After a poor display in their final pre-Euro friendly against Portugal, England manager Roy Hodgson has decided to change things around a bit. He will reportedly revert to a more commonly used formation and axe some players who failed to perform in that game.
The Three Lions made hard work of their game against Portugal, even though the latter were reduced to 10 men early on with almost an hour left on the clock. England could not manage to break the Portuguese defence despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession.
It was only when manager Roy Hodgson tweaked the formation into a more commonplace 4-2-3-1 that England finally managed to break the deadlock thanks to a Chris Smalling header, with Raheem Sterling racking up his third assist in two games.
This gave Hodgson a lot to think about ahead of their Euro opener against Russia. According to the Daily Mail, two big names could be axed from the starting XI after their poor display — Liverpool’s James Milner and Leicester City star striker Jamie Vardy.
Both ended the domestic season on a high, as Vardy celebrated Leicester City’s Premier League win and Milner notched up 11 assists for Liverpool since the turn of the year. However, the report suggests that Hodgson has been training with the team in a formation that suggests that both players will be starting off the bench for England’s first Euro game.
Return to 4-2-3-1 as Hodgson scraps 4-4-2 diamond
The efficacy of a pair of advanced wingers was on full display in the game against Portugal, as Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana proved to be a menace on the flanks. The front pairing of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy, which was so effective previously, lacked teeth and penetration. Though it may be a panic decision from Hodgson, the 4-2-3-1 formation could also be the best one, given that most clubs implement that system and it’s something players will be familiar with.
The question now is whether Hodgson insists on playing Wayne Rooney in the No. 10 position when teenager Dele Alli showed promise in that area of the field. This also leaves the England squad heavily lopsided, with as many as four forwards, apart from Rooney, vying for the position of lone striker.