Gareth Southgate is officially England’s new manager and has named Adam Lallana as the key to his plans.
England have flopped miserably at the past two major tournaments and many have entirely lost interest with the national team. (As Scousers, we never cared much in the first place…)
But Southgate wants England to play a high-tempo brand of football, based on pressing and winning the ball back – and thinks Lallana can lead this – as he does for Liverpool.
In a question-and-answer session on the FA’s Twitter page, Southgate said, cited in the Echo: “I think we have a lot of players like Lallana who at their clubs press extremely well.
“It’s a style of play that suits the young squad we’ve got.
“So definitely that’s something we aim to do as a team and I think when you have players of Adam’s intelligence in order to carry out that tactic it triggers it in the rest of the team.
“I think we have to create a winning team first and foremost, but anyone who has seen the Under-21 and junior teams will know we want to dominate possession when possible.
“To be become a world-class team that’s what we have to do against the very best.”
It’s smart that with Lallana nearing his 29th birthday, England have finally recognised he’s the country’s most technically adept player. With Lallana leading the press and playing no.10, England will be a much better side – no doubt about it.
For us though, it’s mildly irritating, as it means he’ll be heavily used during international breaks. During the last one of course our midfielder picked up a groin injury; even more irritating considering it was a friendly fixture with Spain.
Still, that can only be expected when our players are performing so well at club level, so we should take it as a compliment.