David James hails unspectacular but tactically sound England

The former Three Lions goalkeeper admits that while Roy Hodgson's tournament strategy isn't the most spectacular, it is the perfect approach for potential Euro 2012 success
Former England goalkeeper David James has lauded the rigid system employed by Roy Hodgson, claiming that it is the perfect model for tournament success.

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."