Roy Hodgson sets up England with a step into the unknown at Euro 2016

The decision to deploy Wayne Rooney in midfield is part of a calculated gamble as England go into their opener against Russia with an untried formation

On the front page of L’Equipe there was a portrait of Paul Pogba and a headline that doubled up as a demand. The accompanying photographs were of France’s legendes. Michel Platini was celebrating his goal in the 1984 European Championship final. Zinedine Zidane was in his victory pose after the 1998 World Cup. “Refaire L’Histoire,” was the message. Repeat History, become an icon in your own right.

For England, coming up for the 50th anniversary of that seminal day in 1966 (when no one could possibly have imagined, several decades on, that England would be described as “the world’s most disappointing team” in a 2010 cover of Time magazine), this is the question that will follow them into Euro 2016, starting with Saturday’s encounter against Russia at the Stade Vélodrome.

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