Ferdinand calls for new England philosophy

Former England defender Rio Ferdinand has spoken of the need for the national team to find a ‘new identity’, the Guardian has reported, with the 34-year-old saying that the FA should be prepared to miss out on qualifying for major tournaments on the way.

Claiming that the England team has not had an identity since Glenn Hoddle was manager, between 1996 and 1999; Ferdinand called for a radical change in philosophy. He said: “What is our identity? 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, 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.

Ferdinand went on to compare England with the philosophy of other nations, adding: “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.

Ahead of the friendly with Scotland on Wednesday, the England senior side are ranked 15th in the world, and have not gone beyond the quarter-finals of a major tournament since Euro 96. Both the U-21s and the U-20s failed to win a match at their respective tournaments this summer.

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