Glenn Hoddle on why the future is Phil Foden for England

Many people who understand football at a high-level would not see Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, or Mason Mount as luxury athletes. This is what I was always called.
This is one of the reasons the country has seen a shift in thinking since I was a player. Coaches and fans now appreciate creative players more than ever.

My new book was called "Playmaker" because it's what I saw myself as growing up, even as a child. However, that role wasn't as well known in this country back then as it was in Europe.

In the 1970s and 1980s, most clubs followed a 4-4-2 system. It was also the same for me when I was playing for England. If you were creative like me, you would be fighting against this system all the time. It was too rigid for you to fit in, and there were four against four midfielders.

Between 1979 and 1988, Hoddle was awarded 53 caps for England. He says, "I used to wonder what made me more tired playing for England." "I thought at first it was mentality. It was because technically gifted players were constantly passing us by, which I eventually realized.

In my last season with Tottenham, I was kind of a number 10, the season when Clive Allen scored 49 goals. But people still talk about what I could do and what I didn't. Only after I moved to Monaco in 1987 did I realize that my position was the most important because it allowed me to elevate the team.

Why? Why?

England's expectation was that I would dictate play for 90 minutes. But it wasn't always about that. Kevin de Bruyne is a great example of this - even though you may not see him throughout the game, he makes a spectacular pass and sets up a goal that no one else can see.

The most difficult thing on a football pitch is what De Bruyne and Grealish can do. It is also difficult to score goals, but you must make them as well. They are under constant pressure to do something to make a difference in a game.

English football has the advantage of having a lot of these types of players, but it is not luck that they can do so. That's what I have seen for myself.

Arsene Younger signed Glenn Hoddle to Monaco in 1987. It wasn't just the lifestyle that Glenn Hoddle took to Monte Carlo, but also the money. Hoddle writes that the number 10 position didn't exist anywhere in England, but was very important in France. It was similar to being a quarterback on an NFL team. There was a status attached.

"Technicians are prospering now"

For a while, our heads were buried in the sand, but we are now on par with the rest. The Premier League and the England teams are full of creative players.

This is where English football really excelled, thanks to foreign managers and players who came in the mid-1990s. This type of player, the technician, has flourished due to a change of playing style. Although it was a long process, we are now moving forward.

It is easy to understand why this happened. The game has changed. The pitches are stunning, but the rules have changed. We were forced to endure this way of lumping the ball. Why would we do that? It would be sacrilege.

Hoddle was one the Premier League's first managers, signing Ruud Gullit for Chelsea in 1995. Gullit stated to the BBC that he came to England because of Glenn in 2020. "He was, in the eyes of the Dutch," Gullit said.

We also made changes to the academy system a decade ago. You can see the results now. Foden and Mount were just beginning their journey back then. They have been raised with the same type of football that they play now, club and country.

It is working everywhere, as I explain in my book. It is easy to see the talent in England shirts across all age groups, as well as the senior side. And it will continue to grow.

The future looks bright. Gareth Southgate has to bring it all together in order to create a winning team.

England: Getting the balance right

Phil Foden made his senior England debut on September 2020. He has won 11 full caps and scored two goals.

Managers must find the right mix of people to succeed. Let me give you an example of how that happened in 1966. Bobby Charlton was the greatest footballer of all time, but he had Nobby Styles in his midfield to help England win their World Cup.

You can see the Champions League final from last season as an example of what went wrong. Manchester City, which I refer to as a balancing player or holding midfielder, decided against Chelsea for some reason.

This highlights how important midfield is. Foden must be an integral part in whatever England does next. He will soon be the greatest player this country has. He will be the best player in this country in two to three years.

Mason Mount is also a talented player, so we have a lot to work with over the next few years. Declan Rice should be a regular in the team, as well.

With these players, no matter who the opposition is, there's the right balance. I believe Rice will be crucial to Foden’s England career and vice versa.

Rice is more than a holding player. Mount and Foden are also creators and old-fashioned number 10, but they're both able to work hard and perform their defensive duties.

What does this mean for Grealish?

Guardiola was a massive factor' in Grealish joining Man City.

Jack is seen from the outside. His move to Manchester City allowed him to improve his game. He's already doing this by releasing the ball faster than he did at Aston Villa, because he has more options.

He will be able to balance his game in this area and I believe he will soon flourish. He can be left to England where he enjoys playing.

You could then play Mount or Foden as a number 10, and rotate them throughout the game. You don't need to tie Jack to any specific area, as Foden is able to operate anywhere. Jack can also float inside and it is very dangerous.

He was actually more central and I saw him play his best Villa games because it opens up the pitch for him.

Although he could eventually thrive in that environment, I believe he is still learning when to keep the ball at City. He was Villa's release man and had to carry the ball and draw the opposition players towards him.

He is now at City. If you overload against Jack in an attempt to stop him, it means Foden or De Bruyne are free. He must find a pass, not keep possession.

He has to be better at judging the right time to release it. However, I'm sure he will continue to improve his decision-making skills while he is in City.

Foden is a goal scorer in the modern game. He will even go as far as the six yard box to make sure he gets on the end of the ball.

Foden will be a mature player and I believe we will see him scoring a lot of goals for England. It is possible that I am wrong, but it will be great fun to find out.

Glenn Hoddle spoke to Chris Bevan, BBC Sport. This week, 'Playmaker" was released.