmaz Calik, Potuk, Tore, Malli, Soyuncu, Mor, Tekin
Goal: Calhanoglu 13
Manager: Fatih Terim
Booked: Ozyakup, Topal
Ref: Deniz Aytekin (Germany)
Ratings by Jack Gaughan
But the quality of the defending, albeit in the absence of Chris Smalling, had Hodgson admitting that England are ‘not the finished article’. ‘We need to stay more compact,’ he added. ‘Because defensively we do not make life easy for ourselves.’
Hodgson has not necessarily made life easy for himself either when supporters digest the fact that he is allowing Vardy time away from the squad to get married.
It might be considered a generous gesture towards a player who has already rescheduled his nuptials once for international duty. But selecting the strikers who will start against Russia on June 11 remains a conundrum Hodgson needs to solve and allowing such an important player to miss Friday’s game against Australia is bizarre to say the least.
This game did…