While England’s recent warm-up friendlies, wins over Nigeria and Costa Rica, have inevitably created a wave of muted optimism heading into the World Cup, perhaps the key learning point for Gareth Southgate was how his side seem to lack an obvious Plan B.
That particularly stood out against the Super Eagles when Alex Iwobi pulled them back into the match by hitting the back of the net shortly after manager Gernot Rohr decided to match up with England’s 3-1-4-2 formation at half-time.
With that in mind, Football FanCast outlined four potential Plan Bs for England fans: using Dele Alli’s versatility to switch to 3-4-3, making one substitution and changing to 4-3-3, sticking on all the forward options in an ambitious 4-2-4 or employing an incredibly unorthodox 3-3-1-3.
And according to our poll, the most popular option was the most subtle change, which relies heavily on Tottenham attacker Alli. Although he’s used as a roaming No.8 in Southgate’s primary formation, he showed how devastating he can be at left forward in a 3-4-3 last season for Spurs, a key factor in his return of 18 Premier League goals, so it will largely be up to the 22-year-old to ensure England’s transformation in system is an effective one.
What would your Three Lions XI be for the first game in Russia this summer? Let us know by commenting below…