Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes Roy Hodgson should have taken a gamble and played more offensive players such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain when England pushed for the winner against Montenegro on Tuesday evening.
The result ended in a 1-1 tie and leaves the Three Lions in second in Group H. Despite the stellar performance against San Marino where the winger netted his second senior international goal in the 8-0 rout, the Arsenal star has replaced by the more experienced and less attacking James Milner.
The former England striker Wright believes both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Baines should have been introduced to inject some more venom and flare into the stale England attack, with Ashley Young the only substitution made by Hodgson.
Wright told The Sun:
We are now in a very precarious position. One thing is for sure we cannot afford any more slip ups.
Montenegro remain two points ahead of us which means we probably have to win all of our remaining fixtures to avoid the play-offs.
We are getting to that stage now where he [Hodgson] has to take a chance.
The Three Lions boss has always stuck with defensively solid players like James Milner and Ashley Cole.
But we are up against it now and he may to gamble on more offensive stars like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Leighton Baines.
It might go against his principles but something needs to be done.
[on the second half..]
We could not retain the ball and didn’t have any attacking options.
Every time we looked to go forward we had nobody showing.
It seemed we were waiting for something to happen, rather than trying to make something happen.After such an excellent first-half we handed them the impetus.
They brought on a sub and that stopped Glen Johnson from getting forward down the right.
Wayne Rooney hardly touched the ball and we were left without any options going forward. Tactically something went very wrong.
[on what Hodgson should have done]
I would have sent on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Milner. The Manchester City man may be better defensively but we needed an outball. Every time we looked to break we had no one to play the ball to.
Yes Johnson is good going forward and Milner does a great job defensively.
But it is Johnson’s job to defend and Milner’s job to get forward. The roles are muddled and it is causing us problems.
We need some creativity from midfield going forward. It is not up to the full-backs to supply the attacking threat. Milner worked hard. So did Welbeck. So did a lot of players. But we need to be more technically and tactically astute in possession.
It was our failure to keep the ball that ultimately cost us.