Three games down at the Euros, and England have just about scraped their way into the knockout stages.
It has been, in the least, uninspiring, and while Roy Hodgson still raves on about giving somebody a serious thrashing, Alan Shearer doesn’t think England have the bite to match the bark.
The former England forward has recently slammed Hodgson’s tactics, claiming he “doesn’t know his best eleven, or his best system, and that’s where England are struggling.”
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Indeed, employing his current starting eleven in an ambitious 4-3-3 hasn’t given the Three Lions the desired results. The main reason behind this seems to be a lack of width, most of which seems to be coming from the full-backs, which is any wonder why Kyle Walker has arguably been the team’s best player so far.
The only natural winger that Hodgson’s got in his deck is the lackluster Raheem Sterling, who hasn’t claimed his stake at this tournament by any means.
It would be wishful thinking to go back and think “if only”, however, for the sake of argument, it does seem as though the gaffer hasn’t built a team suited to play his favoured 4-3-3.
Let's take a trip back to when Hodgson was set to announce his 23-man list for the tournament. spring is about to give way to summer, and Danny Drinkwater has done everything in his power to book himself a seat on the chartered plane to Chantilly.
While the same cannot be said about Theo Walcott, who lost his Arsenal starting spot to youngster Alex Iwobi, the natural wide man might have injected some pace into this sluggish, tired-looking England side.
After all, Hodgson did give Jack Wilshere a chance, in spite of him missing almost an entire season through injury.
If Hodgson was so adamant about deploying a 4-3-3 in this tournament, he needed to take wingers to France. The fact he only took Sterling doesn't add up to him wanting to play a formation with wingers.
Although Walcott had a below-par campaign for Arsenal, his pace and natural ability on the flanks, could have made the difference when searching for a goal, and his pace could have caused problems to defences.
Hodgson’s side is up against Iceland in the next round, and he it would be unwise to try the 4-3-3 again, something Shearer agrees with, stating Hodgson should go with a 4-2-3-1, or a midfield diamond to better suit the players at his disposal.
This has thus far been a rather defense-minded tournament, with teams sitting very deep, proving difficult to break down and score against.
We can bet that Iceland will cause a lot of frustration, and if Hodgson sets his team up in a 4-3-3 again, Kyle Walker’s got to shoulder the burden yet again.
Did Roy Hodgson make a mistake not taking Theo Walcott for his 4-3-3 formation? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!