I know not all Kopfans are England supporters but I think everyone will have an interest in the England team as 5 Liverpool players are in the squad. England did well in qualifying with 100% record but it was a very weak group apart from Switzerland. The young players who have come in over qualifying particularly Alli, Dier and Kane have done well but I feel we have a lack of players at their peak and I can’t see us progressing beyond the quarter finals. We also have Roy Hodgson in charge in whom I have little faith.
The main problems as I see it are twofold – too little strength in defence especially central defence and too many options in attacking areas. None of our central defenders fill me with confidence. Smalling can defend but he can’t distribute. Stones can distribute but he can’t defend. Cahill can’t do either very well but he is decent in the air.
I thought the Portugal warm up game was very revealing. Playing Kane and Vardy wide with Rooney in the middle in a sort of muddled 4-3-3-/Diamond 4-4-2 didn’t work. You have to go with one striker (Kane) and play him to his strengths down the middle. Also Hodgson tried to accommodate both Alli and Rooney when clearly they both want to play just behind the main striker. You can’t accommodate they both without distorting the formation.
So my team for the opening match would be a 4-2-3-1
Hart: Clyne, Cahill, Smalling , Rose: Henderson, Dier, Lallana, Rooney, Sterling: Kane
I don’t know much about Russia except that two of their key players are out injured. They are usually a good technical team and will be no pushover.
I hope I’m wrong and England progress beyond the quarter finals but I’m afraid we are in for yet another disappointment.