Roy Hodgson: England have the players to play any style

Wednesday 09 Apr 2014
Hodgson spoke to the international media at Wembley this week

Roy Hodgson believes England have the players at their disposal to play whatever style he chooses at this summer’s World Cup.

The Three Lions boss was talking about systems and styles of play with members of the international media at Wembley this week.

And while Hodgson would not be drawn too much on the technicalities of exactly how his side will be setting out for their games in Brazil, he left reporters in no doubt as to what he sees as most important.

England manager Roy Hodgson

Hodgson is looking forward to taking England to the World Cup this summer


"We work on principles, the principle of attack and the principle of defence and obviously like every team, we want to have a compact defence," he revealed.

"We want good support for players who are involved in defensive situations and we want to make the pitch smaller when we are defending, just as we like to make the pitch bigger when we are attacking.

"I think we preach positivity in our attacking play, with players having the courage to get the ball and be prepared to receive the ball, even in tight situations, and, most importantly, be prepared to look forward.

"I'm certainly not in favour of 500 passes, of which 460 are between your goalkeeper and back four.

"To score goals, you have to get the ball up the field so we encourage players to look and play forward whenever they can - but if they can't play forward, keep possession and look for another opportunity."

Given the number of different teams from across the globe competing in the World Cup, there is always going to be a real variety in the way certain teams play the game.

Hodgson met the world's media at Wembley this week


Whether that might be the free-flowing flair of South American teams, the tight possession football favoured by the likes of Spain or the organised and compact systems used by their European rivals, England will need to be prepared for anything.

But Hodgson believes that it’s ultimately players, not systems, that win football matches.

"It's a complex matter, in the sense that in the course of a game you could prove a lot of things and a lot of systems by stopping the game at any one time and suggesting that this is a system they play," he explained.

"What varies from team to team is the quality of the players - if you've got Messi, Xavi and Iniesta in your team, it helps.


“I think we preach positivity in our attacking play”

Roy Hodgson 



"It will be very difficult for some of the teams in the World Cup to play Barcelona-style football because they don't have that quality of player.

"They might want to and they might have that as their philosophy, but they might not have the players.

"Luckily I think we have the players to play any sort of football we want to play, so I don't think our style of play will vary enormously from the bulk of the teams in the World Cup."

Watch a video of Hodgson speaking about England’s style of play with the international media in the video player above.

England's final game on home soil before this summer's World Cup sees Peru visit Wembley on Friday 30 May and tickets for that game are now on sale here.

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels