German legend Franz Beckenbauer insists he was misquoted over taunts towards England during the World Cup.
Immediately after their opening match Beckenbauer was quoted saying: “And what I saw from England in their 1-1 draw with the USA had very little to do with football. It seems to me the English had gone back to the bad old times of kick and rush.”
Now Beckenbauer says that he had been misquoted and gave me a fuller explanation of what has happened to English football, claiming that he felt Capello had made great strides during qualification and yet went backwards in South Africa.
“When I saw the English team before Fabio Capello took over, I thought they were not like the English sides I played against,” he said. “They were not running and fighting any more. I thought, what has happened?”
He admits that, like many, he believed Capello had rediscovered the England Beckenbauer knew.
“Capello is one of the most experienced coaches in the world and he seemed to change the style of the English team: more practical, better organised and disciplined. He had a personality and he gave the players the orders. But I was disappointed in how they performed.”
As good as the Italian is and despite his record, Beckenbauer worries about the use of foreign coaches by England.
“You never bring in a foreign coach unless he is part of the development,” he claims. “I can see a time when Germany may have a foreign coach but it must be part of an overall development. I remember England 40 years ago was one of the few countries where you were not allowed to bring in foreign players.”