Football: Long-term goals force moulding of a new England

Faces come and go, but the nucleus of Glenn Hoddle's squad remains constant. Glenn Moore considers how the England side of today has developed, aided by the modernising policies of Terry Venables, Hoddle's predecessor as national coach.

Many have been called but only a few have been regularly chosen. There have been a cluster of new faces and a sprinkling of older ones, but in general, Glenn Hoddle's England teams have continued the modernising progress begun by Terry Venables.

Hoddle's team to play Italy on Saturday will be his 13th. Venables, playing friendlies exclusively, had capped 39 players by that stage. Hoddle, playing mainly World Cup qualifiers, will have capped 35 and called a staggering 48 into his squads. That he has won six of the seven matches that mattered prior to Saturday is quite an achievement.

In this he has been helped by Venables' policy of introducing promising young players, a trend continued by his successor. Of Hoddle's 35 picks only five (Manchester United youngsters David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, Liverpool's David James and late developer Andy Hinchcliffe) are new caps.

Venables, at the same stage, had chosen 19 new faces which was an indication of how radical a change his football philosophy was from Graham Taylor.

Hoddle has chosen three players Taylor capped and Venables ignored, Nigel Martyn, Martin Keown and Stuart Ripley, but has generally relied upon the same core - David Seaman, Gary Neville, Gareth Southgate (who has appeared in 11 of Hoddle's matches, more than any other), Paul Ince, Paul Gascoigne, Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham.

Darren Anderton and Tony Adams would have featured more if fit. Of Venables' other key players, David Platt was quickly forgotten, Steve McManaman left on the periphery, Graeme Le Saux recalled when back to fitness and Stuart Pearce persuaded out of retirement.

Yet, despite the familiar faces, this is recognisably Hoddle's team. He will be grateful to Venables for blooding Sol Campbell, but he had only played 29 minutes, while Ian Wright, David Batty and Rob Lee had been discarded, Hinchcliffe never considered and Beckham and Scholes were not then ready. In addition, Matt Le Tissier, rejected by Venables, would have been consistently involved under Hoddle had it not been for injury.

The team's playing style has also evolved. Hoddle, having begun with a rigid 3-5-2 based on the German model has, like Venables, introduced greater flexibility while concentrating on having numbers in midfield.

But while Venables, building towards a European Championship on home soil, sought to create a side with the emphasis on possession and attacking width, Hoddle has had different aims. With a World Cup in France as the long-term goal, he has moulded a side which is at its best when counter- attacking.

As a player, Hoddle was not only a purist's delight but also an outstanding exponent of the early long ball - not the "hoof" but the ball played to a runner. Beckham, Sheringham and Scholes are all fine long passers and Wright's rejuvenation has provided an outlet first offered through Shearer's mobility. As England proved in Georgia, Poland, and at Le Tournoi, international defences can be vulnerable to the long pass if it is played accurately behind a defence which has been drawn forward.

With the onus on Italy to attack, this could be an ideal tactic on Saturday and the Italians know and fear it. They will not want to be drawn forward, but the longer the game goes without a home goal, the more they will have to. Thus it is of paramount importance that England do not go behind early on. If they do, and are forced to make the running, they will be vulnerable, as was shown at Wembley against Italy and, especially, Poland.

Defeat, and Hoddle must think of the play-offs, while a draw would allow him to continue developing his side with a series of friendlies. The big question is whether he would think there is enough time to adopt the sweeper system he favours.

Jamie Redknapp, who would have been tried out in Le Tournoi had he not been injured, is back playing for Liverpool's reserves this week, but time is relatively short.

First England have to get there and Redknapp is one of eight players, including Anderton, unavailable through injury - in a week when Hoddle feels he has been lucky with injuries. It is a further indication of the difficulty of building an international team.

So is the identity of Hoddle's first goalscorer, Nick Barmby, in Moldova. He played well then but his poor club form, out of range of Hoddle's influence, means he has not played since. If that sunny afternoon in Chisinau seems a long time ago to Hoddle, it is another era to Barmby.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little