Print and go back ESPNsoccernet: Euro 2008 Soccernet Print

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 22.

'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 is harsh.

He agrees, however, that there is a lack of communication in the current squad.

'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 football.'




ESPNsoccernet: Help | Media Kit | Contact Us | Site Map | Tools | Jobs at ESPN | Supplier Information | Copyright ©2014 ESPN Internet Ventures.
Terms of Use (Updated 5/6/08), and Privacy Policy and Safety Information/Your California Privacy Rights are applicable to you. All rights reserved.