England should abandon tactic of playing two wingers

England's twin-winger strategy leaves the midfield exposed and is a luxury Fabio Capello cannot afford

England played more spiritedly in the second half and with more purpose when Ashley Young played closer to Darren Bent to give them more of a goal-scoring threat. But the plethora of changes meant the game lost any meaningful pattern after half-time.

There were 17 Premier league players under one roof and there was a feeling of passionless "milky" rivalry in a sluggish friendly first half. England opened up the field with two wingers, but when Denmark had the ball in defence and their centre-backs split and their full-backs advanced, Theo Walcott and James Milner both dropped too deep and left Wayne Rooney and Bent too much to do when trying to pressurise the ball. With Jack Wilshere and Frank Lampard also adrift of William Kvist and Christian Poulsen in midfield, this allowed Denmark to build attacks far too easily. This resulted in Denmark having the lion's share of possession where an average home team forced eight first-half corners, scored with a fine header and the talented Christian Eriksen hit the post.

Wilshere was more than comfortable when he received on the half-turn, and prodded his passes from a more advanced position than many had predicted, but he was still too far from the opposition goal to thread that final incisive pass. In possession England passed safely, but if they play with wingers they must be given a constant supply of ball. Walcott made the first goal through determination but Denmark had used their wide right player Dennis Rommedahl to great effect. The Danish crosing from the right led to several anxious England moments.

At the highest level two wingers are a luxury. It puts a far greater workload on the two central midfielders and if Wilshere is to flourish, he will probably need a guard alongside him. A creator, a scorer and a patroller are an ideal midfield combination. Walcott's pace must be encouraged but he must get the necessary service. Importantly, three midfield players would place less emphasis on Rooney dropping deeper to hunt the ball. He is more likely to regain his goalscoring touch up front rather than by seeking and scheming yards from the penalty box.

Multiple personnel changes gave little chance for partnerships to flourish and one wonders whether Fabio Capello, hand on heart, knows much more about any player than he did before.

In 45 minutes, however, Wilshere did confirm that he has a lovely touch, control and confidence on the ball. Also that he is not overawed, which we did not know. But his role as a holding midfield player seems misplaced. Here is a creative talent.

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