England managed to waste a ridiculous twenty-nine attempts on goal in their 0-0 draw with Slovakia on Monday that allowed them to limp through the Euros 2016 group stage. In the aftermath, Jordan Henderson, who received his first start of the tournament, defended the team's creativity, but bemoaned their frustrating lack of finishing.
"For 90 minutes we dominated with the ball," Henderson said. "I still feel we created some good chances to win the game but we just couldn’t quite finish them off and get the ball in the back of the net. It’s certainly something we need to improve on. For the complete performance [we need to improve], definitely, in front of goal. We’re creating chances. We just need to finish teams off. At some point we will win by two or three nil but we just need to improve in that final third.
"When teams have sat in against us we’ve struggled to find the net. But we’ve got enough quality in the team. We need to make sure that in the games coming up we finish teams off properly."
A team that has some of the Premier League's best goal scoring talent, including Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge, and Jamie Vardy, should have made easy work of their group. Instead they only managed to win one of three games and scored three goals in all three matches.
Still, Henderson remains positive on the team's overall performance, saying, "I think the performance was good. In the first half especially we created some good chances we could have scored from but I felt we played well the whole game. I felt as though we looked fresh. I felt we were winning the ball back very quickly, and I felt the players who came in played well. I feel the manager wants to use the full squad and felt we benefitted from that and produced a good performance."
Wednesday's matches will determine who England will play in the first knock out round on Monday June 27th. It's still very much up in the air, with Portugal's disappointing performances making the group much more competitive than most would have expected pre-tournament.