England have recorded back-to-back 4-0 wins this past week against Hungary and Andorra respectively, as they prepare for next year’s World Cup in Qatar
England must take more risks if they are going to end their long wait to win a major tournament, according to Paul Ince.
Although Gareth Southgate’s side reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and the Euro 2020 final, Ince reckons they remain too conservative.
Former England skipper Ince, who earned 53 caps, also believes England need to develop a clear identity and way of playing if they are to finally lift a major trophy.
“I think the next step for this England team is to take more risks,” said Ince.
“Look at Italy, the way they played, Belgium, the Dutch team, with the free flowing football they both played.
“They take risks. If they leave two at the back, so be it. England need to have a go at teams, not be nervous and sit back. That’s the next step for me.
“With the options Gareth has up front, we’ve got to attack teams better, we’ve got to develop patterns of play where we open teams up.
“We’ve now created a presence around us, that’s the good thing.
“England are now a force to be reckoned with and will play teams who will put men behind the ball.
“We have to decide how we’re going to break these teams down and develop an identity.
“I’m not sure what our identity is, and that’s something I think we’ve got to address. We have to work out who we’re going to play like.
Ince, 53, praised Southgate for the positive culture he has created with his players, admitting England squads of the past were not so harmonious.
“Gareth has been fantastic for England, in that the players want to turn up, be there and play for their country,” said Ince.
“I’ve been in some England squads when the vibe’s not been that great and people feigned injuries so they didn’t have to go and play for their country.
“Gareth has built that culture, where everyone wants to be a part of it and there are some exciting, young players now in the squad.”
*Paul Ince was speaking after being inducted into the National Football Museum’s Hall of Fame in Manchester