England’s limp defeat to Iceland last week has once again sparked debate about the reasons behind it and their poor form in the competition.
Pundits and fans alike have been scathing about England’s lack of passion, tactical awareness and leadership with both the players and Roy Hodgson coming under severe criticism.
There have been suggestions for who should replace the hapless Hodgson after he resigned minutes after the Iceland loss, with plenty of names being discussed.
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One of those rumoured to be in contention is former England coach Glenn Hoddle, who was last in charge at the France 1998 World Cup.
Since then, England’s so-called golden generation have failed to live up to expectations and their horrific Euro 2016 exit is a brand new low.
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Many have argued that Hoddle was in charge of England’s last good team and believe he could be the man to rejuvenate a team so devoid of confidence, ability and mental strength at international level.
We’ve put together some of the reasons behind England’s last good team.
Glenn Hoddle’s tactical awareness was clear to see during the World Cup 18 years ago. He was and still is regarded as a visionary by pundits and colleagues alike and a highly respected figure in the game.
His use of the 3-5-2 formation during the World Cup was designed to maintain the right balance of attack and defence and meant that England could pack the midfield areas and reduce the space for opposing players. The tactics were simple and each player knew their job.
In the infamous game against Argentina, England not only defended well but were also a threat. After 90 minutes and despite being one man down, England were able to take the game to extra time.
The players also seemed comfortable with the change of circumstances and managed well despite the setback. Something that this current group of players appear unable to do and Roy Hodgson's tactical ineptitude did not help.
Confidence of the players
Compared to the current squad, the players seemed comfortable wearing the England shirt in the late 1990's and weren't weighed down by expectation.
Some of the players had also taken part in a successful Euro 96 two years earlier and carried that self-confidence into France 98. They not only believed in themselves but trusted each other.
As a result, they worked well together and seemed calm and relaxed heading into each game throughout the tournament. The current crop in Euro 2016 showed their lack of poise and panicked in their defeat to Iceland, a stark contrast indeed.
Great squad balance
The France 98 squad was a bringing together of two generations. There were young talented players like Michael Owen, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Sol Campbell as well the more experienced Alan Shearer, Paul Ince, Tony Adams and David Seaman.
The youth and enthusiasm of the young players blended well with the great experience of the older members of the squad and they complemented each other very well.
The current squad of players was one of the youngest in the tournament and as a result lacked the key experience to adapt when adversity struck against Iceland. As a result, many of them froze and as a result lost the game.
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