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.”

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
Sport
David Silva, Andy Carroll, Arsene Wenger and Radamel Falcao
football
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

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'