Scholes' spot on
Hodgson should harness attacking prowess of Liverpool's players instead of playing it safe
Paul Scholes wants England to play "the Liverpool way" in Brazil and you won't get much argument from the supporters.
Speaking on his Paddy Power blog this week, the former Manchester United midfielder urged Roy Hodgson to go all out and attack this summer.
"It would be refreshing for England to adopt Liverpool's attacking mentality in Brazil," he said.
"Really go for it. That means certainly four, and possibly five, Liverpool players in the starting line-up."
Scholes wants to see the England team powered by Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson, with pace from Raheem Sterling and potency from Daniel Sturridge.
Glen Johnson, he believes, could also add something at right back, though Phil Jones may challenge him for his place.
Scholes, like most England supporters, does not expect the Three Lions to be among the favourites this summer.
If that's the case, why not attempt to go out with a bit of glory?
The fans, and history, are always kinder to the braver team.
Compare and contrast the reputation of Sven-Goran Eriksson's staid, dull 2006 quarter-final side with the creative and inventive Glenn Hoddle team, dismissed in dubious circumstances in the first knock-out round in 1998.
Hoddle's men went out earlier, but at least they did so in style.
There was sympathy for Hodgson at Euro 2012 when he deployed his team in tight, organised banks of four, seeking to avoid defeat before trying to win.
The former Fulham boss had taken control of the team only shortly before the tournament and had hardly any time to work with the players.
It was hardly surprising that he would seek to play it safe. But there is no excuse for that this year.
Drawn in Group D with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica, you can see why there would be those who believe defence to be the best form of survival, never mind of attack. England are low on belief and fearful of humiliation.
Scholes, you would certainly hope, is not advocating the kind of giddy, reckless attacking that saw Liverpool shed a three-goal lead at Selhurst Park towards the end of the season.
But there is no reason why Hodgson can't use the few strengths that England have at their disposal.
There is genuine pace is this team, from Sterling on one flank and, in all likelihood, from Sturridge on the other.
Why not unleash it on the world rather than sheltering behind those banks of four?
Frank Lampard will be 36 by the end of the World Cup and he has had countless opportunities to translate his club form to international level.
Why not send Henderson, the creative engine room of Anfield, out in his place?
I would go even further than Scholes and push Sturridge into the centre where he has played so well for Liverpool.
Rooney can either drop deep or drop out. His form for Manchester United no longer warrants automatic inclusion.
Liverpool did not win the title this season, but like the Kevin Keegan Newcastle sides of the mid-1990s, they will be remembered long after the line-ups of the eventual champions have been forgotten.
Everyone will recall the boundless enthusiasm, the daring and the guile of Brendan Rodgers' team, even if it will be tempered by memories of their final failure.
As an England fan, I'd rather see my nation go out in a blaze of glory, rather than hide like rats under the floorboards, hoping in vain to avoid the traps.
Life is short, but glory is eternal. Scholes is right.
England probably aren't going to win the World Cup this summer. They may as well try to win back our hearts.
Scholes' take on England
GO THE LIVERPOOL WAY
"It would be refreshing for England to adopt Liverpool's attacking mentality. Really go for it.
"South Africa in 2010 was so negative with boring draws.
"England fans, and myself, would rather watch 3-3 games than dull, 0-0 draws.
"I'd love to see Roy be brave enough to play like Liverpool. The thing I admired most (about Liverpool) was the swagger of their play and how they terrorised opponents."
HENDERSON'S A 'DIAMOND OF A LAD'
"He's a player others appreciate having around them on the pitch. He'll sacrifice himself for the attacking talent in a team like Liverpool. He's not what you call 'world class', but Henderson could be key to England controlling the ball and using it effectively."
QUESTION MARK OVER JOHNSON
"The question mark is Glen Johnson at right back. It's probably Phil Jones' best position right now.
Johnson had just two assists for Liverpool last season so he did not provide a genuine attacking threat, whatever the perception."
MISTAKE TO LEAVE CARRICK OUT
"Not bringing Michael Carrick is a mistake. If there's an injury to (Steven) Gerrard, nobody jumps out to replace him."
A repeat of 1966, the Liverpool way?
In 1966, England's core comprised three heroes from the East End but, this summer, another working-class hotbed will provide the main driving force behind the nation's quest for glory.
At the end of Green Street, just outside West Ham's Boleyn Ground, there stands a bronze statue commemorating the club's contribution to England's only World Cup win.
The statue, designed by Philip Jackson, shows Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters holding up their West Ham teammate Bobby Moore, who has triumphantly raised the Jules Rimet trophy.
That year - 1966 - was the year that West Ham won the World Cup, if you believe Hammers fans.
If England are to win it this year, Liverpool supporters will do their damnedest to take the credit.
England boss Roy Hodgson, once manager of the red half of Merseyside, will be looking to Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling to provide the inspiration for the nation.
Liverpool have no Moore-esque centre half in the squad but, in Gerrard, they have a man who possesses the same leadership skills as England's only World Cup-winning skipper.
Gerrard, captain ever since Hodgson replaced Fabio Capello as manager, heads to Brazil on the back of a fine season.
Opposition fans may well remember Gerrard for his costly slip against Chelsea, but they will also struggle to forget the way he pinged a pass between five Fulham defenders to find goal-scorer Sturridge at Craven Cottage.
His two penalties against Manchester United, his rousing team talk after the impressive win over Manchester City and his stunning free-kick against Hull will also take a while to fade from memory.
Ever the man to shun the limelight, Gerrard has spent most of the campaign showering praise on Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and the young English charges that took the Reds so close to their first title in 24 years.
On Sterling, he said: "The form he is in at the moment he is the type of player you pay good money to go and see," the Liverpool captain said. "He gets you off your seat, he is exciting. He is strong and the pace he has is electric.
"He will be a big player for this country for a long time and I'm glad he is a red."
While Sterling has provided the pace down the flanks for Liverpool, Sturridge has been the Englishman who has provided the goals.
The former Chelsea man has scored 25 for Liverpool this year, but he is yet to reproduce that kind of form for his country.
Gerrard hopes that is about to change, adding: "The stage is set for Daniel. He is in terrific form."
There's Glen Johnson too - the defender who is back to his best following a spell out through injury.
And let us not forget Jordan Henderson. Bizarrely derided for his running style by Sir Alex Ferguson at the start of the year, the midfielder has answered his critics with a series of stunning performances.
It is not beyond possibility that all five could start England's Group D curtain-raiser against Italy in Manaus on June 14. They are all that good.
If England come away from the Maracana with the World Cup on July 13, maybe Hodgson will be minded to put his winnings towards a statue of Gerrard, Sterling and Sturridge outside Anfield.
- PA Sport.