After England shocked many by going to Switzerland and beating their main rivals for European Championship qualification, Roy Hodgson’s new formation received plenty of plaudits. A diamond shaped midfield with Raheem Sterling at the tip and Jack Wilshere at the base worked well against the Swiss, with Fabian Delph and Jordan Henderson performing well also. The era after the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard certainly could not have started any better. The formation could also be good news for Newcastle midfielder Jack Colback. The former Sunderland man has settled into black and white life admirably since swapping Wearside for Tyneside and was rewarded for his good form by a maiden call-up to the full England squad by Hodgson. Unfortunately, injury ruined Colback’s chances of making his debut for his nation but the new formation may favour the midfielder in the near future. Colback has impressed this season by always being available to take the ball off the back four and start attacks, an idiosyncrasy that has earned him the nickname “the ginger Pirlo”. Hodgson was clearly similarly impressed and in terms of a diamond midfield, the England manager is hardly spoilt for choice in the holding role. Scott Parker – arguably England’s best holding midfielder of the past decade – has had his time in the national side, while Jack Wilshere’s long-term future as the most defensive of four midfielders is hardly likely to have any longevity. Phil Jones is another option but is preferred as a centre-back, while the rest of the squad that was picked to face Norway and Switzerland was distinctly lacking a disciplined ball winner. What it wasn’t lacking though – and this was the key to beating the Swiss in Basel – was energy in the middle third, an area which Colback would further strengthen. His discipline and efficient passing may stick in Hodgson’s thoughts for the next qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia, where he can again try out his new formation against opposition that will hardly provide the toughest test should things go wrong. Potential rivals for Colback’s place come in the shape of Hull City’s Tom Huddlestone and Sunderland’s Jack Rodwell but the Newcastle man already has a head start having already been part of the national team setup. If Colback can continue his current form for the next part of the season, there is no reason why England can’t have their very own ginger Pirlo in midfield.