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Ferdinand Enjoys Freedom from 'Rigid' Sven Tactics

Hindsight may be 20/20, but England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand took the opportunity to take pot shots at Sven Goran Eriksson's for his "rigid" tactics during England's disappointing World Cup run this summer. Ferdinand told reporters that England's "free spirits" were not encouraged under Eriksson. For the past few days, England has been training with a more attack-minded 3-5-2 formation under new coach Steve McClaren. The idea, the Independent says, is to provide more support up front for an out-of-form Wayne Rooney. Ferdinand says the more expansive style suits England better. "In the past, England has been too rigid," the central defender said. "In [McClaren's] first game against Greece, I stepped up with the ball about three times, which was three more times than the World Cup...That's what the manager is trying to get into this squad, to be fluid as a unit attacking and defending." McClaren has gone to great pains to distance himself from his predecessor. Against Macedonia Saturday England looks set to line up with Liverpool's Peter Crouch, who's enjoying a fine vein of for club and country recently, playing off Rooney up front.

Read the whole story at The Independent »

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