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Man United misfit sticks out in England’s Irish bore draw

| 08.06.2015

Finding much to talk about in the aftermath of England’s action-lite international friendly with Ireland is like sitting through a first date with a mute.

Ever the professionals, news.ladbrokes have stuck to the task nevertheless, making the below three discussion topics the most burning following a match in which excitement was heavily outweighed by boos:

Phil Jones a victim of his own versatility

The Manchester United man has played in three positions over the course of this campaign and once again filled in at right back for Roy Hodgson at the Aviva.

His selection ahead of Nathaniel Clyne for the Irish battle was a curious one considering the Southampton defender is in far greater need of exposure at this level, while Jones’ own performance provided a compelling case for change against Slovenia next week, where England are 5/6 to win.

Jones, never the most comfortable-looking footballer in any area of the pitch, was exposed by his sloppiness in position and dented England’s ability to attack down the right side.

Wilshere return proof England’s midfield in rude health

The Arsenal trouble maker was absent from his country’s last two games through injury, during which time Michael Carrick performed the deep-lying midfield role with ice-cold assuredness.

Now, with the Manchester United midfielder taking a turn in the treatment room, Wilshere has returned with an eye-catching display in a generally forgettable encounter.

Between that pair, Fabian Delph, Ryan Mason, Jordan Henderson, Ross Barkley and James Milner, central midfield is certainly not an area of concern for the immediate future.

Is there any value in the appreciation call-up?

In the context of their respective club seasons, Jamie Vardy and Charlie Austin certainly impressed.

However, considering Harry Kane’s unavoidable goal-scoring exploits puts him ahead of that pair to join the regulars in England’s striking department, where was the merit in acknowledging the Leicester and QPR stars with a hat-tipping call-up and a combined 15 minutes of match action?

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.