Roy Hodgson got it spot on in terms of personnel, particularly deploying Daniel Sturridge, Wayne Rooney and Raheem Sterling as an attacking force. Hats should be taken off to him in that regard.
The problem that Hodgson has is that there are no natural defensive midfielders in the England squad, and no midfielders who can dictate the tempo of a game. Jack Wilshere has long been touted as the saviour of English football, and has even been outrageously compared to Xavi and Andres Iniesta in some quarters.
WILSHERE ISN'T READY TO CONTROL YET
Personally, I have yet to see Wilshere control a game from start to finish on a regular basis. He tends to do a lot of sideways running/passing, which is not too dissimilar to what David Batty used to do in days gone by. I’m doing him a massive disservice there, I know, but he is not the answer to England’s problems.
England seem too determined to try and borrow ideas from other countries rather than establish an identity of their own. England’s game has traditionally been built around athleticism, power, pace and passion.
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There is no point trying to play like Spain or Germany when you don’t have the players capable of playing in those systems. Everybody was talking about deploying the “Liverpool style” with this England team, but Liverpool have Luis Suarez to conjure something out of nothing, and also have somebody like a Philippe Coutinho who can unlock defences with pinpoint passing precision. Who do England have that can do either of those things? Nobody! So don’t try to play that way.
HODGSON CAN'T STOP INDIVIDUAL MISTAKES
Also, how is Hodgson to blame for the inability of his defenders to defend? When Edinson Cavani bore down on the England penalty box prior to providing the assist for Suarez’ first goal, Glen Johnson should have closed him down and put a block in.
Instead, he backtracked right onto the toes of his two centre-backs allowing Cavani plenty of time to pick his man out. That isn’t Hodgson’s fault. He has done the best that he can with a very limited group of players.
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