Beckenbauer: Capello`s England has gone backwards

Johannesburg: Germany great Franz Beckenbauer says England has "gone backwards" under coach Fabio Capello and the team`s discouraging start to the World Cup has occurred partly because of a lack of domestic talent in the Premier League.

Beckenbauer, in a column for South Africa`s The Times newspaper, said he didn`t think Capello "can still change much there."

England got off to a bright start against the United States on Saturday, taking the leading after four minutes. But England allowed an equalizer for a 1-1 draw when goalkeeper Robert Green spilled a shot by Clint Dempsey and the ball rolled across the line.

"What I saw of the English against the USA had very little to do with football," Beckenbauer, the only man to win the World Cup as both player and manager, said. "It looked to me as if the English have gone backwards into the bad old days of kick and rush."

Beckenbauer was part of the West Germany side that lost the 1966 final to England and later was captain of the team to win the 1974 World Cup in Munich. He was coach of the Germany team that won the 1990 World Cup in Italy, overcoming England in the semifinals and Argentina in the final.

"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," Beckenbauer said.

Beckenbauer`s comments were published widely in the British media, with The Times carrying a report under the headline: "Franz Beckenbauer puts the boot into `kick and rush` England."


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