LONDON (Reuters) – England must emulate Germany’s emphasis on building a long-term team around young players if they are to maintain pace with the benchmark sides in world soccer, according to manager Roy Hodgson.
In 2000, Germany finished bottom of their European Championship group and that embarrassment prompted a rethink to emphasise long-term success.
After a series of consistently strong tournament showings – built around a core of players developed over an extended period of time – they beat Argentina to win their fourth World Cup earlier this year.
“Of course what they’ve also done so well is that they have developed a very strong and cohesive team unit,” Hodgson said in an interview with FIFA. “So, first we have to emulate that.
“You’ve got to emulate their pace, mobility and athleticism because there’s no doubt that’s the way the game is going.
“When you watch a German team doing things extremely well, there’s nothing that should stop us, and other western
European teams to say, ‘We can work in that way too’.
“The major difference between us and what we’re doing and what they actually do, will be based a lot on their decision making because they’ve been through things together.”
England were knocked out of this year’s World Cup in Brazil with just one point, but since then there have been some initial signs their revamped youthful team, who remain unbeaten in their
Euro 2016 qualifying group, are improving.
But Hodgson believes the high intensity pressure of the Premier League is having detrimental effect on young English players becoming established and developing.
“We run the risk that their club team has got more experienced players who take their place, and it’s happened to us. It is making it harder for the young player to get his chance because the stakes are so high,” he added.
“(Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Welbeck, all of these players. (Jack) Wilshere for a while. They’ve been players who we’ve counted on and worked on despite the fact that they haven’t been the first name on the team sheet.