Youthful England need to keep centring around Raheem Sterling

The young English players savoured a performance to remember against Switzerland in the 2-0 win in Basel at the 2016 Euro qualifying match. The main instrument behind the win was none other than 19-year old Liverpool youngster, Raheem Sterling. It has become a necessity for Roy Hodgson's side, to set their game-plan around Sterling. With him England now have a potential young talisman who can hurt teams on any given day. For Hodgson this serves as a major boost and it is something he will want his young horse to keep doing.

By Rajdeep Saha | Updated: Sep 09, 2014, 12:38 PM IST
Youthful England need to keep centring around Raheem Sterling
Switzerland's Valon Behrami, right, fights for the ball against England's midfielder Raheem Sterling, left, during their Euro 2016 qualifying match, at the St. Jakob-Park stadium, in Basel, Switzerland

New Delhi: The young English players savoured a performance to remember against Switzerland in the 2-0 win in Basel at the 2016 Euro qualifying match. The main instrument behind the win was none other than 19-year old Liverpool youngster, Raheem Sterling. It has become a necessity for Roy Hodgson's side, to set their game-plan around Sterling. With him England now have a potential young talisman who can hurt teams on any given day. For Hodgson this serves as a major boost and it is something he will want his young horse to keep doing.

Hodgson's formation was spot on in this game, just the way Liverpool managed to do last season in employing a midfield diamond, with Raheem Sterling at its front tip. It was instrumental in making this one of the better performances of the Hodgson era. The raw pace and enigma Sterling brings to the pitch, make England look lethal in counter-attacks and there is a flow of clever short passing and swift run-ins with two forwards upfront. Sterling was the reason for both England goals and even in the friendly against Norway last week, he helped his side claim a victory in an overall shabby team performance.

Danny Welbeck who scored both the goals for England in the absence of Daniel Sturridge and Jay Rodriguez, staked a claim to have faith of Hodgson for the coming time. The experienced Joe Hart, Gary Cahill and skipper Wayne Rooney, need to be lauded for their impressive responsible outlook. It is an opportunity for the new era to get confidence from this victory and cater to the plans set by their manager. They need to work hard collectively under the influential and vocal Rooney.

England will try various tactical formations against different teams, but this diamond shaped midfield looks a good bet with Sterling operating freely. Once Daniel Sturridge is back, it will make the shape pay more dividends as both have been doing well for Liverpool of late.

The youngsters in the Three Lions team look a good prospect for the future and Hodgson will have to use and rotate them wisely to build a team that can challenge top teams. Majority of England's players were out injured and Hodgson will take this win in his stride. This is just the start for a new Rooney era, and the ploy suggests how much the 'Sterling factor' is essential to keep this young side going.