World Cup 2014: England manager Roy Hodgson wary of the dangers of boredom after experience with Switzerland in 1994

Alain Sutter, who was Hodgson's creative force in the Switzerland team, recalls his experiences under the current England manager

Roy Hodgson spent Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro inspecting England’s proposed base for next summer’s World Cup finals, all too aware of the off-field issues that dogged his last experience at the finals, 19 years ago in the United States.

Boredom became an increasing factor among Switzerland’s players as the tournament progressed and Hodgson’s planning for 2014, notably looking to limit the length of any pre-tournament training camp, will be influenced by the events of 1994.

England discover on Friday afternoon who they face and where they will play in a tournament that has similarities to the US World Cup, with potentially vast distances to be travelled. The England manager raised the issue of players’ boredom before leaving for Brazil and it is a memory that chimes with Alain Sutter’s.

Like many in the squad, Sutter, Switzerland’s creative force under Hodgson, struggled with a long pre-tournament training stint and the frustrations of being all but confined to the team hotel once the finals began.

“Boredom was the biggest problem,” said Sutter, who won 68 caps. “We had a pretty long preparation camp, a too long preparation time. We were too long together before the tournament started. Then we didn’t have a hotel where we could go out freely, where we were like locked in. The problem was not the work that Roy did, it was on the practical level over the hotel, the surroundings and everything.

“We couldn’t go out freely to get fresh air or get away from things, it was just thinking about playing, playing, playing. I am pretty sure he learned a lot from that because this is the tough part, to find the line between having to focus on the tournament and still being relaxed and enjoying the whole event.

“It was his first tournament and not everything was perfect. Nobody had any experience with a big tournament because we had not been there for 28 years before Roy came. There were a couple of things that I’m sure he would have done differently.”

Alain Sutter (7) with the Switzerland squad at the 1994 World Cup Alain Sutter (7) with the Switzerland squad at the 1994 World Cup  

In 1994, Hodgson gathered his squad for a two-week training camp in Switzerland before they flew to Canada for more training and a couple of friendlies. The Swiss arrived in Detroit two days before their opening match with the hosts. They played two games there, completed the group stages in California and then flew to the east coast to take on Spain in the last 16.

“By the time we got back to Washington I got the feeling that some of the players were a little bit weary,” said Hodgson. “We are aware of the dangers but there’s certain things you can’t change.”

England plan to play two friendlies in the US, the second in Florida where a  pre-tournament camp will be held. The squad will leave London towards the end of May with the World Cup opening on 12 June.

“Spending too many days in one place away from home we know what that can do,” said Hodgson. “We will think about family time and giving them days off before training.”

As in last year’s Euros, the hotel and training base will be in different locations and, unlike in South Africa 2010, the hotel is not isolated. England plan to stay in Royal Tulip hotel in the Barra district of Rio de Janeiro – a deal is expected to be struck after the draw. It is close to a beach and a golf course. The squad will train at the Urca military base near Sugarloaf mountain, a journey that can take up to 50 minutes.

In the US, Sutter scored in Switzerland’s only victory, a  4-1 win over Romania. They made it out of the group stages before being beaten 3-0 by Spain. Overall Sutter has positive memories of Hodgson’s tenure. “I liked that he had a clear idea,” he said. “You know exactly what he wants on the pitch and off the pitch. He was very authentic in the way he acted. He was very predictable and everybody knew what the rules were. He had his own ideas and as a player when you know what his ideas are it makes it much easier than a guy who is always changing his mind. He did a very good job with us.

“We had different ideas and this I liked too about him – I could talk with Roy in a critical way, not fighting against each other but arguing and he was always open to that and liked when people stood up and spoke their mind.”

Sutter combines coaching with working for Swiss TV and has watched the current Switzerland side develop with admiration. They may be the seeds that everybody wants but Sutter expects them to make a mark on the tournament. He said: “This is the best team we ever had. It has unbelievable potential. Nobody should underestimate them.”

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?