Belfast Telegraph

Paul Scholes suggests England play 'the Liverpool way' with five Anfield players in starting XI

By Simon Rice

Despite a career spent at Manchester United, Paul Scoles has suggested England play like their great rivals Liverpool at this summer's World Cup.

The former England midfielder has urged Roy Hodgson to start England's games in Brazil with five members of the team that pushed Manchester City all the way in the race for the Premier League title.

Liverpool drew plaudits through the season for their attacking brand of football that yielded 101 goals and Scholes wants to see England adopt a similar brand of football rather than a more cautious approach.

"It would be refreshing for England to adopt Liverpool’s attacking mentality in Brazil. Really go for it. That means certainly four, and possibly five, Liverpool players in the England starting XI against Italy.

"South Africa in 2010 was so negative with boring draws. Nothing seemed to happen. England fans, and myself as an England fan, would rather see 3-3 games than dull, nil-all draws. I’d love to see Roy be brave enough to play like Liverpool (or Man United teams of the past)."

There are five Liverpool players in the squad, Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Glen Johnson. While Scholes suggests among those who should make way to include them are Jack Wilshere and Frank Lampard, the former Manchester United player does have doubts over one of the Anfield players.

"I’d definitely start with Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling. The question mark is Glen Johnson at right back.

"It’s probably Phil Jones’ best position right now, even though Jones could still develop into a great centre half. Johnson is a touch better going forward, but it’s a tight call."

England have had a tendency to place too much onus on one particular player, with the importance of Wayne Rooney and David Beckham being built up in the past. The squad heading to Brazil appears to be more balanced and provide more options for the Three Lions' manager, however Scholes believes their is one player that would be impossible to replace.

"Not bringing Michael Carrick is a mistake," wrote Scholes in his Paddy Power blog. "If there’s an injury to Gerrard nobody jumps out to replace him, assuming Roy will play 'the Liverpool way'. I don’t see Henderson, Frank Lampard or Jack Wilshere playing that role.

"At a certain age, you can’t bomb forward any more. You learn to stay back and dictate a match. That’s the big difference between Steven and Frank Lampard, for example. I’m not sure Lampard has the ability to control a game. He’s always someone who’s up trying to score goals.

"England’s success in the group stages hinges on Gerrard staying fit."

England begin their World Cup campaign against Italy on June 14.

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