England, World Cup 2022 Qualifiers, World Cup 2022, World Cup

England, World Cup 2022 Qualifiers

Shifting Trent Alexander-Arnold into midfield is a blast from the failed past

Shifting Trent Alexander-Arnold into midfield is a blast from the failed past

9/6/2021 6:01:00 PM

Shifting Trent Alexander-Arnold into midfield is a blast from the failed past

Undoubted qualities at right-back are not enough for subtleties of playing further forward for England

Last modified on Mon 6 Sep 2021 15.55 BSTTEnglandto fix a troublesome position by filling it with a non-specialist on the assumption they can probably do a job there. For instance, when Sven-Göran Eriksson was faced with a shortage of competent left-footed midfielders, one of the his attempted solutions was deploying Wayne Bridge in front of Ashley Cole for a Euro 2004 qualifier against Macedonia.

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It was not the worst idea. Bridge and Cole were excellent attacking left-backs and there was merit in starting them in the same team. It was certainly preferable to cramming in yet another right-footer at left midfield and Eriksson’s plan may well have worked had England not been so wedded to playing a rigid 4-4-2.

After all, Scotland have found a way to use Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney, picking the former at left wing-back and the latter as a left-sided centre-back. Perhaps, with a little more care, Eriksson could have made the Bridge-Cole combination work. But England were still playing in straight lines when they faced Macedonia. It finished 2-2 and although Bridge played quite well, the plan was quietly shelved and England’s left-sided dilemma went on, a weakness matched only by their inability to find a midfield controller. headtopics.com

Read moreCentral midfield: it has been quite a problem for England. There was the great Lampard-Gerrard conundrum and at Euro 2016 Roy Hodgson decided his midfield would benefit from the inclusion of Wayne Rooney, who was well past his peak as a striker.

The sensible move would have been dropping Rooney. The reasons given for playing him in the middle – he has a great passing range, he can shoot, he can cross, he has unrivalled nous, he is too good to leave out – were superficial, exposed as such when

, and worryingly similar to the logic behind the push to recast Trent Alexander-Arnold as a central midfielder. Read more: The Guardian »

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Trent Alexander-Arnold: ‘To see the whole country get behind England was moving’Full-back was injured and ‘outside the bubble’ during Euro 2020 run but is determined to make right-back berth his own wow Yes, and southgate blew it, by playing defensive football against an inferior opponent. Just ridiculous 'MORRER PELA PÁTRIA OU VIVER SEM RAZÃO' 'MINHA PÁTRIA É VERDE, AMARELA, AZUL E BRANCA, MAS ESTÁ FERIDA DE VERMELHO, EXJIO HIGIENIZAÇÃO PELAS MINHAS FORÇAS DE DEFESA! 142-CF

Trent Alexander-Arnold: ‘To see the whole country get behind England was moving’Full-back was injured and ‘outside the bubble’ during Euro 2020 run but is determined to make right-back berth his own wow Yes, and southgate blew it, by playing defensive football against an inferior opponent. Just ridiculous 'MORRER PELA PÁTRIA OU VIVER SEM RAZÃO' 'MINHA PÁTRIA É VERDE, AMARELA, AZUL E BRANCA, MAS ESTÁ FERIDA DE VERMELHO, EXJIO HIGIENIZAÇÃO PELAS MINHAS FORÇAS DE DEFESA! 142-CF

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