Hansen: Hodgson's 4-4-2 hurt Gerrard

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Liverpool legend Alan Hansen has labelled Roy Hodgson's 4-4-2 formation an 'obsolete system' and blamed the tactics for overworking Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker.

The Premier League pair suffered from cramps and fitness worries throughout the tournament, and Hansen blames Hodgson's insistence on playing with two central midfielders.

The former centre-back thinks Gerrard led by example as England captain, but was left fatigued and cramp-ridden after spending the majority of games chasing the ball.

"The futility of playing in a 4-4-2 system contributed to England's fatigue because midfielders such as Scott Parker and Steven Gerrard were consistently outnumbered in midfield," said Hansen in the Daily Telegraph.

England's possession statistics were the third worst in the entire tournament - only Ireland and Greece had less of the ball than Hodgson's men. And Hansen believes the formation of the side didn't help get the best out of Gerrard.

"From being England's best player of the tournament, when he had been commanding in midfield, Gerrard found himself chasing the ball all the time against Italy because of the lack of numbers in the centre of the pitch," said Hansen.

The Liverpool legend, who won eight league championships with the Anfield club, wants to see the Premier League introduce a winter break, and for Hodgson to embrace new tactics to get the best out of his players.

England begin life after Euro 2012 with an unwelcome match-up against their Italian vanquishers. The Three Lions take on penalty foes Italy on August 15, giving Hodgson the opportunity to experiment with some fresh faces, before they begin their World Cup qualification campaign in September.

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Steven Gerrard
Alan Hansen
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