Apparently Sven is considering playing 4-5-1 against Ecuador with Rooney alone up front, Carrick holding and Owen Hargreaves in for Neville at right back.
Eriksson mucked about with various formations in the friendlies leading up the World Cup and looks intent on doing the same during the tournament. While most thought he would play a holding player to neutralize the attacking threat of teams like Brazil – the Swede perhaps recognizes that 4-4-2 just isn’t working for England.
Either that, or he really really rates Ecuador.
A quick review of the likely changes:
– Peter Crouch dropped and Rooney alone upfront:
Interesting, considering how much England have relied on his height thus far. But perhaps it will encourage a more flowing, cohesive style of play from England.
– Carrick playing holding midfield:
Although he looked less that confident in the friendlies, he played well enough in last year’s US tour and for Spurs this season that he should be fine. Of course, this finally frees up Gerrard to get up the pitch and build on the goals he has already this tournament.
– Hargreaves as right back:
We like it a lot better than Carragher at right back, Beckham needs a full back who will get up and down the wing to take some attention off him and let him swing in deep crosses. Hargreaves would be a much better fit than Carra.
In reality, some supporters were crying out for Sven to play 4-5-1 with these very players (sans Hargreaves) – mainly so that Gerrard and Lampard could both push up and support the lone striker. So it’ll be good to see how it turns out.