Brazil legend Carlos Alberto maintains England players must 'improve their technique' if they are to compete with the best in the world.
New national team boss Fabio Capello feels he has the talent within the squad to lead a successful qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup and declared there was no reason why England should not be able to lift the trophy in South Africa.
However, the man who led Brazil to a victory over Italy in the 1970 final in Mexico - netting a famous goal - believes the likes of Steven Gerrard and company need to raise their game to another level.
'The most important thing that can happen to English players is that they improve their technique,' Alberto, 63, told BBC Sport.
'Technical skills like dribbling, good movement, the ability to pick a pass are key to breaking teams down - but you just don't see it when England play, their style is always the same.
'They never changed, they never improvised and they never improved. They put the high ball into the area and try to head it in, but they need to focus on more technical skills.'
Capello has promised to restore pride to the players when they pull on the Three Lions shirt.
However, Alberto believes there needs to be a complete rethink of their approach to the game.
'I also have the feeling that the England players need to change their mentality, the spirit with which they play football,' he declared. 'Sometimes they play as if they do not feel the game.
'I hope they understand these things and try to change because every other country changed a long time ago.'