FORMER England manager Glenn Hoddle believes Fabio must ditch his favoured 4-4-2 formation or risk missing out on qualifying for next summer’s European Championship.

England currently trail leaders Montenegro by three points in qualifying Group G, albeit having played a game less, following their goalless draw at Wembley last October which again showcased Capello’s tactical inflexibility.

Hoddle, who coached England between 1996 and 1999 and regularly experimented with playing three centre-halves, fears even Wales, a side who have won just one of their last eight internationals, are capable of exploiting Capello’s “rigid” side when the teams meet in Cardiff on Saturday.

“It’s a problem to us at the moment,” said Hoddle. “I think the likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are made for a three in midfield.

“Those two, with a sitting player behind, are tailor-made to get in the box and do what they’re good at.

“I don’t see us winning if we stick to a rigid 4-4-2. Too many times in the World Cup you could see the shape when we were in possession and we were too easy to close down and that was our problem. I don’t see flexibility with England at the moment. I think we’re very rigid with the way we’re playing.”

Meanwhile, defender Glen Johnson is certain John Terry’s re-instatement as England captain will not cause any waves within the Three Lions’ camp.

There have been suggestions Fabio Capello’s handling of Terry’s appointment has annoyed senior figures within the England dressing room.

Rio Ferdinand would appear to be disgruntled given he has twice avoided the chance to speak with Capello to ascertain the Italian’s reasoning behind the decision to axe the currently injured Manchester United star.

However, Johnson has no doubt all will be well when England begin their preparations for the showdown with Wales.

“What has gone on has nothing to do with anyone,” said the Liverpool star.

“John Terry has been a fantastic captain for Chelsea and England. I am sure he will carry on doing the same job.

“Obviously Rio will be upset to lose the armband. But he is a big man and he will pick himself up and get on with it.

“I don’t think it will be a divisive issue. Everyone is a professional and they will go about their job in the right way.

“I am sure everyone will be fine.”


Capello has stuck with his favoured formation in three of England’s most recent high-profile games, and despite employing different personnel it has never come close to working.

Jun 2010: Despite all the previous evidence suggesting a change was required, Capello played Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard in the centre of midfield and both were completely overwhelmed in a Mesut Ozil inspired 4-1 thrashing by Germany.

Oct 2010: After a couple of uplifting results in the opening qualifying games Capello felt his 4-4-2 had been shown to be fit for purpose. Montenegro proved that emphatically not to be the case as they easily nullified England in a 0-0 bore draw.

Nov 2010: France were the only major nation to have performed worse than England at the World Cup but they demonstrated just how far they had progressed in the space of a few months with a 2-1 win which hardly did justice to their dominance.