Adam Lallana reckons England's new 3-4-3 formation could be the way forward
Gareth Southgate, in his first game in charge since being confirmed as England’s permanent coach, bravely mirrored Premier League leaders Chelsea’s favoured formation as his side lost 1-0 to Germany in Dortmund last night.
Despite the result – the Germans winning 1-0 through Lukas Podolski’s 69th-minute rocket in his final game for his country – England played well and had they taken their chances, particularly in the first half, they could have won the game.
Southgate gave a debut to Burnley centre back Michael Keane, who played well in a new-look back three alongside Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill, and also handed the recalled Jake Livermore a place in midfield.
Gareth Southgate encourages England during their 1-0 defeat to Germany
England player ratings against Germany
Wed, March 22, 2017
Express Sport brings you England's player ratings from their defeat to Germany
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Joe Hart – 6
Lallana and Dele Alli both missed good chances in the first half and Eric Dier in the second half in a promising performance by Southgate’s inexperienced side as they warm up for Sunday’s World Cup qualifying clash with Lithuania at Wembley.
Lallana said: “This system could possibly be the way forward. The way that we adapted considering we didn’t have long, worked well. We will look at it and the areas we need to improve on ahead of the most important match, which is Sunday’s.
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“Credit to the boss. He obviously was the one who wanted us to play that system – he felt we had the personnel to fit in and it worked.
Michael Keane in action during his England debut in the 1-0 defeat to Germany
“A lot of the lads are playing three at the back at their clubs and in the short time we had to work on it, he utilised the time really well so we had a good few sessions to work on it.”
Lallana added: “The result seems a bit harsh but it still doesn’t cover up the disappointment. We are going to move on but we have to make sure we learn from last night. Big moments in the game we have to capitalise on.
“We came in at half-time knowing we had three of the best chances of the half. There are still a lot of positives to take from the game. Keane’s performance was outstanding on his debut, Jake Livermore came in and was brilliant. He was assured and comfortable on the ball. The shape was a positive. Obviously the result wasn’t one of them.”