||ESPNsoccernet: Euro 2008
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Beckenbauer blasts 'school team' England
Franz Beckenbauer has labelled England a 'school team' who lack both spirit
and leadership on the pitch.
Steve McClaren's side face the embarrassment of failing to qualify for Euro
2008 after their 2-1 defeat in Russia earlier this month left the situation out
of their hands.
But German legend Beckenbauer believes he noticed worrying habits already
ingrained in the team when his country won a friendly 2-1 at Wembley on August
'It was like a school team, they were not talking and not supporting,' he
told BBC Sport of England's performance that night.
'That was for me the biggest surprise. There is no life in this team.'
He added: 'The first time I played against England in 1965, then the World
Cup in 1966, there was always a certain spirit.'
Former England manager Graham Taylor - in charge the last time the Three Lions
failed to qualify for a major finals in 1994 - believes Beckenbauer's assessment
He agrees, however, that there is a lack of communication in the current
'I think there is life in the team but I understand where he's coming from,'
Taylor told BBC Radio 5 Live.
'There isn't a Tony Adams, a Stuart Pearce, a Paul Gascoigne, who, as well as
playing with their feet, played with their mouths as well.
'That is one of the things the present England team are short of - I don't
think they are loud enough.'
Taylor believes some of the players suffer from a change of character when
they play for their country.
He added: 'You very rarely see an England player bawl out one of his
colleagues in an international game. You do see them do that in club