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Hamann: England pick players on reputation

ESPN staff
November 19, 2013 « Germany stars take Tube to training | Chartbeat test »
Dietmar Hamann feels the Paul Gascoigne situation is something England should not repeat © Getty Images
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Former Liverpool midfielder and German international Dietmar Hamann believes players have been selected for England because of their reputation, and will never be able to play as a team.

Hamann, who made 59 appearances for his country in eight years, feels England will never be a great nation if they continue to adopt this policy of picking players who just think about themselves.

In his book The Didi Man, which is being serialised by the Daily Mirror, the 40-year-old said: "I look at the England team in the last few years and for me, they haven't picked a team, just picked players with the biggest reputation.

"I thought under [Fabio] Capello that would change, he would look at what worked best as a team - but it didn't change and you saw at the last World Cup certain players were only thinking of themselves.

"It was a situation where some players didn't even want to be there. But I think if you look at Roy Hodgson, he is doing a great job of at least creating a team spirit and making everyone feel together again."

Hamann also suggested that how England idolised Paul Gascoigne is something that needs to be looked at by the country.

"What I said in the book was that Paul Gascoigne epitomises why England can't progress. It's not personal, and in no way am I knocking him, but I used it as an example," he said.

"In recent years, that 1990 team was the best England have had and they should have beaten Germany in the semi-final - they showed they were capable of winning the World Cup.

"Gascoigne returned a hero from that tournament, but I said that in Germany he would be persona non grata - he would have created a national scandal.

"He went to pieces as he realised in the semi after being booked that if England won he would play no part in the World Cup final. The game was still tied and a job still needed to be done, his only thought should have been, 'What can I do for my team?'

"But when the game went to a penalty shoot-out, Gascoigne decided he wasn't in the right frame of mind to take one and in that moment it was all about him as an individual and the way he was feeling. It was nothing to do with his duty to the team - and it really needs to be."

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