Hodgson looking to Rodgers to set new trends
Brendan Rodgers is setting trends, and Roy Hodgson is taking note. The Liverpool man was the first to use Raheem Sterling as a number 10, and Steven Gerrard as a midfield anchorman. Guess what? Hodgson did exactly the same at the World Cup.
The only difference being, that at the World Cup, England, 14/1 to win Euro 2016, played in a 4-2-3-1 system, while the Reds under Rodgers utilise a 4-1-2-1-2 with a midfield diamond. It took Hodgson about three months to fully catch on that Liverpool’s manager is on the right track. And, with an abundance of young English talent to boot.
Not just Sterling, (Steven Gerrard having since retired) but Jordan Henderson, Daniel Sturridge, Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Jon Flanagan have all earned international caps, with the first three becoming mainstays and the last two unlucky not to through injury. And then there is long serving right back Glen Johnson, who is also crocked.
Flanagan represents an interesting option going forward. Versatile, he can play in both full back berths, being equally adept with either foot, offering a high energy approach, and a steady balance between attack and defence. Although Rodgers now has Alberto Moreno at left back and Javier Manquillo on the right, with Flanagan set to provide competition over what will be a tough campaign. However, apart from Johnson who is 30, the other three are aged between 20 and 22, and it is likely that Flanagan, 21, will get his fair share of matches, giving England a useful alternative.
Lallana is another one. As a 26-year-old, he is a relative senior among Hodgson’s England fledglings. Rodgers, when the player is fit, has to decide how he is going to use him in the diamond system. Although he can easily fit in behind the front two, it is likely to be further back, with Sterling’s unpredictability and pace more damaging in that role.
For England, Hodgson is likely to follow suit. However, Lallana may have to compete with Fabian Delph for one of those deeper positions who impressed on his full debut. However Hodgson sets his next team up, expect something not too dissimilar to Rodgers’ Reds.