- Feb 15, 2012
Gareth Southgate is right to play possession football but England will need a back-up plan if things go wrong against the top teams, says Chris Waddle.
Having watched the recent games it's hard not to be impressed by just how much more comfortable England are on the ball now that we were 3 years ago when we were dumped out of the Euro by Iceland but you do wonder if England need to evolve the system a bit.
We have a very quick and skilful front 3, very attacking full backs, 2 reasonable comfortable centre backs on the ball but where we are struggling is in the midfield we don't have guys who dictate the game currently and retain possession in big games.
This is where the team needs to massively improve over the next 12 months I think Southgate will look to bring some new midfielders into the setup who may be more comfortable in taking the ball from the defence and turning. Rice has already come in it may be that players like Delph and Dier are moved aside for the likes of Maddison and possibly even Foden. England need a trio of midfielders who can rotate to come and get the ball off the defence because if we don't work this bit out then we probably need to look to be a bit more like Liverpool in the bigger games and be more direct not dumping the ball long but asking the centre backs to go long at times to hit spaces for the quick forward to exploit.
Finishing 3rd is alright it's been a hell of a 12 months for the national team but the next challenge is can we get to a final to do that we are going to have to beat a strong team at some point which still seems the hurdle we haven't quite got over in a tournament.