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“The English have gone backwards” – Franz Beckenbauer

Jun. 09, 2010 - Erasmia, South Africa - epa02193689 Franz Beckenbauer, member of the FIFA Executive Committee, speaks during a press conference of the German national soccer team at Velmore Grand Hotel in Erasmia near Pretoria, South Africa, 09 June 2010. The German team prepares for the FIFA World Cup 2010 that starts on 11 June 2010.

By Ross Mackiewicz.

Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer has held back no punches with his criticism of England’s style of play under Fabio Capello. The Three Lions were held to a one all draw last Saturday after Robert Greens goalkeeping mistake awarded the Americans with their equaliser. The English were frustrated for large parts of the game and found it difficult to convert their chances into goals.

Twenty-four hours later and the Germans were dismantling Australia with some of the most fluid and articulate football of the tournament so far. They went on to win the game 4-0 with their front line of Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose and Thomas Muller impressing with the lively Mesut Ozil of Turkish descent playing just behind them as he illustrated his attributes with some impressive technical play.

Beckenbauer, a double World Cup winner as a player in 1974 and as a coach in 1990 has been heavily critical of England’s performance insisting he saw little football played and that they are paying the consequences for the lack of home-grown talent in the Premier League.

“What I saw from the English had very little to do with football.” Beckenbauer told South African newspaper, The Times.

“It looked to me as if the English have gone backwards into the old times of kick and rush.”

“I am not sure if Capello can still change much there. The English are being punished for the fact that there are very few English players in the Premier League as they use better foreign players from all over the world.”

Capello will agree with the ‘Kaiser’ about the lack of English talent for him to survey thanks to the foreign influx in England’s top flight as he’s publicly bemoaned this fact himself, but the remarks about his style of play are sure to annoy the fiery Italian.

Both teams could potentially meet in the last sixteen if either team finishes 1st and 2nd in their group. After only one game played at this FIFA World Cup will the German legend be left to rue his remarks come the end of the tournament?

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