UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

4-2-3-1…4-5-1…4-4-2…that’ll be four midfielders and two forwards then?

So Fabio Capello's masterstroke in revitalising Wayne Rooney and turning England from World Cup no-hopers to instant Euro 2012 favourites tell the Manchester United striker to hang back a bit.

That sage advice, if most of the English press is to be believed, transformed England's formation from a prehistoric 4-4-2 to the liquid 4-5-1 that all the modern young bucks were using in South Africa.

Of course, like most theories spouted about soccer formations, it is so much hot air and falls apart at the slightest investigation.

The fact that Rooney, at times, sat a little deeper and then ran at the Bulgarian defence to team up fruitfully with three-goal front man Jermain Defoe does not mark a significant change of approach, least of all the abandonment of 4-4-2 -- the basic formation usually preferred by most Brazilian coaches during their none-too shabby World Cup campaigns over the years.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

England defence crumble in German masterclass


England coach Fabio Capello would do well to take a transcript copy of Germany coach Joachim Loew’s post-match press conference – because in it he would find all the simple reasons why his side were trounced 4-1 and sent packing from the World Cup on Sunday.

In it, Loew rather clinically explained to the international press sat before him that his side were instructed to target John Terry, pull him out of position and pretty much walk into the huge gaps created in England’s snail-paced central rearguard.