The five question marks surrounding England after Denmark win

Why was Daniel Sturridge played out wide, which of Luke Shaw and Ashley Cole will be on the plane and Wayne Rooney's role are just some of the topics.

At the end of it all, we were left with more questions than answers from England's lacklustre showing as they toiled to a 1-0 win over Denmark.

Daniel Sturridge's 82nd-minute winner was ultimately the difference but it was a lot of same-old from Roy Hodgson's side, who only just managed to ward off the unwanted record of being the first English side in 33 years to fail to score at home for three international matches.

There were impressive cameos from Southampton duo Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana, a poor display from Wayne Rooney and question marks over Chris Smalling, Jordan Henderson and Jack Wilshere's contributions.

All in all though, it was a win and one for Hodgson to build on as he ponders over who to include and, most pertinently, who to exclude after witnessing the final friendly before the 23-man squad announcement ahead of this summer's World Cup.

But, as the dust settles, there remain questions to be answered from yet another insipid Wembley showing...

Why was Sturridge shunted out wide?

Typical that England's top goalscorer in the Premier League this season should be forced out wide by Hodgson to accommodate Wayne Rooney's presence in the XI.

Sturridge was the matchwinner, brilliantly steering home Lallana's cross with a well-placed header but looked frustrated at having to adapt to a new role, which included numerous instances of tracking back to help out Glen Johnson and Ashley Cole in full-back positions.

It's surely not where we, as England supporters want to see a striker who has netted 18 times in the Premier League this season, trailing only club-mate Luis Suarez in the race for the Premier League golden boot.

In order for Sturridge to be in contention for the World Cup equivalent, he cannot continue to occupy such a peripheral role on the flank.

What is up with Rooney?

You would think a player fresh off the back of signing a bumper £300,000-a-week deal would thrive on such a reputation and his role in this team as talisman.

But Rooney looked disinterested throughout. His passing was wayward, as was his shooting, while there was a distinct lack of urgency when he received the ball in the final third.

The Manchester United striker has been a rare bright spark in his side's disastrous campaign but the malaise which has engulfed the club appeared to be reflected in the Liverpudlian's dour display when he was needed most to break down the Denmark defence.

He was handed a central role - the one he craves - in the opening period but did not seize his opportunity and it was frustrating that Sturridge was forced out wide as a result. His departure for Welbeck's arrival on the hour was met with mixed reception.

Where do you play Adam Lallana?

The Southampton man was, arguably, the star of the show, although Saints team-mate Luke Shaw and Liverpool duo Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard may have something to say about that.

His introduction coincided with some of England's best play on the night as he combined invention with desire to win the ball back, helping Hodgson's side to push high up the park and rob the Danes of possession.

He set up the goal after some quick thinking with Sterling, great trickery to beat his man and a perfect delivery for Sturridge to nod home and has surely rubber-stamped his place in the squad with such a telling contribution.

The only problem is where he fits into this team. There is a school of thought that he could play wide on the left-hand side, with Sterling on the other flank and Rooney playing just off of Sturridge, but there may be a central midfield berth on offer too...

Why did Henderson and Wilshere look inhibited at Wembley?

The midfield duo embody energy and bite in the engine room but neither displayed any of the credentials which have seen them get this far in Hodgson's reckoning.

Henderson looked lost in midfield and seemed to be playing in the shadow of captain and team-mate Gerrard, who commanded the ball at every opportunity. The former Sunderland midfielder was not adventurous enough with his passing and made some silly errors at times.

It wasn't much better for Wilshere. He was tasked with being the man that linked midfield to attack but his driving runs were evident in precious few instances and, like his midfield partner, needed to offer more with his passing and movement in the final third.

That Lallana's introduction showed them the way underlines the fact neither of this talented duo's spots in the squad are entirely secure, let alone the starting XI.

Who will win out of Shaw and Cole?

A youngster with an abundance of enthusiasm and desire to improve versus a man castigated by his club side to the point where right-back Cesar Azpilicueta is in front of him in the pecking order in his specialist position.

Leighton Baines is expected to be the No.1 left-back in Brazil but the deputy role remains open to both Shaw and Cole, with neither of them doing their chances any harm against the Danes.

Cole was steady if unspectacular but did not put a foot wrong and most of the Denmark attacks came down England's right but he was replaced at the interval.

Shaw took his place and was exciting, taking on his opposite number, linking up well with Sterling and Lallana and seemed as if he had been doing this for years by the way he appeared to drift across the turf with the ball at his feet. It was easy to forget this was his international debut.

So, plenty for Hodgson to consider then, and equally as much for fans to chew over in the months to come before the provisional squad is formally announced.

image: © philosophy football

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