THE NOTEBOOK: Jordan Henderson is booed AGAIN by England fans

THE NOTEBOOK: Jordan Henderson is booed AGAIN by England fans, bored supporters resort to racing paper aeroplanes and Wayne Rooney watches on at Wembley

  • England overcame Malta in an underwhelming performance at Wembley
  • An own goal and a second half Harry Kane strike guaranteed victory
  • Southgate’s loyalty to his players is an issue and a weakness – It’s All Kicking Off

England came through their latest test against Malta unscathed as Gareth Southgate’s side ran out 2-0 winners at Wembley on Friday evening.

It wasn’t the typical swashbuckling Three Lions performance that supporters have become used to under Southgate as an own goal and a second half Harry Kane strike secured victory.

England are on course to claim top spot in their European Championship qualifying group that will give them a more favourable group stage tie at next year’s tournament.

However, it was an evening to remember for Chelsea youngster Cole Palmer who made his senior England debut at Wembley.

Mail Sport’s Craig Hope covers some of the talking points that you may have missed from the Wembley encounter. 

Harry Kane scored in the second half to guarantee a 2-1 victory for England against Malta

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Jordan Henderson is booed again 

Gareth Southgate’s first game as England boss was against Malta seven years ago. That was also a fairly underwhelming 2-0 victory in which Daniel Sturridge and Dele Alli scored. 

Jordan Henderson was the only man to start then and now, and judging by the boos when his name was read out before kick-off, it is clear some would rather he had not.

Jordan Henderson was again booed by England supporters at Wembley on Friday evening

Wembley remembers Sir Bobby Charlton 

The life of Sir Bobby Charlton was remembered with a minute’s applause and a showreel of his best England moments (it was more entertaining than much of what followed on the pitch) before Sir Geoff Hurst – now the only surviving member of the 1966 team – laid a wreath in the centre circle. 

The opposition was fitting in that the Maltese Manchester United supporters’ club was the first overseas branch established in 1959. It came on the back of the outpouring of affection for United following the previous year’s Munich air crash, and it is still going strong today.

Wembley remembered England and Man United legend Sir Bobby Charlton pre-match

Former England captain Wayne Rooney watches on 

Wayne Rooney, the man who was first to surpass Sir Bobby’s England goalscoring record of 49, was here at Wembley. He, however, held that record for less than eight years before being overtaken by current captain Harry Kane. Charlton, by contrast, was holder for more than 50 years.

Wayne Rooney (middle) watched on from the stands at Wembley on Friday evening

Bored supporters resort to making paper planes 

So much for a sold-out crowd falling in love with this England team. They were keeping themselves occupied with a Mexican wave less than half an hour in and, by half-time, had resorted to racing paper aeroplanes, fashioned from the cards used earlier in tribute to Charlton.

Paper planes thrown from the crowd littered the pitch as bored supporters entertained themselves

VAR’s strange decisions 

The decision to book Harry Kane for what the referee deemed to be a dive in the first half had some of us in the press box questioning whether VAR was in use for this game. We had expected a lengthy delay and several checks. No, they quickly decided there was no obvious error and on we went. It all felt rather strange.


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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