If we were Alan Pardew, we'd feel a whole lot better if Rafa Benitez took a job far away from the Premier League. He looks the most vulnerable to a Spanish coup...
Hart was tested only four times by an unusually subdued Brazil attack, but the keeper made a superb double save from Ronaldinho's penalty kick in the first half to spark England into life. There were a few nervy moments following the interval, but Hart could do nothing about Fred's equaliser after Gary Cahill's mistake afforded the striker time and space to pick his spot. Hart remained alert throughout and took command of his area when the England defence struggled with Brazil's straight chipped passes over the top.
Johnson delivered another assured performance to replicate his impressive form for Liverpool this season. Faced with the threat of the much-hyped Neymar, the right-back rarely looked flustered and displayed typical enthusiasm to get forward and link up with Theo Walcott. Given the uncertaintly over the two centre-back positions, it's a relief that England have Johnson and Ashley Cole to rely on in the full-back roles.
As the senior member of England's centre-back pairing, Cahill lacked the authority that was required to reassure 23-year-old Chris Smalling. The Chelsea defender was reasonably composed in the first half and produced an excellent tackle to dispossess Neymar in the box, but his night will be remembered for the mistake that gifted Brazil the equaliser. Hodgson should have serious concerns over the centre of England's defence, while Cahill should be worried about his chances of making the first XI for the qualifying double-header against San Marino and Montenegro in March.
Smalling was a surprise selection at centre-back and the Manchester United defender struggled in an unfamiliar partnership with Cahill. Both defenders failed to cope with Brazil's straight balls over the top, and Smalling's positioning was questionable on several occasions. It was a difficult night for the 23-year-old and he almost allowed Fred a second goal just minutes after the striker levelled for Brazil. Smalling has played only five games at centre-back for United in the Premier League this season, and he will need more playing time in the position to improve.
It wasn't Cole's best performance for England on the night of his 100th cap and the left-back struggled against his lively Chelsea teammate Oscar, who impressed on Brazil's right flank in the first half. But even though Leighton Baines put in a solid shift after the break, Cole needn't feel threatened at this stage.
Although Gerrard struggled in a holding role for Liverpool earlier in the season, he provided another inspired performance for England as they surprisingly dominated the midfield. The captain was disciplined in his duties behind Jack Wilshere and Tom Cleverley and he was again a threat with his set-pieces. Sarah Winterburn wrote about the potential for Gerrard and Wilshere to develop an exciting partnership here, and the initial signs were encouraging on their first start together for England.
There were times when the Manchester United midfielder looked like the gooseberry in England's midfield, but on the whole he was tidy in possession and a teasing cross from the right in the first half tested the impressive Julio Cesar. Hodgson is clearly a fan of Cleverley and after starting his seventh match in a row, he can be sure of involvement in the crucial qualifiers in March.
After attempting to calm expectations before the game, Hodgson allowed himself to be caught up in the optimism surrounding Wilshere after the midfielder's man-of-the-match display. "If he can keep up that level of performance he will soon justify all the expectations and hopes because he was very, very good," said Hodgson. Indeed, the 21-year-old's stirring contribution was reminiscent of his brilliant performance for Arsenal against Barcelona in the Champions League, and he immediately settled and offered England a convincing threat through his bursts from deep. His defence-splitting pass to Walcott in the build-up to the opening goal was exceptional and he struck up an excellent understanding with Rooney in the final third. With Wilshere in the team, England's midfield looks a much more cohesive unit.
Welbeck's best work was achieved facing away from goal when he won back possession to start the move that resulted in Rooney's opening strike. He wasted a great chance to continue his England scoring streak when he poked wide from four yards out in the first half and the striker's lack of composure in the penalty area this season will perhaps see him forced to adapt to a left-wing role on a permanent basis.
Although Walcott was a constant outlet on the right, he was guilty of over-running the ball on several occasions and his collisions with the Brazil defence took their toll before he made an early exit for the 30th time in 31 England appearances. The 23-year-old failed to replicate his superb form for Arsenal, but he is bound to play a key role in Hodgson's squad in the remaining qualifiers and, hopefully, next year's World Cup.
Wilshere's lively performance helped to bring the best out of Rooney as he dropped deep to link up with the Arsenal midfielder who then played in the overlapping Welbeck and Walcott. This tactic worked perfectly for Rooney's opening goal as he set Wilshere on his way before following up Walcott's strike with a neat finish after Cesar had parried. He worked tirelessly to close down the Brazil defence in the second half and remains England's only convincing striking option at this stage.
Leighton Baines (for Cole, 46mins)
The Everton left-back was given an easier ride than Cole in the first half and as a result was able to get forward more to support Welbeck. It's likely he'll continue to be Cole's able deputy until after the World Cup (should England qualify).
Frank Lampard (for Cleverley, 46mins)
He provided a stunning winning strike that bounced in off the post, before sitting back alongside Gerrard to help England record an impressive pass completion rate of 84%. Lampard faces a fight to hold onto his position in the squad if England make it to the World Cup and much will depend on where he moves in the summer.
James Milner (for Welbeck, 61mins)
Industrious. Wasted a good chance to cross and possibly add a third goal towards the end.
Aaron Lennon (for Walcott, 75mins)
The Spurs winger barely saw the ball in his 15 minutes on the pitch.