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The statistics from England’s last game at a major tournament, against Italy in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012, make for depressing reading.
Over the 120 minutes, which saw England lose on penalties after a goalless draw, Italy made 833 passes compared to England’s pitiful 364.
The masterful Andrea Pirlo made 115 passes on his own, which was more than England’s four starting midfielders put together.
England’s most successful passing route was between their goalkeeper Joe Hart and the striker Andy Carroll.
These numbers overwhelmingly damn England as a team shorn of ideas, who were prone to punting up high balls.
Two years later, while England are still a work in progress, their style of play has improved and significantly evolved.
England now seek to play more of a possession game, boasting players including Adam Lallana who look to make shorter and better passes, and who are more confident of carrying and looking after the ball.
What is certain is England won’t be so predictable in Brazil.