Put Loftus-Cheek into an England team that’s on a high right now

From Martin

Morning Myles,

Despite every page of the book of dark arts being used against them by Colombia,  England deserved their victory as they kept their composure.

Not least Harry Kane, who they simply could not rattle.

We overcome a difficult period of suffering after that late goal.

Going to penalties will increase belief and desire and Pickford will really have a feeling of being fully into the World Cup. with 2 world class saves, the one before the goal and the last penalty.

England tried to be positive and chase the game but Colombia were the consummate spoilers, aided by some weak refereeing and soft VAR.

No way should the referee have allowed the Colombians to surrounding of him for so long so many times.

Very impressed how young England team coped and adapted to game, realising more scrappy and measured play was needed

Was really bemoaning Sterling in the game, as he kept running into cul de sacs but appreciated him much more when he went off.

Kane needs water-carriers to bring him into the game, and runners in final third who will immediately link with him. But as soon as Vardy came on there was detachment. When Dier came on for Alli, Kane became peripheral.

Would like to see Loftus-Cheek in the Alli position, if he’s not fit, as the Swedes will play deep and tight.  He has physical presence but with the light feet to drive towards and bring Swedish defenders out of shape.

We should also keep faith in Sterling, who is doing a job for team in carrying for Kane. Is he the sort of player who can just click and be unplayable against the Swedes?  Maybe, it will be sneaky punt, as I just sense it’s coming.

Myles says :

Raheem Sterling is a tenacious warrior who can back into six foot five defenders and rough them up. He is gutsy,strong and fast.

Southgate’s system uses energetic forwards to win the ball back, so we play dispossession football.

Klopp calls it gegenpressing,  I call it garethpressing.

It’s effective but very untidy and frustrating to watch.

The major consequence of his system is that we can’t score in  open play.

We just don’t have the skill needed to score in open play. Our only goal in open play so far is the shot that went in off Kane’s heel v Panama.

Agree on Loftus-Cheek, a cool dribbler-passer who can slow the game down and speed it up again without losing the ball. He might give the attack the poise that’s been missing.