The former Crewe Alexandra manager, Steve Holland, has brought a fluidity to England’s play according to the current Crewe boss. David Artell has been watching England’s progress to the knockout stages of the World Cup with great interest and he says that Holland deserves great credit for helping Gareth Southgate’s side reach the final 16.
England finished runner-up to Belgium in Group G and now face Colombia on Tuesday evening in Moscow.
Artell, who is enjoying the feast of World Cup football this summer said: “Steve (Holland) deserves a lot of credit for the way England have played at this World Cup. I’m sure he would have worked extremely hard on the set-plays as well. He is a very detailed and thorough coach and he would have got great joy at seeing some of those set piece routines come off like they did.
“The three at the back has brought a fluidity to their play and they have a number of goalscorers at the top end of the pitch.
“I think that Gareth and Steve have tactically caught a few out. They are using three at the back with a modern twist and it gives all managers and coaches something to think about. It gives you food for thought and we have played with three at the back here.
“Three at the back is not a new tactic. It is not revolutionary. Bobby Robson switched it to at Italia 90 after the first game and we went on to reach the semi-final. It would be great if we could go on and at least emulate that.”