England team lacks identity says Man Utd veteran Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand believes the England national team lacks a clear identity.
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Rio Ferdinand believes the England national team lacks a clear identity.

The Manchester United centre-half, who retired from international football earlier this year, suggests the Three Lions have not had a coherent playing style for a long, long time and feels it has directly affected results for the past decade or so.

"What is our identity?" Ferdinand said. "I've said that on Twitter I don't know how many times and people come back and say, 'What are you talking about?' But what is our identity?

"We started to see something when Glenn Hoddle was in charge, (there was) a bit of an identity then, free-flowing football and you would say we were starting to get an idea of the pattern of what he wanted to implement in the team.

"Since then I don't think we've actually really seen an identity, where you could say, 'that's an England team,' where you look at the U21s and go, 'that's an England team'.

"If all the names were taken off the back of the shirts and the colours were changed, you couldn't go in there and say, 'that's an England team, that's our identity, that's the way we play.

"That's from the U16s right up to the senior team. Whereas you look at an Italian team, a Dutch team, a Spanish team, a German team or a Brazilian team, without seeing the names on the shirts, you would identify them because they're working from a script.

"You could put an U16 lad into the senior Spanish team or Italian team, he might not have the attributes in terms of physique and speed to be able to deal with it, but positionally I'm sure he'd know what to do because that's what they're taught, day in, day out.

"I just don't think you see that connection between our (senior) team and the U21s, or the U17s and the U20s team and the senior team, and I think that doesn't bode well for the England team."

 
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