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Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 08:32 UK

World Cup 2010: Franz Beckenbauer criticises England

England draw 1-1 with the United States
England struggled against the US in their opening fixture on Saturday

Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer has been scathing in his criticism of England's playing style after their opening game at the World Cup.

While Fabio Capello's team laboured to a 1-1 draw with the United States, Germany crushed the Australians 4-0.

The former German captain, 64, said: "What I saw of the English against the US had very little to do with football.

"It looked to me as if the English have gone backwards into the bad old days of kick and rush."

Joachim Loew's German team have been one of the most impressive so far in South Africa, with the German newspaper, Bild, declaring: "We're going to blow you all away," after the opening win in Durban.

England, meanwhile, are hoping for an improvement in their forthcoming games against Algeria and Slovenia as, if they finish second in Group C, they could face the Germans in the second round.

Germany currently top Group D after their demolition of Australia but they still have to face Ghana and Serbia.

Mancunian Red

Beckenbauer, who captained his country to World Cup victory in 1974 and was the manager when they won in 1990, believes England's problems are the result of a shortage of talent in the Premier League.

"I am not sure if the England coach Fabio Capello can still change much there," he told South African newspaper the Times.

"The English are being punished for the fact that there are very few English players in the Premier League as clubs use better foreign players from all over the world."

Former international forward Peter Beardsley, who played for England in the 1990 World Cup semi-final when they were knocked out by Germany, said he agrees with Beckenbauer that England are suffering for the lack of domestic players in the Premier League.

But, he warned, the German should not be so quick to judge the team after only one performance at the World Cup.

"When you look at the way Germany played and the way we played, you would say he has got a point," he said. "But overall it is about getting to the final and although Germany were outstanding, there is nothing to say they will continue to be outstanding.

"He's right on one game, but overall time will tell."

Asked for his reaction to Beckenbauer's comments about the numbers of foreign players in English football, Beardsley added: "The Thierry Henrys, the Dennis Bergkamps, the Gianfranco Zolas of the past I don't have a problem with.

"But the ones that are probably clogging up the system, for me, are the next level down - the ones that are cheap at the time and might end up being great players."

Questions have also been raised regarding England's lack of preparation with the new Jabulani ball being used in South Africa.

The ball has been used in domestic football in Germany, France and Argentina since February, but not in England.

Altitude is another factor that has been affecting England's squad, with defender John Terry admitting last week that the players were taking time to adapt to the conditions.

England are based in Rustenburg, 1,403m above sea level, while Germany are playing their games at sea level in Durban.

England's Robert Green

Highlights - England 1-1 USA

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see also
Rooney back in England training
15 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Fifa puts faith in Jabulani ball
15 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Terry admits to altitude concerns
08 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Injured King out for three weeks
15 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Carragher backs Capello's methods
14 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
'Sorry' Green vows to bounce back
13 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Bradley delighted to hold England
13 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
King to miss Algeria with injury
12 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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