Shifting Trent Alexander-Arnold into midfield is a blast from the failed past

  • Thread starter Jacob Steinberg
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Jacob Steinberg

Undoubted qualities at right-back are not enough for subtleties of playing further forward for England

There is often a tendency with England to fix a troublesome position by filling it with a non-specialist on the assumption they can probably do a job there. For instance, when Sven-Göran Eriksson was faced with a shortage of competent left-footed midfielders, one of the his attempted solutions was deploying Wayne Bridge in front of Ashley Cole for a Euro 2004 qualifier against Macedonia.

It was not the worst idea. Bridge and Cole were excellent attacking left-backs and there was merit in starting them in the same team. It was certainly preferable to cramming in yet another right-footer at left midfield and Eriksson’s plan may well have worked had England not been so wedded to playing a rigid 4-4-2.

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