Matt Le Tissier interview: Why England are struggling to compete, questioning Hodgson and why he would choose Rickie Lambert over Danny Welbeck

Over 500 appearances for Southampton, 8 caps for the England senior side and more than 200 goals in his career, and Matt Le Tissier was kind enough to talk to us at Football Friends on how he feels about the national team.

Matt Le Tissier believes the England national team is suffering due to the low volume of English players in the Premier League. 

Questioned about the development of English players, The former Southampton favourite said “It is very difficult, because if you don’t get the volume of [English] players to choose from you are not going to get the quality through, and I don’t think it is possible to change the laws because of EU regulations.”

“You can’t specify a certain amount of your team have to be English, so whilst we have a brilliant product in the Premier League which goes global, yes it’s brilliant, but at the same time we will not be able to compete internationally where we used to say 20 years ago.”

Le Tissier also feels that Rickie lambert was overlooked at international level due to being at a lower placed Premier League team.

“Even with the injuries Roy Hodgson had with the forwards in the last few squads he still didn’t call up Rickie Lambert.”

“I think Frank Lampard was the only English player to score more goals than him in the Premier League season, so you would have thought that he (Lambert) would be in with a shout.” 

“If someone said to me, would you rather have a forward in your squad who has scored 15 goals in his first season in the Premier League or would you rather have a young lad who can run around and score once in 38 games for the team that won the Premier League title. No brainer for me.Asked directly if the decision to overlook players from lower placed teams, in the Premier League was due to Hodgson or an inherent factor, Le Tissier added, “It seems to be an inherent thing.”

“It is almost like England managers think ‘well he’s not playing for a big club, he can’t be that good of a player’, and it’s not always the case.”

“I think down the years we have struggled to come away from that attitude unfortunately.”

Matt Le Tissier was speaking at the Samsung Experience Store, Westfield, Stratford, at the launch of Samsung Win A Pro Contract, a nationwide competition where amateur footballers can win one-year professional contracts at Swindon Town, Leyton Orient and Wycombe Wanderers. Register for a trial at