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No side used 4-4-2 more often than the Royals, nor did any team endure a smaller average share of possession (40.7%).
Two solid banks of four, with the midfield retreating deep to deny space between the lines, makes it difficult for the opposition to break down.
But it is largely a reactionary tactic that assumes a position of immediate inferiority.
Before even taking to the field, the midfield battle has already been lost.
Hodgson's squad (which included no outfield players from outside the top seven teams in the Premier League) are used to battling for control with their domestic sides, but under the 65-year-old they are being used in a formation that pre-empts submission of the midfield.
But England, under Hodgson and many managers before him, instead stubbornly persist with a formation that puts defence before attack, solidity before creativity, rigidity before fluidity and constraint of the opposition before control of the ball.