Michael Ballack has voiced his opinion on the reason behind England’s constant failure on the international stage.
The former Chelsea and Germany star has a wealth of experience when it comes to international football and winning trophies (albeit at club level) so he should know a thing or two as it relates.
Ballack, despite playing in the 2002 World Cup final, never won anything with Germany. But his advice to England does seem sound. Speaking ahead of the Three Lions’ friendly against Germany on Friday, the ex-midfielder pointed out that there is no real strategist in England’s midfield.
“This is where the English team are missing some class to take them to the next level. But the lack of a strategist at the heart of their play is holding them back. England need only to look on their own doorstep for the type of player I am talking about.”
Ballack used Manchester City’s recent form as an example, noting that Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva’s midfield prowess has been key to their success.
“Manchester City are top of the Premier League, in large part due to the match-winning exploits of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva,” he added. “These are the type of players England needs –matching technical ability with flawless vision.
“They are also the type of players who excel under pressure, which can be an issue for England.”
The 41-year-old also reckons that the Three Lions simply need to break through the barrier of expectation to begin an era of success.
“The level of expectation on England whenever a big tournament rolls around seems to get bigger every time,” he continued. “It can weigh heavily on a team and inhibit them. In Germany, we have more positive experiences with this type.
“We have won four World Cup finals and lost finals. This experience in such high-stakes games has made it easier for us. There is no lack of top talents in England and Germany.”