Paul Scholes urges England to copy Liverpool

Former Man United midfielder backs Merseyside reds to lead World Cup challenge in Brazil

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes says England must play like Liverpool in Brazil  Photograph:  Ian Walton/Getty Images

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes says England must play like Liverpool in Brazil Photograph: Ian Walton/Getty Images

 

Paul Scholes has called for England to “adopt Liverpool’s attacking mentality” at the World Cup and has encouraged Roy Hodgson to include up to five of Brendan Rodgers’s players in the starting XI.

“It would be refreshing for England to adopt Liverpool’s attacking mentality in Brazil,” Scholes said. “That means certainly four, and possibly five, Liverpool players in the England starting XI against Italy on June 14th.

“South Africa in 2010 was so negative with boring draws. Nothing seemed to happen. England fans, and myself as an England fan, would rather 3-3 games than dull 0-0 draws. I’d love to see Roy be brave enough to play like Liverpool [or Man United teams of the past].”

An English core helped Liverpool come within a whisker of winning the Premier League last season and Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson, Daniel Sturridge and Glen Johnson were rewarded by being called up to the England World Cup squad.

Scholes, who won 66 caps and went to two World Cups, was often England’s creator in the centre of midfield and it is in this area that he sees as one of the most pivotal. England’s success in the group stages hinges on Gerrard staying fit,” he added. “Gerrard has adjusted his game superbly, very much like I did. He is likely to be asked to do a similar job in this England team to his ‘quarter-back’ role at Liverpool. However, not bringing Michael Carrick is a mistake. If there’s an injury to Gerrard nobody jumps out to replace him.

“Jordan Henderson is a diamond of a lad who’s best described as ‘workmanlike’. He’s a player others appreciate having around them on the pitch. He’ll sacrifice himself for the attacking talent in a team like Liverpool. He’s not what you call world-class, but Henderson could be key to England controlling the ball and using it effectively.”

With Henderson’s Liverpool team-mate Luis Suárez increasingly looking like he will be fit enough to face England in the group stage, Scholes still has his doubts over Hodgson’s defensive options.

“Right-back is probably Phil Jones’s best position right now, even though Jones could still develop into a great centre half,” added Scholes on his Paddy Power blog. “Johnson is a touch better going forward, but it’s a tight call.”

England will face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D.

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