Hoddle's England fear

Former England boss calls for new approach to youth coaching

Last Updated: 07/09/12 10:25am

Glenn Hoddle says England will struggle to win a tournament in this decade unless drastic measures are taken to improve the nation's talent pool.

"We are not going to be able to change this in the next six to seven years and go and win tournaments. "

Glenn Hoddle

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The former England manager was speaking after World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton said Roy Hodgson's side lack the top-quality players to win in Brazil in 2014.

Speaking on the Footballers' Football Show, Hoddle said the lack of depth in the English game is down to the way young footballers are coached in this country.

And he insists it will take more than seven years to rectify the problem.

Hoddle said: "What Bobby's saying I understand. There's every likelihood that a European side won't win in South America anyway.

"I understand what he's saying and I agree with him. It would take a lot of good fortune to play in those conditions.

"But we are not going to be able to change this in the next six to seven years and go and win tournaments.

"We might get lucky - Greece won [the Euros in 2004] - so it's achievable with the players that we've got. We've got good players, but not the depth and the depth's going to get less and less.

"We have to change the way we coach players. You can build lovely academies and that's great, but spend money on the coaching staff to coach the kids from eight to 16 so we can produce good players.

"We should be looking for the technical small player as well as the big player because the rules have changed. They've got to master the football first because the ball masters the English player too many times.

"When they're six or seven they've got the ability; it's how we coach them and progress them."


Hoddle, who has established his own Academy to try to improve youth coaching, says the current rules on how long young players can spend in training are restricting their development.

And he wants to see the establishment of full-time residential training bases for young English players - similar to Barcelona's La Masia - to revolutionise the national game.

"We need residential education like the Barcelona school," he added.

"The problem is at the moment you've got them for about 1,200 hours a year. The new rules are going to take them to 3,000 hours.

"If you get full-time residential kids coming in you get 7,500 hours a year - nearly 10,000 is needed for the Olympians - of practice with the good coaching and the right coaches. Then we've got an opportunity of changing the face of English football.

"It's a long-term thing. We're going to produce good players - the Rooneys and the Owens and the Ferdinands are going to come through because that's the nature.

"We need more of them; we're going to get less, I'm afraid."