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FIVE Lessons England Need To Learn For 2016
Footytubeblog (Blog) 2 years ago
England will be heading home following their disappointing World Cup elimination. Consecutive 1-2 defeats to Italy and Uruguay condemned Roy Hodgson's men to the Three Lions' first Group Stage exit since 1958.

The post-mortem into England's tournament has begun in earnest. While some have suggested that there is no shame in losing to two higher placed teams in FIFA's World Rankings, many have been damning in their verdicts of the Three Lions in Brazil. Despite pressure in some quarters, Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has given Hodgson the vote of confidence to lead England in the qualifying campaign for Euro 2016.

Bearing that in mind, here are FIVE lessons that the Three Lions need to learn ahead of the next major tournament.

1) Defending is still important

Judging by the goals conceded against Italy and Uruguay, defending wasn't high on the agenda at England's training camp. All the talk ahead of the tournament focused upon the composition of the attack but in the end it was defensive errors which cost the country so dearly.

In Joe Hart, Glen Johnson, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines, England's back five virtually picked itself. Although it was refreshing to watch the Three Lions attack with such freedom and pace after the dismal showing in South Africa four years ago, the need to be solid in defence evidently remains as important as ever.

2) Youth was raw but encouraging

Having harangued Hodgson to select youth in squad this summer, many fans have been oddly critical of the inevitable consequences of this decision. Rather than choose the "safe" options, the England manager was swayed by popular opinion in instances such as selecting Luke Shaw over Ashley Cole.

Exciting prospects such as Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling showed promise in their performances but were also guilty of being naive at times. Rather than reverting back to the more experienced performers, Hodgson should persevere with these youngsters in the expectation that they will have improved by 2016.

3) Pick players on form, not reputation

When the squad was announced, many couldn't believe the inclusion of the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck. The trio had contributed nothing during Manchester United's campaign to suggest that they merited a spot in Hodgson's plans.

The seemingly eternal debate over Wayne Rooney's continued selection also feeds into this notion that no player should be guaranteed a spot in the England set-up based on their club affiliation or reputation. If, as some actually suggest, the Three Lions would have functioned better without Rooney in the lineup, Hodgson needs to be bold and make the tough decisions with 2016 in mind.

4) One man can't carry the hopes of a nation

When it comes to international competition, England fans can't continue to pin their dreams on one player and then savagely cut him down when he inevitably fails. Wayne Rooney delivered a goal and assist in two performances, albeit in two less than vintage displays, but still has been scapegoated for the nation's failings.

Unfortunately for England, they lack a talisman in the ilk of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to single-handedly make the difference on the biggest stage. In this case, the focus for 2016 ideally needs to be on the team rather than any particular individual.

5) The Golden Generation are finished

Those that questioned whether this would be a tournament too far for certain members of the "Golden Generation" prior to the competition have been proven right. Frank Lampard is being handed a token appearance in the last dead rubber fixture and Steven Gerrard has struggled against the world's best.

Although a certain amount of experience to guide the youngsters was necessary, now is the time for Hodgson to officially call time on the so-called "Golden Generation". Rather than stunt the progress of the talented prospects for 2016, Gerrard and Lampard should join the likes of Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry in international retirement.
Kayteo (90m haircut) 2 years ago

The biggest thing to learn is that goal-scoring midfielders do not a team make.

Remember when people were upset that lampard and gerrard can't play together? Yea. Modern teams play three in midfield - you start with a holder to control the game and protect the back four. You have a second midfielder to press in midfield, control possession and help link play. Then you finish with an attacker who can also press and help retain possession.

England have never had this combination - and instead have tried to play two attacker midfielders exclusively without either a holder or a proper controller.

At their peaks, gerrard was an attacker, in front of alonso (the controller) and mascherano, the holder. Lampard was an attacker, in front of makelele and essien. Without proper defenders and controllers to do the important work of winning a game, attackers cannot adorn it. Controllers and holders win the game, attackers decide by how much.

It's like having 500 horsepower in your engine, but fitting it with bicycle tires.

Henderson is promising as a 'second' midfielder, not a controller necessarily but full of beans, can press and keep the ball. Barkley looks a proper #10 in the making, the first england have had in.... Ever. Wilshere has real potential to control or attack, but england have no holder in sight unless it's.... Jones maybe? A modified centreback. Not sure who else is there really, I had high hopes for spearing at one time and of course I would recommend carrick if it weren't for his form last year.

Until we adopt a midfield structure appropriate to the 21st century we may as well stay home.

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