Ray Parlour hopes England “have a real go” at Euro 2016 and welcomed the competition for places in Roy Hodgson’s starting XI.
England face Russia, Wales and Slovakia in Group B of the European Championship, a tournament they are fourth favourites to win with the bookmakers.
Speaking at the launch of his autobiography ‘The Romford Pele’, former Arsenal midfielder Parlour urged manager Hodgson to take an attacking approach in France.
“I’m excited about England,” he told Omnisport. “Hopefully they will have a good tournament. They have got good young players.
“I just hope Roy goes there and has a real go – the players he’s got are fantastic. It’s great that you are going to the tournament not really knowing the personnel to put in the team.
“That means there’s a lot of competition for places, which is a healthy situation for Roy. He’s got to get the right system, players playing in the right positions.”
Hodgson oversaw a group-stage exit after two defeats and a goalless draw at the 2014 World Cup, but Parlour expects the Three Lions to produce an improved showing, potentially equipping them to do better at the next global tournament in Russia.
He said: “If they do fail at the quarter-final or semi-final stages, at least they can say, ‘in two years’ time we’ll be better with the young players we’ve got’.
“You can learn that experience from being in a big tournament situation.”
England’s Euro 2016 campaign starts against Russia in Marseille on Saturday.