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Venables slates Capello tactics: Defence was left exposed

Former England boss Terry Venables has revealed where he thought Fabio Capello got it wrong against Germany yesterday. The ex-Tottenham and Barcelona boss says Capello should never have played 4-4-2 against the Germans.

He wrote in his column for The Sun: "Many will blame our defenders, especially Upson and Terry, for our heaviest ever defeat at a finals.

"But the truth is they were fed to the wolves by their coach's tactics and the long-time imbalance of our midfield, which finally tipped us over the edge.

"Playing 4-4-2 was a mistake against the Germans. As it was against Egypt, Mexico, USA and Algeria.

"It presented Joachim Low's men with too much room, which they exploited to devastating effect. And nobody had more freedom inside the Free State Stadium than Mesut Ozil.

"Our rigid formation meant the German playmaker went undetected in the hole as neither our defenders or midfielders appeared to know whether it was their responsibility to pick him up.

"For most of the game nobody did, and with Thomas Muller and Lukas Podolski keeping our full-backs Glen Johnson and Ashley Cole penned in as they took up wide positions either side of striker Miroslav Klose, we were on the back foot almost from the start.

"Capello should have recognised this and at the very least changed formation, if not personnel.

"In all football, but especially on the international stage, if you cannot outplay your opponents' midfield then you must at least outnumber them.

"Introducing Joe Cole for Jermain Defoe to play on the left of midfield, could have released Steven Gerrard into his preferred and - many would say - most effective position behind lone striker Wayne Rooney, who thrived in this 4-5-1 cum 4-4-1-1 formation at Manchester United last season.

"This would have swelled our midfield presence and with sub Cole and James Milner on either flank we would have had two wide men who could have tucked in and tracked back when we were defending and advanced when we attacked.

"They could have provided some much-needed support and cover for central midfielders Barry and Lampard, who were often guilty of breaking forward together leaving us exposed at the back.

"In fact, I cannot remember the last time I saw an England defence left so hung out to dry by the men in front of them."

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Tribal Football Staff

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