Hoddle happy with Italy friendly date
Friday 17 January 1997
Hoddle was at the luxurious Hotel de Ville in the centre of Paris for the official launch of the four-nation Tournoi de France, which carries a prize of around pounds 625,000 for the winners.
He said he believed the June tournament involving France, England, Italy and Brazil would benefit England ahead of the 1998 World Cup.
"It will be a good experience for the players and for me to find out a bit more about ourselves in a tournament," Hoddle said. "I've only been in the job for six months and while qualifying for the World Cup is the important thing, I'm looking upon next summer as a dress rehearsal for 1998."
The fact that England will be playing Italy in the friendly in the middle of the two World Cup qualifiers next month and in October has aroused concern.
"As far as we are concerned it isn't a problem," Hoddle said. "We have to play Italy in the qualifiers but this will be totally different. When you're playing a World Cup game the result is all important, the only thing you can think about.
"In a friendly, even in a tournament, it gives you the chance to experiment, to look and see what you have, what options are available."
The Italian coach, Cesare Maldini, displayed a similar lack of concern. Maldini, who takes charge of the national team for the first time against Northern Ireland in Sicily next Wednesday, knows that the Wembley game on 12 February will be far more important.
"For us, like England, qualification is the prime objective and we know how big a game it will be at Wembley," he said. "We don't have to be told that England are a strong team. You only have to look at the likes of Shearer, Ferdinand and Beckham to see that."
TOURNOI DE FRANCE: 3 June France v Brazil (Lyon); 4 June Italy v England (Nantes); 7 June France v England (Montpellier); 8 June Brazil v Italy (Lyon); 10 June England v Brazil (Lens); 11 June France v Italy (Paris).
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
Latest in Sport
Jagielka: Moyes needs to bring in his own players
United’s ambitious transfer plans at risk from top-four failure
English clubs ditch Heineken Cup - confirming they will not take part in any ERC run competition in 2014-15
Brazil World Cup 2014 draw: England drawn with holders Spain in official Group Stage rehearsal
Manchester City sign the 'new Lionel Messi' Brahim Abdelkader, and in doing so put one over Barcelona
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 4 Video: Students 'punched and dragged to the ground by their hair' as police break up demonstration
- 5 Cannabis can cause man boobs, US surgeon claims
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: VB.NET SQL CSS Develop...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Server Side De...
£21000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Graduate QA/Graduate T...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: PHP Developer (MySQL, ...