A midweek bonus takes in master intercepticons Man United, Arsenal's wealth of scorers, Liverpool's set-piece mastery and Eric Lamela tackling but not creating...
On Friday we'll sit in front of our televisions or Twitter, glued to what is basic administration. Daniel Storey stands on his soapbox and scrooges about the World Cup draw...
Improved as the game went on. Was very lucky to avoid conceding a penalty in the opening minutes, and the indecision that has plagued his game in recent times was evident in the first half. However, while he didn't actually have much to do after the break (Ukraine only had one shot on target), those tasks he did have he carried out well, with a couple of fairly solid punches. This isn't to say his problems are solved, but a clean sheet never hurt any keeper.
Jeez. I had 'disaster zone' written in my notes. F365 editor Sarah Winterburn commented he was an 'accident waiting to happen'. A quick review would be 'rotten', but in the interests of further analysis he was caught out of position far too often, was incredibly lucky not to concede a penalty and was toothless when he attacked, usually his saving grace. It was just a surprise that Ukraine didn't direct all their attacks down their left and the threatening Yevheniy Konoplyanka, for they surely would have forced the Tottenham man into a fatal error at some point. Glen Johnson, all is forgiven.
Flirted with calamity after being caught out of position early on, but was generally very good, as one has come to expect from Cole. Kept Andriy Yarmolenko relatively quiet, which would have been his priority at the start of the game.
Very good indeed. Jagielka has often looked out of his depth at international level, but while he didn't exactly have the greatest attacking threat to deal with, the Everton man was very solid, bailing England out of a couple of tight spots.
Excellent. Man of the match, although perhaps he didn't have the greatest competition. Should be given added credit because he was the right-sided centre-back, and thus had to mop up Walker's errors on a few occasions. Central defence was probably the area of most concern before this game, but it turned out to be the strongest in Kiev. Weird.
Ah, well, erm, not so good. In some ways it's unfair to criticise the midfield three individually because they were all bad, but a couple of reasonable set-piece deliveries aside, Gerrard was very poor.
Likewise. Seemed very hesitant in possession, something one doesn't expect from a man winning his 100th cap. If he had managed to guide that header into the net in the final minute, the previous 90 minutes of mediocrity would have been glossed over, and the headlines in your morning papers would have hailed Super Frank. The introduction of Michael Carrick at half-time in place of Lampard (although it would've been a three-way toss-up, if such a thing is possible, to decide who was withdrawn), when it was clear that England were struggling to retain possession, would have been the smart move on Roy Hodgson's part. This was one of those games when a man's reputation grew when he wasn't on the pitch.
Wilshere played like a man who felt obliged to play neat flicks and tricks without having much idea of why. A spluttering performance in a spluttering game, Wilshere seemingly couldn't find the key pass he was looking for. Or any pass, for that matter.
Probably the best of the midfielders, but that's like saying the punch that only bruises your nose rather than shattering your cheekbone or cracking your jaw is the best blow to the mush you took in a fight outside a pub. Milner ran a bit as he always does and produced one or two neat balls, but overall he was ineffectual, even when moved to his best position in the middle of the park.
There was extra emphasis on Walcott to provide some attacking threat given the absent forward options, and he started pretty well, seemingly signalling a tough night ahead for the 34-year-old Viacheslav Shevchuk. However, an early run in behind the Ukraine left-back was about as good as it got, with lots of the old Theo surfacing - that is to say, plenty of rapid running, but with little idea of what to do with the ball when he got it.
Held the ball up reasonably well, but on too many occasions Lambert was halfway through a 'clever' lay-off before properly controlling the ball, meaning neither skill was executed. It was like he was on a mission to prove that he does have a good touch for a big man, you know. Still, given how isolated Lambert was, it's difficult to be too critical.
Doesn't exactly get the jucies flowing when he warms up, does it? Bringing a player of Young's type was actually a decent move by Hodgson, it's just a shame it was Young. He was, of course, pretty anonymous in his 23 minutes.
Roy just couldn't help himself, could he?
Nick Miller - follow him on Twitter
Fell asleep watching the match,it was my best sleep in a long time,it was that bloody boring..- monk771