The trains of grumbling thought in the aftermath of England’s fourth successive Euro 2016 qualifying wins were multiple and contradictory.
Radio Five Live reactionaries Alan Green and Chris Waddle suggested that that Three Lions would come undone against better teams, while simultaneously suggesting that Roy Hodgson’s decision to use a midfield diamond against weaker foes was overly cautious.
The traditional post-match media hand-wringing was undoubtedly a little over the top given England had chiselled a decent win from organised opposition.
However, while Hodgson’s 4-1-2-1-2 was ideal for a stealthy away success in Switzerland, the subsequent victories it has gleaned have been faintly underwhelming in terms of incisiveness.
But, how should the Croydon tactician arrange his toy soldiers to more ruthlessly exploit the gap in class between themselves and their oldest enemies?
England are 23/20 to down Scotland, 17 places their inferiors in the FIFA world rankings in Glasgow, with their hosts 12/5 outsiders and the draw an 11/5 bet.
The answer from a formational point of view comes from the Three Lions’ last convincing victory over a nation of similar stature in the modern footballing landscape, namely Montenegro.
In a match England could not afford to draw, Hodgson opted for a 4-2-3-1 with the pace, directness and application of Danny Welbeck and Andros Townsend on the wings.
Meanwhile, at the base of the middle band an out and out sitter was conspicuous by their absence with Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard taking it in turns to carry the fight up the park.
Hodgson currently has the players at his disposal to execute such a strategy thanks to a trio of Arsenal stars.
Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson can emulate the Gerrard/Lampard access with the greater energy of youth, while Welbeck returns to the left-forward role he played so well against the Montenegrins.
On the other flank Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is preferred to a questionably fit Theo Walcott for a similarly direct threat.
Up front Saido Berahino gets a chance to ease himself into international competition against the kind of moderate defence that afforded Ricky Lambert his first England goal in August last year.