Lineker attacks England tactics after Ireland game

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Gary Lineker belatedly decided to be a little critical after England's unimpressive 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland. The former England striker presides over the listless and bland banter on Match Of The Day every Saturday night, but took to Twitter to attack England manager Roy Hodgson's tactics. Possibly because Lineker was sulking that the BBC don't have the rights to show England games.

Lineker suggested that Hodgson's formation was old-fashioned and predictable and "a step back to the dark ages of two lines of four". "Don't like England playing this system," he tweeted. "So easy to play against."

England laboured against a stubborn Irish side who took the lead through Shane Long early in the match before Frank Lampard equalised. Lineker's complaints seem to be more about the presenter trying to add a little edginess to his image rather than considered analysis. Still, England's next game is against Brazil and Hodgson will face the 2014 World Cup hosts with a depleted squad.

"Brazil will thrash us if we line up the same way," Lineker argued. "Predictable and dated. It's not about playing in straight lines, it's about playing between the lines. Depth gives flexibility, passing alternatives, creativity."

Hodgson himself suggested that his tactical set-up was closer to that deployed by Borussia Dortmund at the Champions League final. The personnel available were more more important than the shape. Without Steven Gerrard and Jack Wilshere, England's midfield was less than dynamic. The invention and energy of Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge were grounds for optimism, until he was carried off with an ankle injury.

"He's not going to Brazil and it's a major blow for him, and for us," Hodgson said. "Daniel had started the game so well and given the way we played in the second half, having Sturridge in top form on the pitch we might have created even more."

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