Many Liverpool fans have little interest in the England side.

The jingoism, lack of perspective, media cheerleading and dread presence of John Terry all conspire to make Ingerlund a pretty unappealing proposition.

Among the many things that have made me proud to live in Liverpool down the years has been the relative lack of plastic flags on cars during major tournaments.

I used to spend quite a lot of my time in Shropshire, where every second summer it seemed the region’s Vauxhall Vectra drivers were heading en masse to some modern-day Nuremberg rally just behind the Asda in Telford.

Sometimes, though, it might be worth watching England. Particularly when our players are involved.

It doesn’t have to mean becoming a typical facepainted Carling drinker, scrutinising each player to see who sings the anthem most heartily and tutting at those too busy concentrating on an international football match or something.

It can be done casually, diffidently, from the corner of an eye beneath an archly raised eyebrow. I watched England v Ghana in March with 90 minutes’ worth of Springsteen on the headphones as what you might call an Andy Townsend-cancelling measure. Worked a treat.

Who knows how Kenny Dalglish might have chosen to take it in. I’m thinking with some commercial but credible vintage soul and a massive bag of Skittles.

Hopefully neither the Chi-lites nor the inevitable frantic search for the last purple one put Kenny off one of the most instructive games in recent England history.

Freed from the 4-4-2 which had left England looking both monumentally immobile and perilously fragile, like a hated dictator’s statue in the wake of revolution, the side looked mildly more interesting in a looser 4-3-3.

Most pertinent for LFC is that two thirds of that second three was made up of players now wearing red.

With Andy Carroll as the nominal fulcrum, Stewart Downing and Ashley Young acted as flexible inside forwards offering both width and penetration.

Carroll, supplied by Downing, opened the scoring with the kind of murderous drive which so surprised Joe Hart in the Manchester City match last season. In my version he did it just as Bruce was on about six-inch valleys in the middle of his skull. Your experience may have differed.

Downing’s assist was among several telling, thoughtful contributions from a player named man of the match and praised pretty much unanimously in the next morning’s press reports.

Performances like this on the international stage must have played a part in convincing Dalglish and Damien Comolli to make Downing Liverpool’s biggest summer acquisition.

Since moving to Anfield, though, the former Villa man has been employed mostly on the left of a midfield four, occasionally switching to the right but always with a winger’s brief rather than that of a genuine forward.

It’s going too far to base our entire tactical approach on one game, but against Ghana Downing flourished on the right of a three-man attack. Carroll thrived to his left. And how many of Luis Suarez’s Liverpool goals so far have involved work in the inside left channel?

A front three of Suarez, Carroll and Downing appears to solve a number of problems. With Downing on the left but no genuine wide man to provide a counter-balance on the other flank, the 4-4-2 looks lopsided. It also leaves a two-man midfield which many would argue leaves Charlie Adam exposed.

A genuine 4-3-3 might encourage Liverpool to play more between the lines, and a narrow midfield of Lucas and Henderson or Spearing protecting a slightly more advanced Adam makes a certain amount of sense.

All this is assuming Steven Gerrard is still some way short of a run of games, although he could arguably perform well in any of the midfield roles or even as one of the inside forwards.

While it produced a significantly more enjoyable England performance in one of the most entertaining friendlies you’re ever likely to see, Fabio Capello has shied away from adopting 4-3-3 in its entirety, probably because it also left holes at the back and exposed an inexperienced defence.

It might not always be the best option. It should be part of a suite of possibilities. But to get the best out of Downing in particular, Dalglish may want to dig out the DVD of the Ghana clash and a copy of this.