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Oct 15, 2012

Marsh: England not world-class

Rodney Marsh has delivered a withering assessment of the England team, writing off the prospect of them having any chance in the next World Cup in Brazil.

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The one-time England and Manchester City forward said England lack anyone of the calibre of Glenn Hoddle, Paul Gascoigne or the retired Paul Scholes and claims he is deeply concerned by the national team lacks 's lack of style.

He said he fails to see a single world-class player in the squad - and that includes Wayne Rooney.

"After watching this new crop of players over the past few years it is patently obvious to me that we do not have the players to compete any more at the highest level," Marsh wrote in his column on Voice of Sport.

"We don't have a Hoddle or a Gascoigne or even a Paul Scholes type of player that can beat a world-class team with a stroke of pure genius on a consistent basis. We have less quality in most other areas of our team too.

"Style will always triumph over method and substance when it comes to winning the biggest of football trophies.

"I don't see one single young world-class footballer around the England camp and, by extension, anywhere in the Premier League. And with most big teams signing more and more foreign players, I do not see that changing any time soon.

"So you England fans get used to, at best, finishing runners up. It's all we have to look forward to."

Meanwhile, Gary Neville has told Wayne Rooney that he must challenge himself to improve as a player.

"At the age of 26, you always have to think that there's more to come," Neville told BBC Radio 5Live. "We need to see Wayne Rooney improve and he needs to see himself improve.

"He's a wonderful player, one that is at his best when he's like the street kid; fighting for every ball, taking every free kick, every throw-in, tackling and heading, fighting to win."

Neville, who won 85 caps for England, believes Rooney must learn from United veterans Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes how to adapt his game to become a better player.

"Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs have adapted their games," Neville said. "Ryan Giggs has gone from a flying left winger to someone who now plays off the front at inside left as well as central midfield.

"Paul Scholes was a goalscoring No. 10 player when he first started as a 16-year-old, now he's a holding midfield player who controls the game. You have to adapt. Rooney is still a centre forward, but he'll adapt over the next 10 years to become someone who's thought of in that same way as those two players."

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