Beckenbauer: Capello's England has gone backwards

Published Jun. 15, 2010 3:39 p.m. EDT

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 could ``still change much there.''

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

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


That will be fine, according to England defender Matthew Upson, if it delivers the World Cup.

``If we are accused of kicking and runnning and we win something then I don't think we will take it into account. We will play the football that suits us best,'' Upson said Tuesday. ``If we win matches, we will play the style according to that.''

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. Mario Zagallo won a World Cup with Brazil as a player and a coach.

``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.''