England system

England System

Tottenham Hotspur: Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier
Manchester City: Raheem Sterling, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Fabian Delph
Liverpool: Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold

The difficulty England have is that their are very few English playmakers, if any, in the top 5 leagues in Europe. Gareth Southgate had to find another way, a way where if one player was missing, another could seamlessly slip into the system. Statistically, there isn't one in the top 30 players in Europe, the highest is Jack Wilshere, ranked 31st.

His answer was to devise a system that a large proportion of the squad were already playing at club level. In the England squad there are 11 players who regularly play a high pressing game and it was this that Gareth Southgate adopted.

We have learnt a lot about him at this World Cup, not least that he totally embraces sports science and pays close attention to the tiniest detail. The is something the England Rugby team did to win the Rugby World Cup under Clive Woodward, who was then knighted. British cycling adopted the same approach an did Team Sky.

Where the England rugby team went wrong when Sir Clive Woodward left, was not to carry on in the same detailed way. They didn't look forward, they were not constantly planning for continued success, hence a one-off success and a fight to get back to the same level.

Spurs have the same issue. A one-off success is no good, it can even send the team backwards, if a side is built to obtain one short-term success. Mauricio Pochettino isn't falling into that trap, he planning to regularly compete and win trophies, that's the aim and thus that is what's being worked towards.

Fans may not like it, but it's the right thing to do for the long-term success of the club.

England now have a system to play that needs to be kept and not discarded after one tournament as is often the case.

I couldn't believe people were suggesting we should try and make our route harder in the World Cup, that simply didn't make any sense. Thank goodness Southgate thought so too and picked a second XI. The result is that there is now real optimism that we can beat anyone in our half of the draw, especially now that Spain are out.

Southgate highlighted set plays are a major factor at WorldCups, thus England have had more shots from set-pieces than anyone else in the tournament (30). We have had 17 shots from free-kicks, more than anyone else. One of our objectives is to win free-kicks around the penalty box, something we have been excellent at this summer.

If you look at the graphic below, from Opta Stats, you can see the fouls are primarily on the left, where Dele Alli operates and Raheem Sterling drifts to (prior to Sweden game).



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England system England system Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 pm Rating: 5


  1. Given Croatia's aggressive tackling not sure that Dele should start this one...Henderson could get horribly exposed.
    Maybe Dier should start with Henderson in front of our back three or Loftus-Cheek playing alongside Lingard?

    1. I like Dele up against aggressive tackling myself. It brings out the cheecky boy in him that can so disrupt opposition players.

      Personally, against such a team which can certainly be aggressive, I would want us to be aggressive too. Take risks and go for the throat.

      I believe our strengths are the threats we pose and they are more worrying to the opposition when we go for it.

      Let the back line understand the requirements for cover for when they do break on us, but be ready to break back quickly and dynamically when we recover the ball.

      COYS!! (and England of course ;-))

    2. Hi Adrian,
      That's just it...Dele poses but when under pressure, more often then not, loses possession...I still don't see that he has improved that part of his game.
      I'm not going to belay this point but I have highlighted the possession stats of our (THFC) attacking players previously...check them out on Squawka.
      Suffice it to say that I will gladly change my opinion should the situation change.

    3. Dele had good perfomance against Sweden and he should start against Croatia.
      why you guys not talking about Raheem Sterling ? he is the worst player of this World Cup

    4. Fair question John.

      His finishing has been atrocious. His composure on the ball has been woeful. Nevertheless, in spite of all that, and it is a lot, he offers both pace and unpredictability, and frankly causes many opponents to piss their pants.

      Croatia aren't hoping he'll play on Wednesday. France and Belgium aren't looking forward to having to deal with him on Sunday.

      Much of his work is off the ball. I believe Harry is happy to have him making all those runs and leaving the opposition exposed to his own (HK's) approaches towards goal.

      I've sometimes wondered why Rashford, and recently even Vardy, haven't had more time to rip open opposition defences as they can both do. I think I'm starting to understand now why it is that Sterling keeps getting the nod.


  2. I have know idea why anyone would want to change anything going into a W/C semi with a settled team on he up. No wonder we haven't won anything since 66. Get behind whoever Southgate puts out as he sure is doing something right.

  3. No defensive MF...Modric given freedom of the park...QED

  4. I think it's time that Alli received the proverbial 'kick up the ass'.
    This 'lackadaisical' approach of his has gone on far too long...the very fact that he has offered the same on an international stage beggars belief!
    It isn't sufficient to pop up & score a goal every now & then...it's a team game Alli!


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