Lazy coaches. That's where former England manager Glenn Hoddle believes England's achilles heel lies when it comes to the development of the footballers of tomorrow. 

The former England international, who later managed his country as well as Swindon, Chelsea, Southampton, Wolves and boyhood club Tottenham Hotspur, believes that England should take notice of Dutch methods. 

"That philosophy (of lazy coaching) hasn’t changed. Our 15 and 16-year-olds are still playing on too big a pitch," Hoddle told the London Evening Standard. 

"We’re still a long way behind Europe. That little bit of water saved us in the war but it has cut us away from a lot of things.

"I spent hours from 11 until 16 with Tottenham in the gym playing the ball against the wall. We played against the wall for an hour before we would have a match. 

"Left foot. Right foot. In the square. In the circle. Above the line, below it. Chest control. Thigh control. Volley sideways."

Hoddle dampened any notion that English youth were naturally less talented than any youth players in the world's current leading lights, such as Spain, Brazil and Germany.

He added: "Our kids are as talented as the Spanish, French or the Dutch but we’ve shied away from teaching them how to get the best out of themselves with the ball."

The fear of England continuing their recent decline is Hoddle's biggest fear. After the seniors were knocked out by Italy in Euro 2012, both the U21 and U20 teams competed in major tournaments this summer, both failing to win a single game. 

The former playmaker stated his belief that: "We’re becoming less and less able technically. We are suspicious of the creative technical player, calling him a luxury. For me, those who give the ball away are the luxury players."

So where should The FA look to for inspiration? Well, Hoddle believes that place is the Netherlands.

"I know it’s a smaller country but they’ve got top-quality, qualified coaches in every county, every town, every district — imagine that in England."

It's the neglect of past generations, which has led to the failure of today's footballers on the international stage, Hoddle believes. 

He recalls talking to Daniel Levy, chairman of Tottenham Hotspur: "I said to Daniel Levy when I was at Tottenham, you need to pay a really good amount of money for coaches to deal with your 10s, 12s, 13s and 14s. 

"If we don’t make technical footballers, in 40 years’ time we will still be saying the same things."

That is turned out to be entirely true. Whilst Hoddle confirmed that he has no intention of taking over as England U21s manager following the exit of Stuart Pearce this summer, he did extend an olive branch to The FA.

Hoddle concluded: "If Greg Dyke wants to chat, I will. I’m patriotic about my country. I have 53 caps, I have managed my country and, if I can, I will help in any way."

Whether The FA will take up Hoddle's offer remains to be seen.


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