The Wrong Midfield Line-Up For England

With a midfield three containing players of obvious quality on paper, how come it was the same old story once again for England in their recent outing against Ukraine?

When I saw the line-up, I was quite happy with the prospect of Wilshere, Lampard and Gerrard. I know the LampardGerrard combination is tried and tested and the mere thought of them playing together bores the living daylight out of people before they even see them, but I thought with Jack Wilshere as the catalyst between them, it would be fine. How wrong I was when I saw that Wilshere was the more advanced midfielder of the three and the Lampard and Gerrard were deployed behind them.

If I was Hodgson, I would have made Lampard the spearhead of the three. He clearly has the capability to play a pass, and with over two hundred goals from midfield, knows where the net is. At Chelsea he is normally used within the two holding midfielders but next to a Essien or a Ramires in recent years, for England he’s with Gerrard who can run about a lot, but doesn’t exactly have the defensive discipline that Essien or Ramires have and tends to have the mentality to attempt to do everything on his own, much like he does at Liverpool at times.

Wilshere has had a greater amount of time playing a deeper role for Arsenal, but when he’s feeding a ball into a Rickie Lambert, who seemed to make a catalogue of wrong choices when the ball came into either his chest or his feet, it was horrific, and I can only hope as an Arsenal fan that it doesn’t translate into his club form.

The game did seem to bypass Wilshere at times, maybe he’s STILL unfit, who knows? But it seems to just be another infuriating game of football played by England to add to the already immense catalogue.