Originally on Quays News
GARETH Southgate’s time as the caretaker manager of England ended with the Three Lions blowing a 2 goal lead in the last five minutes, breaking English hearts.
Spain dictated possession throughout the game as expected but the hosts remained resolute in defence, keeping Spain at arm’s length.
England opened the scoring in the 9th minute when Adam Lallana converted a penalty after goalkeeper Pepe Reina clipped Jamie Vardy after the striker attempted to take the ball past the former Liverpool stopper.
The hosts made the best start after the break, it only took three minutes for them to double their lead.
Jamie Vardy proved a nuisance to the Spain defence again when he deftly headed past Reina after an inch-perfect pass by England’s captain for the night Jordan Henderson.
It was former Liverpool striker Iago Aspas who got Spain back into the game in the 89th minute.
It was Aspas’ first game in England since he left Liverpool in 2015 after a less than stellar run with the Merseyside team, he seemed to silence the critics when he put the ball past substitute keeper Tom Heaton with an excellent left footed finish, giving the Burnley shot stopper no chance.
The England rear-guard was beaten yet again in the 96th minute when Real Madrid midfielder Isco slotted the ball in between his legs with the last kick of the game.
This result brought Southgate’s four game interim spell as the boss of the Three Lion’s to an end following wins against Malta and rivals Scotland and a draw against Slovenia.
Over the coming months the FA will consult their selection panel, fronted by FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn to find the right man to lead England in the future.
They intend to have the next manager in place with plenty of preparation time before England’s next game in March.
The first job any incoming England manager may have is to sort out the Wayne Rooney conundrum. As well as the question marks surrounding his performances on the pitch his conduct off the pitch has been under fire recently due to images of the 31-year-old Manchester United and England striker partying until the early hours following England’s 3-0 win versus Scotland.
Beyond the Wayne Rooney conundrum is the questions surrounding how to get the best out of Tottenham’s fiery midfielder Dele Alli, the 20 year old midfielder broke through to the Premier League last season following his £8 million move from MK Dons. Alli featured heavily for England since his breakthrough, including appearances in the Euro’s which failed to set the tournament alight. If the incoming manager can get Alli playing at the same level in an England shirt as he does in a Tottenham one then the three lions may again have a dynamic midfielder in the vein of former greats like Gascoine and Barnes.