Gareth Southgate suggests England have to emulate Chelsea's Champions League campaign to be successful at EURO 2012
It would be a fair suggestion to say that Roy Hodgson’s preperations for Euro 2012 have been far from smooth. With an increasing number of injuries and loss of key players such as Gary Cahill and Frank Lampard, Hodgson has been left with a side weaker than anticipated.
Former England defender Gareth Southgate recognises that England may have to emulate Chelsea’s tactics in the Champions League that saw them victorious over Bayern Munich in May.
Southgate said: “I imagine the team will be built around being solid, difficult to beat in the first game, because I don’t think we are in a situation where at the moment as a country we can go out there and outplay too many teams.
“We rarely out-possess other countries, so we’ve got to think logically about how we set up and the best way to get results. That’s not negative.”
However, England have shown in recent years that they are capable of similar tactics. In November 2011, England beat World Champions Spain 1-0 at Wembley Stadium, despite superiority throughout by the European giants.
Southgate went on to question: "how did we beat Spain? How did Chelsea get through against Barcelona (in the Champions League semifinals)? In certain games you have to accept the opposition might get more of the ball so that tends to dictate what you do with your selection."
Despite Southgate’s calls for a wary approach, Hodgson has ruled out the possibility of adopting a defensive mindset at the upcoming tournament.
Speaking to the BBC, Hodgson said: "if you don't defend well when the opposition have got the ball and you concede goals, ... that loses you games.
"And if you don't do anything with the ball or attack and you can't score then you don't win anyway."
With immediate problems being the depletion of key players, Southgate is also pessimistic about the future of England’s international capabilities.
“"I look outside the squad and the standby list and there aren't too many players that come into your thinking as being of international quality.
"The pool of players to pick from is the biggest thing ... We have to look at developing young players and changing how we do that."
Can England’s young, inexperienced side provide a shock at Euro 2012, or will they fall into the abyss of being another English disappointment?