England Manager says St. George’s Park and EPPP will help The FA develop international players.
was in attendance as the 10th UEFA Conference for European National Team Coaches kicked off in Poland.
The England Manager was joined by FA Director of Football Development Sir Trevor Brooking at the event in Warsaw.
A Q&A session with Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque formed part of the conference and UEFA Technical Director Andy Roxburgh distributed a Euro 2012
Technical Report to all the delegates.
All national associations were invited to attend a “Final Four Forum”, which featured Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, Germany manager Joachim Low and Portugal chief Paulo Bento.
The four coaches spoke to all delegates about their experiences at the tournament and emphasised the importance of keeping possession of the ball during the Euros and taking the attacking initiative in the tournament.
Speaking at the conference, Hodgson said: “I’m delighted to be here at the UEFA Conference for national team coaches, so far it has been a very informative programme of events.
“I’ve taken the opportunity to speak with many of my European counterparts and colleagues at UEFA.
“Sir Trevor and I have been given the Technical Report which we will now digest.
“The England coaching staff and I know what happened in the Euros very well and have considered many of the points and analysis already.
“The report sums up much of what we knew and experienced out in Ukraine and Poland.
“In the matches since the Euros, particularly against Italy and Moldova, I think we have already demonstrated how we would like our national team football philosophy to be.
“The coaching staff and I are fully focused on how we intend to go forward and improve our play.
“We can’t ignore the trends and it was very interesting to hear what semi-final coaches had to say about possession.
“England must maintain possession of the ball better and we have to work hard at international and club level. We know this.
“England must also show that we are capable of seizing the initiative and dominating games in tournaments rather than holding out against opponents and hitting on the counter-attack.
“In the quarter-final against Italy it was never our intention to sit back but perhaps fatigue set in.
“Don’t forget we went into the tournament without several key midfielders due to injuries and therefore had a lack of experienced international players on the bench in that match.
“So I think we showed good quality to sustain the level of play as long as we did.
“Overall, during the Euros the team showed what they could do with the players available. I was particularly pleased with the way the players worked so hard and the way they handled themselves during the tournament.”
England went out of the Euros after losing 4-2 to Italy on penalties
in the quarter-final stage, with Prandelli’s side going on to lose to Spain in the Final.
But Hodgson stressed work is already underway to ensure the Three Lions become more competitive at big tournaments in the future.
He added: “Where there are aspects of our game that need improvement England fans can rest assured that these are the areas that we are working on.
“We know what is required over the coming years to raise us to the level and become more competitive.
“My years of experience have taught me to be slightly wary of stats and certainly wary of basing my judgement on a team’s ability to play in purely statistical terms.
“However, there is no doubt that a key to being a successful team lies in your ability to pass the ball and support each other.
“Passing and support for me have always been a key element to a winning team and this is an area of play that I’d like to think during my time as England Manager we will improve.
“The opening of St. George’s Park
and implementation of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) will help us longer-term to develop players who can show the passing qualities needed a top international level.”
Brooking added: “That’s why the EPPP is so important and has come into being. We need to raise the percentage of English players playing in Premier League first teams.
“As an organisation, we are looking to achieve more strength in depth.
“After the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, The FA’s Youth Development review
and Future Game
document reflected on many of the key areas outlined in UEFA’s Euro 2012 Technical Report.
“The attacking third of the pitch is perhaps the biggest weakness of the English game throughout the national team age groups.
“It’s been a fault previously in the development system so the EPPP has put emphasis on developing creative players as part of our long term planning.
“In today’s forum, Joachim Loew recounted how he sat down with club coaches in Germany ten years ago to discuss the lack of quality in the attacking third.
“Together they have focused attention on becoming more attack-minded and giving problems to the opposition. Loew said he thinks that this approach has helped Germany in their last two tournaments.
“We intend to increase the number of structured visits to professional clubs through Roy, England Coach Ray Lewington and Director of Elite Development Dan Ashworth and this will definitely help moving forward.
“It was also very interesting, if not surprising, to hear the ‘Final Four’ coaches talking about how the game has become more possession based.
“We have to produce more players in England that give Roy and future England Managers more chance to compete.”
UEFA will release the full report to the media later this week.