England captain Rooney should have retired after Euro 2016 - Shilton
Sep 08 2016
Lallana popped up with a late victor as England eked out a 1-0 victory against Slovakia in their World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
It was also the squad's first game with new manager Sam Allardyce in charge, who will be relieved to secure the win.
England dominated possession against a stubbornly unadventurous Slovakia team, but it took the 57th-minute dismissal of Martin Skrtel for the visitors to take control.
The first incident saw Skrtel appear to elbow the Tottenham star while his second booking was for a clear stamp on the England centre forward. "Why should Slovakia go there when we have England in the group?" said Durica.
That game was held up as indicative of England's tournament failings, yet Allardyce on his debut as manager fielded nearly the same group of players against the same side and won. Rooney played virtually as deep as midfield duo Jordan Henderson and Eric Dier. "He sprays a few balls around but I don't think he's being very effective".
"They had a holiday, a pre-season, then it comes to the first game after Iceland and maybe there was nervous tension".
"I think it was possession for possession's sake for the opening 45 minutes, rather than trying to break the opposition down", Allardyce said.
Rooney was still in primary school when Allardyce entered management but a hallmark of the England coach's 22-year seven-club career is his ability to get the best from older players.
"It's up to me to (ask): 'Are you playing well in that position?"
He's been a goalscorer all his life and I want him still to score goals, but he reads a game as he reads it.
"This is the most decorated outfield player in England".
Allardyce described Lallana's goal, which gave England a winning start in Group F, as "immense".