Former England skipper Mike Atherton says Andrew Flintoff's "matey" style of leadership was partly to blame for the Test series draw with Sri Lanka.
Flintoff led England in India and in three Tests against Sri Lanka
And Atherton believes England miss the ruthless streak of Michael Vaughan, who is out of action through injury.
"What England needed in the aftermath of the Ashes was somebody to focus minds and crack heads together," Atherton told the Daily Mirror.
"Flintoff is an amiable man and his style of captaincy reflected that."
Flintoff, who stepped in as skipper after Vaughan hurt his knee in India, is himself out of the one-day series with Sri Lanka with a sore ankle.
Opener Andrew Strauss acts as cover and Atherton reckons Flintoff's injury could be a blessing in disguise.
Atherton, who has captained England in more Tests than anyone, added: "The only positive benefit of the injury to Flintoff may be the end of his captaincy ambitions.
"The mateyness the team has displayed towards the opposition over the last month suggests the ruthless intent of last summer has been lacking."
England play a one-day international against Ireland in Belfast on Tuesday before a Twenty20 game against Sri Lanka on Thursday and the five-match NatWest Series.