With the Three Lions preparing for their quarter-final clash with Italy in Kiev on Sunday, some fans have criticised the defensive nature of the 64-year-old's new look squad.
But James, who made 53 appearances for his country, insists that while England's revamped style may not be the most eye-catching, it makes the team hard to beat.
"Hodgson's tactics are not the most spectacular, but they work," David James told AS.
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"When we played against France and saw two clear lines of four [England] players on the edge of the area I thought it would be very difficult to get ahead.
"Only two of the last few games have been won by more than one goal difference. But that the 1-0 model works is undeniable. Being well tucked back and take advantage of set-pieces are our weapons."
James also expressed his delight at avoiding Spain in the quarter-finals after Hodgson's men topped Group D, but warned fans and players alike against complacency ahead of a tough match-up against the Azzurri.
"We feel lucky we don't have to play against Spain in quarter finals, but Italy will be a tough team," James insisted.
"Against Sweden, we left very critical gaps in defence, despite the amount of players back, and it could have damaged us a lot if they had been exploited.
"But against Italy, it will be difficult."