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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 August 2007, 07:34 GMT 08:34 UK
England's winners and losers
By Chris Bevan
BBC Sport at Wembley

England's 2-1 defeat by Germany was the last thing boss Steve McClaren needed heading into September's vital Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Russia.

England coach Steve McClaren
McClaren faces some tough selection decisions

But what will he take from the performances of his players at Wembley?

Injuries and suspensions mean that up to eight of the team that started on Wednesday are likely to line up against Israel on 8 September.

So did the players who McClaren will rely on next month show form and confidence against the Germans?

And how did those still competing for their places get on as they tried to stake their claim in the friendly?

BBC Sport looks at how they fared.


Micah Richards has started the season like a train for Manchester City and he continues to impress in an England shirt too.

He has been playing at centre-back for his club but started at right-back for his country and showed what an asset he has become to both.

England and Man City defender Micah Richards
Richards played at right-back before switching to centre-back

Richards was like a rock defensively and also had the confidence to get forward as much as possible, running at Christian Pander as the City star set up England's goal.

Those forays forward stopped when he switched to centre-back at half-time but he still showed McClaren that he is more than capable of playing in either position at international level.

The return to fitness of Joe Cole is a massive boost too.

Cole is short of match practice with Chelsea but you would not have guessed it from his livewire display, with him making for goal whenever possible.

He unnerved the Germany defence whenever he got the ball and his partnership with stand-in left-back Nicky Shorey bodes well too.

Shorey was only playing because Ashley Cole picked up an injury in training but showed he is not only a stop-gap.


Doubtless Cole will return when he is fit but Shorey, who was dependable in defence and also delivered some wicked crosses, did enough to cement his place in the squad.

Shaun Wright-Phillips has not had much to smile about since he joined Chelsea in 2005 but at last he looks back to his best.

The Chelsea winger reinvigorated England in the last 20 minutes after coming off the bench and he showed a willingness to try to beat his man, which has been sadly lacking in his game of late.

Another plus was the display of Frank Lampard.

Booed on his last appearance at Wembley against Brazil he had a point to prove - and he certainly did just that with his early goal.

If he had got on the end of Wright-Phillips' cross to equalise late on, then he would have been England's hero. Even so, he still vindicated his continued selection.


Paul Robinson's place was under pressure before the kick-off - it looks in doubt now.

England and Tottenham keeper Paul Robinson
Robinson is having a troubled time for club and country

The Tottenham goalkeeper's clanger, led to Kevin Kuranyi equalising, was not what he needed, with a revitalised David James breathing down his neck.

It is not the first time Robinson has made a costly mistake for his country - anyone remember his air-kick in the defeat by Croatia in October 2006?

Then, McClaren immediately sprang to his defence, stating he remained his number one.

However, this time McClaren would not confirm if he will stick with Robinson, saying only "this is not the time to make any decisions on the future" when asked after the game.

Further up the field, Alan Smith is surely running out of chances in an England shirt.

He has not scored in his last 13 full international appearances, although he did net for the B team in May.

Smith, who has been playing in a midfield role for Newcastle this season, was not lacking in the effort stakes but his performance as a secondary striker behind Michael Owen - apart from a couple of nice touches - was not exactly inspiring.

It was not a good night for Jermain Defoe either.

Despite England's shortage of strikers, the Tottenham hitman did not even get on the field.

Defoe was left kicking his heels on the bench when Smith and Owen came off, with Peter Crouch - who is suspended for the match against Israel - and Kieron Dyer - who is not even a striker - preferred to him.

If Defoe was hoping for a chance to put his problems at Tottenham behind him then he did not get it here.


You can forgive Owen and David Beckham for being a bit rusty, for now at least.

England and Newcastle striker Michael Owen
Owen got into goalscoring situations which was promising

Owen, who has played only six games since the 2006 World Cup, went close to scoring twice, shooting wide from an acute angle before Germany keeper Jens Lehmann kept out his header.

He may not have got on the scoresheet but you fancy him to get among the goals soon enough, especially after more games for Newcastle between now and next month.

Meanwhile, Beckham travelled halfway around the world to get to the game and did just enough to justify his carbon footprint.

His set-pieces were not vintage Becks but he linked up well with Richards on the right and, surprisingly, even showed a willingness to take on his man.

Despite being only half-fit he lasted 90 minutes too, which will only help his fitness in the long-term.

There were no obvious ill-effects from his travelling - but only time will tell if his long-distance commuting will dilute his effectiveness.

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Robinson earns support from James
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Robinson under threat after error
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals
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BBC pundits on England
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Hero or zero?
22 Aug 07 |  Football
Wednesday's football photos
22 Aug 07 |  Football
International football as it happened
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Euro 2008 tables
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals


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