SLOW, lacking basic creativity and frankly unwatchable.

No, I’m not describing my weekly efforts at five-a-side but the two England performances I forced myself to watch over the weekend.

Gareth Southgate’s side may have notched another two 1-0 wins to secure a place at next year’s World Cup in Russia but I’m not sure many nations will be quaking in their boots at the thought of coming up against us.

I don’t want to single out individual players for criticism – mainly because it’s fairly obvious to anyone bar Southgate – but I do think big improvements could be made by looking beyond players at the top six or seven sides.

Now you might accuse me of having claret-tinted spectacles on at this point but looking at the pedestrian nature of that central midfield, I am struggling to see how someone like Jack Cork doesn’t get a chance.

Cork has been in magnificent form for us this season and is currently plying his trade at a top six club (sorry, I couldn’t resist that!).

We stick with the same group of players game in and game out yet very few – outside of the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and some of the other Spurs contingent – really earn their continued selection.

If anything, there’s only really Kane keeping this show on the road. Without his goals we’d be the most ordinary of ordinary sides.

Southgate will have a number of friendly games to try out new players but I just don’t see him taking that chance.

There’s an in-built fear of failure at national level and that has stopped us progressing for years.

A lot of the success we’ve seen at Burnley over the last few years is because Sean Dyche allows his players to express themselves – when the time is right – and knows that mistakes and errors will happen.

It’s that expression I want to see on Saturday. We’ve not been at our best at home this term but that’s got to change at some point and when better than against a struggling Hammers side.

I’m sure after a fortnight’s break the lads will be fresh and ready for the run-in to Christmas.

If we can kick off that run with a win then things might just look very rosy come the turn of the year.