Peter Beardsley agrees with Franz Beckenbauer that England are suffering for the lack of domestic players in the Barclays Premier League - but feels the Germany legend should not be so quick to judge the team after only one performance at the World Cup.
Beckenbauer has accused Fabio Capello's side of playing a "kick and rush" style of football which the Italian will struggle to improve, and believes they are being hampered by a preference for foreign talent in the English top flight.
The 64-year-old, who won the World Cup with his country as captain in 1974 and coach in 1990, saw the current Germany team get their campaign in South Africa under way with an impressive 4-0 win over Australia on Sunday, 24 hours after England made a disappointing start by recording a 1-1 draw with the United States.
Beardsley, who played for England in the 1990 semi-final where they were knocked out by the Germans, thinks Beckenbauer is right about the impact of foreign players in the Premier League on the Three Lions.
But although Beardsley admitted England were "unspectacular" against the USA, the former Liverpool forward does not share Beckenbauer's view that the team's performances are unlikely to get any better under Capello.
"When you look at the way Germany played and the way we played (at the weekend) you would say he has got a point," Beardsley told Press Association Sport.
"But overall it is about getting to the final and although Germany were outstanding, there is nothing to say they will continue to be outstanding.
"He's right on one game, but overall time will tell."
Asked for his reaction to Beckenbauer's comments about the numbers of foreign players in English football, Beardsley added: "I wouldn't argue with that.
"I have no problem with the top players being here - Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba. But without being disrespectful, the average ones are the ones causing the problem because, through no fault of their own, managers go out and buy cheaper versions of the top (English) players.
"The prices are better abroad and there are no work permit issues now in the main.
"The Thierry Henrys, the Dennis Bergkamps, the Gianfranco Zolas of the past I don't have a problem with. But the ones that are probably clogging up the system, for me, are the next level down - the ones that are cheap at the time and might end up being great players."
England drew 1-1 against the Republic of Ireland in their first group game in 1990 before making it to the last four and Beardsley feels there is no major cause for concern yet about the prospects for Capello's team in the competition.
"Until you get to the knockout stage, I don't think anybody really knows how the team are going to perform," he said.
"I've been in teams where we started slowly and got better, so it's a case of getting through the group and then taking whatever comes - hopefully on the day we will beat whoever is in front of us."
Wayne Rooney looked subdued by his normal standards against the USA but Beardsley is confident the Manchester United striker will find his form again as the tournament progresses.
"I don't think he's looking bad considering that about a month ago we were wondering about him being fit when he had the ankle injury," Beardsley said.
"I'm not worried and I think when it matters is in the knockout stages, Wayne will be more than ready."Reuse content