Gary Lineker has offered Gareth Southgate some words of advice on how to get England firing at the World Cup.
England launched an emphatic comeback from 2-0 down against Germany to secure a 3-3 draw on Monday night, courtesy of goals from Mason Mount, Luke Shaw and Harry Kane. But the Euro 2020 finalists looked as lacklustre for much of the first hour as they had done in their previous five outings without a victory.
It was not until Southgate brought on Bukayo Saka and Mount for Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling that the team finally got into gear. And it was only after the two substitutes combined for the first goal that the Three Lions began to play with attacking freedom.
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That led legendary former striker and pundit Lineker to take to Twitter and remind the England manager of exactly what he needs to do in order to maximise the potential of his talented crop of young players.
Lineker wrote: “When @england are forced into playing to their strengths (attacking), they look a good side. When they play to cover their weaknesses (defending), they look a poor side.”
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Southgate has shown no signs of ditching the five-at-the-back formation that he has relied on so heavily in the past for Qatar. He opted for a backline of Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Eric Dier, John Stones and Reece James against Germany as England once more appeared too negative and reluctant to push forward.
There is therefore reason to believe that a more attacking formation would get the best out of the current squad. And Southgate will surely have taken several other lessons from the thrilling draw, such as using players in their most comfortable positions in the future.
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