ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson was “rather disappointed” after a second successive home defeat and admitted more quality is needed if his side are to compete with the likes of Germany.
Joachim Low’s men won 1-0 at Wembley thanks to Per Mertesacker’s towering header, adding to England’s 2-0 setback against Chile on Friday.
Hodgson said: “I thought it was a harsh defeat but we needed better quality.
“The effort, the work rate and desire, I can’t fault at all. But in the time we had the ball in the German half, we weren’t as efficient as the Germans were when they had the ball in our half.
“The quality of our passing and shooting was not as good as the Germans and we paid the price for set-pieces. We knew set-pieces would be a danger, they had some big players and we were a small team tonight.”
Low, on the other hand, was delighted. “The fact that we’ve won here at Wembley this time-honoured place is a joy for us,”
German fans celebrated the win by singing – in English – “Football’s coming home” – taken from the England anthem Three Lions. It was a miserable way for the Football Association to round off its 150th anniversary celebrations in front of a 85,934-strong crowd, with Germany exposing the hosts’ technical deficiencies.
“Per definitely organised our defence – he has turned out to be a pillar of strength – literally speaking in terms of his height,” Low said, praising Mertesacker’s agility and ball distribution. “I was annoyed at times because we really squandered our chances – many of them – when we should have extended our lead much earlier,” Low said. “Especially when England were open in defence, we should have scored that second goal.”
“I can approach 2014 with a sense of quiet confidence,” he added.
“Many of the players who I wanted to test here can be proud to have withstood the pressure of playing against such a great crowd.”