Wayne Rooney may have taken the plaudits for breaking the 50-goal barrier but for me the one thing to take out of England’s two qualifiers last week is that Jonjo Shelvey is the future in the middle of the park.
We adopted a system of 4-3-3, with loads and loads of pace about it and having a player in there that can really pick a pass like Shelvey worked an absolute treat, he just made everything tick.
He didn’t have the freedom against Switzerland that he had against San Marino, but he still offered a method of play that we haven’t had in a while.
I think Roy simply has to persevere with him in that playmaker role.
Every time he got the ball against the Swiss he was closed down, but that’s not necessarily a problem.
In situations like that, Roy will be thinking that if Jonjo can take opposition players away from his team-mates, it opens up space for everyone else.
It certainly looks as if though there were plenty more options for England than we’ve been used to.
I would have thought that all of that starting XI against Switzerland, apart from obviously Fabian Delph who got injured in the first minute have done themselves the power of good in terms of selection for next summer.
Super sub role for Kane no knocking of his talents…
On goals per game you could say that Harry Kane deserves a starting berth for England going forward, coming off the bench twice and scoring twice and with his youthfulness and vitality that he has got he’s certainly got a big future.
However, I think at the moment he’s excellent being used coming off the bench.
When he comes on Roy can change the shape slightly, whereas before we were so predictable.
Football has changed in that you don’t start off by picking your XI to line-up anymore, you pick a shape and then select players to fit into that system.
And with Kane coming off the bench you have a player that allows you to adapt that shape to give you another option.
Certainly we’ve seen in his Tottenham career that he is capable of playing up top on his own, but we could also use him in a 4-4-2 alongside Wayne Rooney, it just gives us that extra edge.
Our strengths could hurt the big boys….
We are learning all the time about the England team and how our strengths can be being utilised.
The fact that we now have genuine pace makes us a threat. We haven’t been able to see that pace as much as you would have liked because teams haven’t been coming at us.
Switzerland are a side that hold a deep line and are hard to break down, whereas San Marino were always going to sit back and invite us to attack.
It was like a game of chess, with us being patient and biding our time before taking the chances when they came.
The test will obviously come against the bigger and better teams, but what our opponents now have to worry about is the amount of pace that we have now got available.
Because when the likes of France, Spain and Germany come at us we are now better equipped to counter them with our lightning quick options.
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