New tactics offer hope and identity
I think the 3-5-2 works really well, it gives the team balance and provides flexibility against any opposition. It's obviously taken the players time to get to grips with, I noticed particularly against Italy that Kyle Walker was still making a few mistakes in that central position.
There are so many nuances and subtleties to get to grips with at International level and you have to know when to make those tackles and when to stand up. Every player you come up against is - in theory - the best in their country at that level and they'll readily take advantage of any mistakes.
At the other end of the pitch, Raheem Sterling has been absolutely excellent. I thought Tuesday's game was his performance in an England shirt, he played with real freedom and, vitally, with a smile on his face.
I can't emphasise enough what a big role the fans have to play in this England team's progression in the tournament and Sterling's upturn in form at International level is a direct result of the supporters getting behind him. Positionally he was superb in that narrow striker role, he changed position a lot and the system seems to really suit him. It gives Gareth a really nice problem in that area of the pitch when it comes to team selection.
Winks injury a real shame for England
There seems to be a real togetherness about this group of players, with comradery in abundance. One of the most important steps ahead of this World Cup is for the team to really play as a team, instead of a group of individuals as we perhaps have done in the past. When things get tough in tournaments, you need that team mentality to fall back on and to get you back into games.
There are three key areas for the manager to look at when deciding who goes to Russia: defensive midfield, the back three and in goal. It's a real shame that Harry Winks has been held back through injury as with that Spurs connection in the side, he should be there if he can regain fitness, probably at the expense of Jack Wilshire.
There's no doubting the Arsenal midfielder's ability but we don't see the best of him often enough and can you trust him to stay fit throughout the tournament? When you're playing with three centre backs, taking cover is a no brainer and the likes of Tarkowski and Gomez should certainly enter calculations.
Hart's experience not needed
The issue around who will play in goal really needs to be nailed down as soon as possible. You could argue a case for both Pickford and Butland but they have to play every game between now and the end of the season knowing that all eyes are on them.
It'll likely come down to how well their respective club sides fare as they'll be wanting to be making as many saves as possible! As for Joe Hart, I don't think he'll go, I appreciate that he offers tournament experience which we lack in that area but now is the time to trust these young players.
We've seen from the last two games that there's the belief in the group to make an impact in Russia and we need to back them to go out there and do exactly that.