By Site reporter
Wednesday 10 Sep 2008 22:36:00
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David James was the only Pompey player included as England strolled to an incredible 4-1 win in Zagreb with a hat-trick from Theo Walcott.

Glen Johnson and Jermain Defoe were both dropped from the side who laboured to a win over Andorra last Saturday, and in truth neither was missed as Fabio Capello's side swept aside the group favourites.

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James did suffer one flap but everything else he dealt with well, and by the time he was beaten, victory was England's.

The good news for harry Redknapp is he can be safe in the knowledge Defoe and Johnson will be back with him unscathed and ready to face Middlesbrough at Fratton Park on Saturday. They may even feel they have something to prove after being left out of the side.

Redknapp will also be awaiting news of his other internationals as he starts to plot Boro's downfall - a scheme that includes him weighing up whether to go again with the 3-5-2 system that defeated Everton last time out.

Redknapp told 'I think about it and see who comes back fit following international duty. There are pros and cons to playing the 3-5-2 system. You cover the pitch better with 4-4-2 but there aren’t many teams in the world that play that way – probably nowhere except England.

'Most teams only play with one striker. I’m trying to play with two, but when you play different formations and go to places like Chelsea you find yourselves outnumbered in midfield because they play with one up and you have problems.

'We gave teams problems last season when we played 4-5-1 and a lot of them were playing 4-4-2. We were able to dominate the middle of the park. It suits everybody in our side to play 3-5-2. Glen Johnson’s made for it as are Sylvain Distin and Sol Campbell. It suits Younes Kaboul on the right side of defence.

'It suits Diop to come in off the right because he’s not really a right winger and it suits Diarra, who likes to hold in midfield. When you’re winning the system is good. But when you’re losing, it’s bad.'  

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