England: Five questions that need to be answered

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Can he hold the midfield?
Can he hold the midfield?.


It's a fact of the modern game at international and top levels that sides need to play a defensive midfielder - especially if they struggle to retain the ball in the middle of the park. England's options aren't great, though.

Captain Steven Gerrard looks unconvincing in the holding role. His Hollywood long passes often just give the ball away and shackled to a back four, he is shorn of his trademark forward surges.

Michael Carrick often lets big games bypass him, while Frank Lampard lacks the tackling ability to play the holding role - plus, he has never really played there.

This leaves England relying on rejected old hands like Scott Parker or Gareth Barry - placing a lot of faith in Jack Wilshere - or taking a gamble on untried player such as Southampton's Jack Cork.

Hodgson needs to make a choice, though. Especially if he is going to play the sort of conservative tournament football he did at Euro 2012 and in the past with Switzerland.

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