Cole ‘not thrilled’ about England formation

Ashley Cole believes England need more creativity in midfield following their Nations League defeat against Belgium.

England were beaten 2-0 and they struggled to create clear cut chances despite having plenty of possession, particularly in the second half of the game.

Boss Gareth Southgate has switched to a 3-5-2 formation, with West Ham’s Declan Rice performing a defensive midfield role.

The intention has been to make England more solid – but it seems to have come at a cost, with Southgate’s side noticeably less effective going forward than previously.

They struggled in midfield in the first half but the introduction of Tottenham’s Harry Winks for the second period did make a difference.

And Cole believes there are lessons to learn from the defeat for Southgate.

Speaking on Sky Sports, former England, Chelsea and Arsenal left-back Cole said: “You’ve got (Jordan) Henderson in front (of the defence) with Declan Rice. Maybe I would like to see someone a little bit better on the ball – forward passing, keep it ticking a little bit.

“When Harry Winks came on I think he opened the game up a little bit. There was a little bit more forward passing.

“I’m just not thrilled about this formation, to be honest.”

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