1) The double pivot is not working, Roy!
Last week I expressed reasons why a double pivot cannot work in modern day football unless the two midfielders are skilled in defending, creating, attacking and above all have an abundance of stamina. Lampard and Wilshere are neither here nor there in many of the categories and to be frank (pun intended), no combination England come up with will do well in a double pivot.
2) The defence lacks serious depth
Bless James Milner, last month he made clear his intentions of being played in his favoured central midfield position, so Roy Hodgson goes and plays him at right back...
If ever a player defined being a victim of his versatility, Milner is it. Unfortunately for England, the extreme's of Milner's versatility is the sign of how bad things are at right back. With Kyle Walker injured and Hodgson reluctant to give Flanagan (who only has half a season of Premier League experience) a chance, the increasingly weary Glen Johnson has no direct challengers to the right back spot. Therefore, should anything happen to Johnson, Milner very well might be first in line to replace him. Based on today's observations, that is a disaster waiting to happen.
Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are also capable of being makeshift right backs, but today's performance suggests the Man Utd pair master playing at center back before moving onto new positions. On numerous the pair were pulled apart from their markers as Ecuador threatened to score; in the end, England were lucky to only concede two.
3) England have options on the bench
In game full of little cheer, the performances of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ross Barkley Rickie Lambert would have been of great relief. Oxlade-Chamberlain was a bright spark throughout the game completing 7 dribbles, as per WhoScored. Barkley was next with 4 dribbles. The duo made up 11 of England's 17 dribbles and were only 3 down on Ecuador's total of 14. They both given England a feel of youth exuberance that is only matched by Raheem Sterling (who was sent off). For this reason it is a huge shame Chamberlain had to leave the pitch with a suspected ligament injury and may miss the World Cup.
Rickie Lambert also had a positive game for the Three Lions tonight. He is fast developing his name beyond Southampton as a target man with intelligence to go with his strength. He showed off his link up play on many occasions to slip in others after holding off defenders with his back to goal. More importantly, he does not seem to suffer from Emile Heskey syndrome and is capable of netting the ball, something that should have happened twice tonight if not for poor luck - though as long as Wayne Rooney is around to clean up the scraps I doubt any England fans would be complaining.