It’s a well known fact that Fabio Capello prefers to use the 4-4-2 system, however we all know the limitations of this system and it’s debatable if it suits England’s best players. The best alternative systems are 4-5-1 and 4-3-3. The potential limitation of either of these systems is the lack of striking support for Wayne Rooney.
It has been suggested that after the recent friendly against Ghana, 4-3-3 has become the new favoured formation. Therefore, it seems logical to discuss this first. Based on the Ghana game it seems the idea is to play two wide players with a central striker. Players like Ashley Young, Adam Johnson, Stewart Downing and other wide players would be in contention to support Rooney. If the formation doesn’t work it can be altered by bringing on another striker.
The 4-5-1 system is generally considered a negative and defensive system, however with the right players it can also be considered a very attacking way to play. The key to this formation is getting the midfielders to push up and support the loan striker.
The 4-4-2 system is something English players will be used to and is still favoured by a lot of managers who prefer this system; Capello being one of them. It can make teams a bit overly predictable; however it is hard to beat, if a team has a lot of good strikers.
It’s important to remember that it’s players that win games and not formations, but managers need to pick their best players and find the right formation. Rather than pick a formation and then try and find the players that fit into that system. So Capello has to decide who his best players are?
In many ways strikers are a weakness for England at the moment. In particular, Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe have had poor seasons in the Premier League. England could probably do well to build the team around players like Ashley Young and Adam Johnson. Therefore, you can understand the appeal of the 4-3-3 system. But is Wayne Rooney suited to playing the lone role up front? Especially as he often plays more as an attacking midfielder rather than an out and out striker.
These questions will need to be answered and England will need to decide on the best system going forward. So that’s my view, but what do you think? What system is most suited to the England players? Can Wayne Rooney play as a lone striker?
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