England fell to just their second defeat since the World Cup as Roy Hodgson’s men lost 2-1 to a Holland side not even good enough to reach Euro 2016.
Impressive progress has been made since the Three Lions’ embarrassing exit in Brazil, including reaching this summer’s finals with a 100 per cent record.
However, there was little of the intensity, drive and quality seen in Saturday’s remarkable comeback win in Germany as Holland themselves came from behind to win 2-1 at Wembley.
It was a reality check after back-to-back wins over Euro 2016 favourites France and Germany, although Jamie Vardy again impressed and followed up his wonderful flick at the Olympiastadion by finishing a lovely team move. The in-form Leicester striker looks a shoo-in for the squad named on May 12, when Hodgson faces some difficult decisions.
England boast impressive strength in depth up front but look susceptible at the back, with John Stones’ recent poor form compounded by a slip that needed Fraser Forster to come to the rescue.
However, Danny Rose was adjudged to have handled as the move continued and Vincent Janssen scored from the spot, before controversially overpowering substitute Phil Jagielka and crossing for Luciano Narsingh to net the winner.
The anger was palpable as the players harangued the referee following what proved the decisive blow, with Harry Kane coming closest to levelling.
Hodgson said: “I think we were hard done by and I don’t think we deserved to lose the game, the way the two decisions went against us the penalty against England and a foul in the build-up to the Netherlands’ second goal. It was nothing like the performance I was after. We weren’t as intensive or incisive as we were against Germany.
“We learned a lot. It was important to change the team and give the players a chance to show what they can do. I was most disappointed for the crowd of 82,000, which was fantastic, and it would have been nice to send them home with a victory.
“I’m certain that the two games will have helped me with the decision about who to take on the plane to France with us.”
Vardy said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling to score for England at Wembley but the result is disappointing. I have got to carry on the way I have been playing and we will have to see what happens.”