Alberto hits out at lack of technique shown by England

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The Independent Football

Carlos Alberto maintains England players must "improve their technique" if they are to compete with the best in the world.

Fabio Capello feels he has the talent within the squad to lead a successful qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup and said that there was no reason why England should not be able to lift the trophy in South Africa. However, the man who led Brazil to a victory over Italy in the 1970 final in Mexico scoring a famous goal believes the likes of Steven Gerrard and company need to raise their game to another level.

"The most important thing that can happen to English players is that they improve their technique," Alberto, 63, said. "Technical skills like dribbling, good movement, the ability to pick a pass are key to breaking teams down but you just don't see it when England play, their style is always the same. They never changed, they never improvised and they never improved.

"They put the high ball into the area and try to head it in, but they need to focus on more technical skills."

Capello has promised to restore pride to the players when they pull on the Three Lions shirt. However, Alberto believes there needs to be a complete rethink of their approach to the game.

"I also have the feeling that the England players need to change their mentality, the spirit with which they play football," he said. "Sometimes they play as if they do not feel the game. I hope they understand these things and try to change because every other country changed a long time ago."

Capello's appointment has been described as a "big disappointment" by the League Managers' Association vice-chairman, Frank Clark. The recruitment of Capello means he will become the LMA's non-executive chairman, but Clark pulled no punches.

"It's a big disappointment to us," he said. "They [the Football Association] consider there are no English coaches of a sufficient standard to be on a shortlist of five and that's worrying for the game. How can the FA complain about the lack of English players in the Premier League with any credibility now they've gone down this route? It's a concern for the whole game. The FA should be more than just about the national team winning games."