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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

England: Time for a Change part 2: Out with the Old


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Brazil 2014 is the next major tournament and I would like to see a different approach to the game from England, my first bone of contention being with the formation.

Roy Hodgson throughout his career has typically employed a rigid 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 formation. If you look at all the best teams in the world most play 4-2-3-1 ie Germany or a 4-3-3 ie Spain. The advantage of these formation is the extra midfielders allowing the teams who use such a formation to control the middle of the park and in most cases the game. If England are to follow suit they need the right players and the right style of play.

I prefer a 4-3-3 formation as I feel this provides a greater emphasis on attack and as a result a more entertaining style of play. The added benefit of this formation is that it can quickly and efficiently be converted into a 4-5-1 if the game isn’t going according to plan. But it is not that simple you need the right players to suit the formation and looking forward to Brazil 2014 I’ve picked a younger starting line up.

GK: Joe Hart, 25

Hart hasn’t put a foot wrong all season and continued that form throughout the Euros. He can’t be blamed for any of the goals the team conceded and at only 25 years of age he could be England’s number 1 for the next 15 years.

CB: Phil Jones, 20

Jones has had an interesting first season at Manchester United. He has been played in many positions but I think his best position will eventually be at centre back. He is a ready-made replacement for John Terry and I am sure will be a future England captain.

CB: Chris Smalling, 22

If it wasn’t for injury Smalling would have joined fellow team-mate Jones at the Euros and at this moment in time is perhaps a better rounded centre back than his club mate. These two I’m sure will form a terrific partnership for both club and country.

RB: Kyle Walker, 22

It was such a shame that Walker got injured towards the end of the season after his great performances for Spurs this season and quite rightly making it into the Premier League team of the year. With the 4-4-3 system it is important to provide width making the pitch as big as possible; this means it is vital to have attacking wing backs rather than defensive minded fullbacks. The advantage of this is that it allows the wing forwards to tuck in at times while the right and left backs overlap. Walker would provide this in abundance and if it all breaks down up field he has the pace to recover and get back in position.

LB: Kieran Gibbs, 22

Tough choice this one but I’ve gone with Kieran Gibbs. He has just as much ability as Ashley Cole had at his age but he lacks a Tony Adams to teach him the art of defending which could be a problem. Unfortunately Cole isn’t getting any younger and Leighton Baines is yet to perform at the highest level so I took a gamble on potential over experience and it may or may not pay off come 2014 but only time will tell.

Those are the defensive changes I would hope to see in the near future, but football is unpredictable and has a habit of changing people’s opinions so who knows what will happen in two years. Maybe nothing will change but that would be a shame and such a waste of talent.

In my next article I will look at the attacking side of this new look England and name the captain who could potentially lift the World Cup in Brazil #believe

Written by Dave Gwill

Calling all England fans: Do you agree with Dave? Do you think Gibbs, Smalling, Jones and Walker are the future for England defensively? Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you.

Related Articles:

England: Time for a Change part one: Inquisition

England: Isn't it nice to have no excuses?

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