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Claridge: England are misusing Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy - cropped Jamie Vardy shows his frustration (source: AFP)

England are not playing to Jamie Vardy’s strengths at Euro 2016, according to former Leicester City striker Steve Claridge.

The 29-year-old came off the bench to score a crucial equaliser in the Three Lions’ second group game against Wales, but he struggled when starting in their following clash with Slovakia.

And Claridge, speaking after Vardy signed a new contract with Leicester on Thursday despite interest from Arsenal, believes the styles of both England and their opponents have not helped the Premier League champion.

“The game doesn’t suit him when teams sit deep,” he told Omnisport. “Wide players have to make the pitch big and England don’t have a wide player.

“Adam Lallana is not a wide player. They’ve taken about six strikers and they’re playing them all instead of wingers.

“Vardy’s game is playing on the break, he’s not a hold-up merchant, that style would be more suited to Andy Carroll or Peter Crouch.

“He played against Slovakia, who never crossed the halfway line, it doesn’t suit him. Vardy’s pace is his strength and he has the ability to get in behind.”

With next opponents Iceland likely to adopt similar tactics to Slovakia, England boss Roy Hodgson must decide whether to stick with Vardy for Monday’s round-of-16 tie.

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