FINALLY, the forward line played something like the Free Lions.
England’s strikers, even without the main man Harry Kane, showed no fear. This is much more like it.
Jesse Lingard, on the mark with his first goal in England’s colours 59 minutes in, gave England an important, confidence-boosting win on the road.
They earned it, with Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling expressing themselves with vibrant, spirited, confident performances.
Sure, so this is not the Holland of old, when the watching world was in awe of Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit.
They still have Virgil van Dijk, the most expensive defender in the world captaining Ronald Koeman’s side in the Amsterdam Arena.
Even he could not keep prevent Lingard belting his effort beyond Holland keeper Jeroen Zoet.
It came via that bundle of energy Sterling, with his shot falling into Lingard’s path when it was blocked by this Dutch defence.
This was a decent enough England performance. There are some options out there, especially up front after Gareth Southgate picked this adventurous, attacking forward line.
Lingard’s strike, capitalising on time and space on the edge of the area, England a lead they never looked likely to lose.
This is a desperate time to be a fan of Dutch football.
That little trio made way 67 minutes, with their work done for the night as England’s head coach started to make changes. Southgate will be satisfied with this performance.
It is not easy to build momentum for a World Cup, especially when so many of his players have important Champions League games looming.
The Manchester City and Liverpool contingent – three from the Etihad and three from Anfield in the starting line-up – put club rivalry to one side.
They pieced this win together, building from the back until they finally found a way to break down this Dutch defence. They got there in the end, deservedly so.
Rashford demanded a penalty at the start of the second half when Matthijs de Ligt nudged him inside the area.
The England forward was entitled to feel hard done, sent off balance by the challenge as he made his way towards goal. Still, this was a lively performance from England’s front three.
There was the punchy, purposeful, powerful display from Sterling.
He looks tough to knock off the ball, stretching this Dutch defence with his darting runs.
He was one of Roy Hodgson’s “five-yard furies” when he made the breakthrough as a young England player at the 2014 World Cup.
Four years on, the Manchester City flier is one of England’s main men.
He was at the heart of all the flickering first half interchanges, switching play with some cute, off-the-cuff turns around the corner.
Then there was the 36th minute run behind Holland’s defence, sent through on goal by the quick-witted feet of Jesse Lingard.
He was denied the opener when Holland keeper Joreon Zoet came haring out of his area to intercept him with a block tackle.
At the back, communication could be a lot better.
Southgate’s obsession with possession, the demand to play the ball out from the back, is inviting trouble.
The head tells them to boot it clear whenever they are in danger. The head coach tells them to play their way out of these tricky situations.
Pickford, getting the nod ahead of Joe Hart, could come a cropper with calls like that.
He was caught out a couple of times, with the ball sticking under his studs when he was looking for Stones, Maguire or Walker.
Sometimes, no matter what the manager has in mind, that ball has to be sent long.
At least his keeping was clean.
He made some straightforward saves in that first half, down to collect Matthijs de Ligt’s long-range effort after 21 minutes and collecting Memphis Depay’s strike just before half-time.
When Quincy Promes looked favourite to pounce in another Dutch move, Pickford was alert to the danger.
This was a bold call by Southgate, giving him the gloves in favour of a man with more than 70 caps behind him.
Hart, finally dislodged as England’s first choice keeper by this young Everton upstart, will struggle to re-establish himself now.
The one time he was caught out, when he failed to collect Depay’s corner, he was given a reprieve when Bas Dost directed his header over the bar.
Beyond that, England’s defence is suddenly looking surprisingly competent.
They had been forced into a reshuffle with Joe Gomez replaced by Harry Maguire after twisting his ankle just 10 minutes in.
Even then, they were quick to make the tactical adjustment.
That should please Southgate because it is just type of situation that will confront him at the World Cup.
The countdown is one, with less than three months to go before they line up against Tunisian.
When they get there, at least they have found another way to play.
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