England teams 'lack identity'

Former England captain Rio Ferdinand believes Roy Hodgson's current crop of players are suffering from an identity crisis.

Last Updated: 13/08/13 at 06:18 Post Comment

Ferdinand: Says English football, at international level, needs its own identity

Ferdinand: Says English football, at international level, needs its own identity

The 34-year-old Manchester United defender retired from England duty in May after winning 81 caps in a senior international career which began in 1997.

England's lack of success in international tournaments is well documented, and Ferdinand reckons it is a lack of a coherent style that leaves England lagging behind the likes of Spain and Italy.

"What is our identity?," Ferdinand said.

"I've said that on Twitter I don't know how many times and people come back and say, 'What are you talking about?' But what is our identity?

"We started to see something when Glenn Hoddle was in charge, (there was) a bit of an identity then, free-flowing football and you would say we were starting to get an idea of the pattern of what he wanted to implement in the team.

"Since then I don't think we've actually really seen an identity, where you could say, 'that's an England team,' where you look at the under-21s and go, 'that's an England team'."

Hodgson's side face Scotland on Wednesday night as part of the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations with Ferdinand of the opinion that a stable identity throughout the whole set-up of a national team is essential for success.

"If all the names were taken off the back of the shirts and the colours were changed, you couldn't go in there and say, 'that's an England team, that's our identity, that's the way we play," he said.

"That's from the under-16s right up to the senior team. Whereas you look at an Italian team, a Dutch team, a Spanish team, a German team or a Brazilian team, without seeing the names on the shirts, you would identify them because they're working from a script.

"You could put an under-16 lad into the senior Spanish team or Italian team, he might not have the attributes in terms of physique and speed to be able to deal with it, but positionally I'm sure he'd know what to do because that's what they're taught, day in, day out.

"I just don't think you see that connection between our (senior) team and the under-21s, or the under-17s and the under-20s team and the senior team, and I think that doesn't bode well for the England team."

Ferdinand believes the FA needs someone in authority to stand up and suggest that a few years of long-term planning, rather than focusing on short to medium term tournament success, could benefit the senior national side in the future.

"I hear that there is a new system being put in place and that St George's Park is part of that, time will tell us what is going on," he added.

"I don't think there is any real right answer for any of this - it's going to take someone with big balls to come and grab it by the scruff of the neck and say: 'This is what we're going to do and we're going to take 10 years to do it.'

"We might not qualify for a World Cup or a European Championship but I would rather not qualify for one or two tournaments knowing that in 10 years' time we will have an identity that everyone can identify with and say: 'yes, that's us', and be proud of."


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

m not sure about this distance covered malarky, plus that stat comes with *since February attached to it, that's just 1 month. I mean I have 27 open cases I'm 'working on' at the moment but believe me others with 10 cases work harder than I do. I just got back from a pub lunch, scampi and chips (+4 pints) in case you were wondering.

hurler
Wenger defends Ozil

C

isse should have appealed and explained that it was just a retaliation, just like Matic did. Apparently the FA are ok with retaliation.

Triangler
Cisse accepts FA charge

L

ove this guy. He's one of the few surviving players that I remember so vividly from Football Italia and Gazetta on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons.

HarryBoulton
Francesco Totti - The King Of Rome

Footer 365

Ryan Giggs enjoys working with Louis van Gaal; plays down rift reports

Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs has played down talk of a rift with Louis van Gaal and hailed their "great working relationship".

Mesut Ozil defended by Arsene Wenger after Paul Scholes criticism

Arsene Wenger claims Paul Scholes "would have loved to play with Mesut Ozil".

Football Association names Martin Glenn as its new chief executive

The Football Association has named Martin Glenn as its new chief executive.

Mail Box

Why All The Hate For Robin Van Persie?

One Mailboxer can't work out why everyone is having a pop at Robin van Persie. Plus FA Cup anticipation, changing relegation, a Friday song and more Totti love...

Is Sissoko's Neck Very Distinctive?

Moussa Sissoko features in a really quite bizarre Distinctive Physical Features XI while we have mails on sexism, Angel Di Maria and Francesco Totti. Ramdom.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company