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Three things we learned from the 2-2 draw between England and Scotland.

Sunday 11th June 2017
The domestic season may be over but our sporting taste buds will still be satisfied by the England national team. The Three Lions are now at the halfway stage in the qualification process for next year's World Cup.

Before their encounter with Scotland, England sat 6 points clear at the top of Group F. The Home Nations derby provided the Three Lions with the perfect opportunity to strengthen their grip on the group - an opportunity they didn't take.

An Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain solo effort was cancelled out by two uncharacteristic moments of brilliance from Scotland. Two back-to-back Robbie Griffiths free-kicks followed by a last-gasp Harry Kane strike salvaged a memorable draw for the home nations public.  

Here's what we learnt from England's 2-2 draw with Scotland.  

3 at the back is the new 4-4-2



When a tactically outdated manager in Gordon Strachan is playing 3 at the back, you know there's a monumental switch in football today. Scotland lined up against England in a 3-4-2-1 designed to go to a 5-2-2-1 off the ball. The system frustrated England centrally and limited them to aimless crosses and half-baked long shots.

However, Scotland also hindered themselves in attack as they did not have enough numbers forward to cause England any real problems. That was until Robbie Griffiths produced two world class free-kicks that beat Joe Hart on both sides of his goal.
The 3-4-2-1 system means Scotland could congest the midfield and play out from the back with ease. As England's press from the front was disjointed and done with minimal intensity.

A Jake Livermore – Eric Dier pivot inspires….nothing



When you look at a midfield pivot, what do you expect? Creativity, line-splitting passes, 3rd man runs and goals. Not sideway passing and unadventurous movement, as Jake Livermore and Eric Dier provided us with.

It's indicative of Gareth Southgate's cautious nature that he played two holding midfielders in the middle of the park against Scotland. No offence to the Scots but they're a team ranked 48 in the world. The 46-year old could have easily opted to play Oxlade-Chamberlain in the middle as a box-to-box midfielder. Instead, we were subjected to a lacklustre midfield performance that offered nothing creatively, and minimal defensively.

In a time where even Scotland are playing 3 at the back, England opted to play a stale 4-2-3-1, much to their tactical detriment. In the end, Gareth Southgate was rewarded for his uninspiring approach, with a meaningless 2-2 draw.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should be starting



A superb solo effort from the Ox in the 70th minute was the only bit of quality that initially separated the two teams. Despite the millions of pounds of difference in player worth, England and Scotland resembled two teams of a similar mould and quality. A gulf in quality could only be seen when the youngster came on the pitch.
How the 23-year old found himself on the bench in the first place baffles me. He's literally the most creative and versatile player Southgate has today, and his presence was sorely missed in the first 65 minutes. However, in the end, his magical presence wasn't enough to save England's shambolic defence from conceding two free-kicks outside the box, leading to two death-defying goals.
Mathaeus Abuwa

Arsenal fan with ample amounts of passion for both Cristiano Ronaldo & Real Madrid. I'm one of those bandwagonist hipster fans that will claim to know everything about football, but only watches the El Clasico outside of the Premier League. Forgive me, I'm trying. Oh yeah, #WengerOut. 


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