Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney has revealed that an “aggressive” tactic when looking to recover possession is the reason behind the Three Lions impressive form.
England maintained their 100% record in European championship qualification after recording a 4-0 victory at home to Lithuania with Rooney getting on the scoresheet as he chases down Bobby Charlton’s record.
However, the 29-year-old made it clear that there has been a shift in tactics when the team looses possession with the players under instructions to hunt down the opposition in packs in an attempt to win back the ball early – also known as ‘little furies’.
“The players are so quick and when we lose the ball we want to be aggressive and win it back quickly,” Rooney was quoted as saying on Fifa.com.
“I am sure you have heard the manager talk about those little ‘furies’ – that when we lose the ball we have to win it back as quickly as possible.
“There are times when you go and don’t get it, but that is where the defence probably doesn’t get the credit it deserves because they are pushing in right behind us to close the space off. With the players we have got, we have to play like that.”
This method of defending isn’t a new discovery by any means with many of the top teams, both internationally and at club level adopting a high pressing system to follow Pep Guardiola’s philosophy.
As impressive England have been, coming up short against the top national sides has been their achilles heel, especially at major tournaments which makes Tuesday’s game against Italy vital for the confidence of the team going forward.