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Sunday, 2 June, 2002, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Experts on England
Sven-Goran Eriksson must consider changing his tactics
Eriksson has much to ponder before Friday
BBC Sport's panel of experts had some harsh words about England's tactics on Match of the Day, in the wake of the 1-1 draw with Sweden.


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Two major things stood out for me in this game.

First, England crumbled too easily under pressure.

And secondly, the value at this level of the long ball game they are playing is debatable, to say the least.

GRAPHIC ANALYSIS
England scored a good goal - it was a difficult ball into the box to defend against and Campbell attacked it well.

But the equaliser was a massive mistake by Danny Mills.

At no stage did he look round to see where the goalkeeper was when he was lining up his header.

But the biggest thing to come out of this match was the long ball game. Where has that come from?

Danny Mills shows his disappointment as Sweden celebrate
Hansen: Mills was at fault for Sweden's equaliser
Is it because England are not good enough technically?

Has Eriksson decided that they can't pass it through teams so they've got to play it through the channels?

Whatever his thinking, it didn't work.

Sweden showed how to play against Michael Owen and Darius Vassell - you drop off and don't give them space to get behind you.

Argentina will already know that, and if it didn't work against the Swedes it won't against them either.

So the big question Eriksson must address this week is does he change the way his team plays?


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The draw was not good news for England. But it could have been worse because the Swedes had good chances after they equalised.

Ashley Cole could be more effective in midfield
Lineker: Cole could be more effective in midfield

I didn't see England create many chances and they just got worse as the second half went on.

You could see the goal coming. And when it came, it was a shambles of a goal.

They have to change how they play against Argentina - if they don't, they're gone.

I would like to see Ashley Cole move into midfield and Wayne Bridge brought in at left-back.

That would give them more balance and offer something a bit different in attack.


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England's problem is that they are predictable - and in a World Cup, that is a big problem to have.

One thing you can't be against the big teams is predictable because they can set themselves up against that all day.

But that is what England are. And the problem is compounded by the fact that the style they play in is very difficult to change.

That showed when they offered no variation as the game started to move away from them.

It was Sweden who adapted and got stronger as the game went on.

England got the ball forward very, very quickly. In the first half nothing really went through midfield and this is obviously the way Eriksson wants to play.

They played with two front men in Owen and Vassell but I feel one of those has got to drop off a little.


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It took Sweden until half-time to get to grips with England's tactics. Unless changes are made before Friday, Argentina will have our measure much quicker than that.

The two front lads against Sweden, Owen and Vassell, are better going over the top.

Michael Owen was kept quiet by the Swedish defence
Reid: Owen needs space to get behind defences
But in international football, defences don't allow space behind them.

You have to keep the ball and look for other ways in.

Argentina know all about Michael Owen and there is no way they are going to allow him any space.

So we have to change.

I thought Argentina looked really good against Nigeria and Eriksson will have to make changes for Friday's game.


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GROUP F
  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
ENGLAND 3 +1 5
ARGENTINA 3 0 4
NIGERIA 3 -2 1




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