Roy Hodgson in the recent friendlies has been trying to model Liverpool’s style in hope that England can replicate the former’s success this season. But a 4-3-3 ala Liverpool exposes England as Gerrard alone in the deep role isn’t reliable . As Roy is expected to switch to a 4-4-2/4-2-3-1 at the world cup,England will find it difficult to retain possession which has been their problem for quite some time now. Wayne Rooney is also another major issue for Roy Hodgson and you can read all about it here.
In the age of double pivots (almost every top national team plays with one), England still haven’t played with a established duo in midfield who are responsible defensively. Xabi Alonso-Busquets, Schweinsteiger-Khedira/Kroos, Mascherano-Gago, Paulinho-Luis Gustavo all are established double pivots for their respective sides. With Gerrard moving to a deeper role and Jordan Henderson more of a box to box midfielder rather than a defensive shield,England don’t have any other player in their squad of 23 who can offer protection to their defence.
Carrick might not have had a good season at Manchester United but he offers good ball retention and has the defensive nous which other English midfielders lack. Steven Gerrard is still vulnerable to making a mistake if faced with a quality number 10 and with the likes of Cavani,Bryan Ruiz(You just can’t predict what team Italy is going to put out) facing England,Jordan Henderson must ensure that Gerrard isn’t left overwhelmed.
Gerrard with his hollywood balls is certainly the man England will go to,to start their attacks. But when holding out in the latter stages of a match,it is vital to hold possession by playing the short passes. Roy Hodgson in selecting Lampard ahead of Carrick has gone for more attacking flair and experience,but with players like Barkley,Sterling and Oxlade-Chamberlain all on the bench it doesn’t make sense for any more attacking players. Of course Lampard can play in the deeper role but Michael Carrick is better equipped to play the more deeper and defensive role.
It is more important to find players who can build a team rather than simply finding two very good players and putting them in the team even if they don’t play so well together.
I mentioned Carrick, but there’s Paul Scholes too – another player who maybe hasn’t had the career in the national team that he had at United. It’s not just about having lots of good players. Maybe you shouldn’t pick the best players but pick the ones that go together best. – Xabi Alonso