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Jan 31, 2013

Barnes: England won't win World Cup

Former England international John Barnes has criticised the current England squad as lacking the depth of talent to win next year's World Cup in Brazil.

Barnes, who featured 79 times for the Three Lions, was scathing in his criticism, claiming the current generation was not up to standard against the heavyweights of international football, a crisis which has plagued the England team since their last World Cup triumph in 1966.

"I don't buy into this talk that we should have won something," Barnes noted. "If you say who should win a World Cup, and look at the best team, England haven't been it, so why should they win?"

"England have the potential to win things but it is very difficult because everyone wants to win a trophy. If you play Brazil or Spain, the chances are you will lose.

"The most significant thing for me is that this is a new England. This one has lots of young, inexperienced players and it is going to be a while before they are able to realise their potential."

England currently sit second in its qualifying group stage for Brazil 2014, two points behind surprise leader Montenegro and Barnes is calling for the usually success driven public to temper its expectations should the squad reach the finals.

"To me, getting knocked out in the semis or quarter-finals is maximising the potential of the England team," he said.

"I wouldn't want to put too much expectation on England winning this World Cup or doing well in it."

Current England manager Roy Hodgson will on Thursday announce his squad to play Brazil in a friendly, with Chelsea fullback Ashley Cole expected to join England's 100-club.

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