• World Cup

German blueprint too much for England - Neville

ESPN staff
July 14, 2014
Neville was one of Roy Hodgson's assistants as England crashed out of the World Cup at the group stage © Getty Images

Gary Neville has claimed it would be almost impossible for England to replicate Germany's blueprint for World Cup success.

Germany sealed the 2014 tournament with an extra-time goal to defeat Argentina 1-0 in Sunday's final, with head coach Joachim Loew claiming the victory was the culmination of a 10-year effort to develop a group of players capable of lifting the trophy.

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But Neville, who was part of Roy Hodgson's coaching set-up with England in Brazil, suggested the English system is not suited to nurturing home-grown talent.

"People who write - 'England should follow the German route' are oblivious to the obstacle or believe in magic wands!" Neville tweeted.

When one of Neville's Twitter followers suggested Germany's 10-year plan indicated they believed in hard work and not "magic wands," Neville replied: "No but a holistic approach! Won't happen here."

Six of the Germany squad crowned world champions on Sunday were part of the team that beat England 4-0 at the European Under-21 Championships in June 2009. By contrast, just one player who featured in England's XI for that match - James Milner - was in Roy Hodgson's squad in Brazil.

England endured a miserable World Cup and were eliminated at the group stage after just two games, while Germany impressed throughout the tournament and enjoyed a spectacular 7-1 demolition of hosts Brazil in their semi-final last week.

And the winning goal in Sunday's final was scored by 22-year-old Mario Goetze, who Loew hailed as better than Lionel Messi after his expert finish in the second-half of extra time.

Much was made of England's youthful squad in Brazil, the country's second-youngest ever at a World Cup finals. But Neville admitted that developing youngsters in the Premier League is a difficult task.

"Course it would be great to follow that route but you may as well at present say 'England needs weather like Spain'," he tweeted.

"We are going to have to find our way of doing it because the system we have doesn't allow us to adopt the German route in its entirety."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger meanwhile, has criticised England for failing to take their chances in attack and then being too porous in defence during their disappointing World Cup campaign.

Wenger also said that England had shown a lack of maturity and mental strength, crumbling every time they came under pressure.

"I think the biggest problem for England in the World Cup was that in their strong periods of a match they never took advantage of their domination and in their weak periods of the game they would always concede straightaway with a goal," Wenger said in an interview with beIN Sports.

"That's something that you cannot do when you are in the weak periods of the game. If you start to panic, your opponent will make you pay.

"For me, whenever England came under pressure, they always looked likely to concede. Also I think the tournament showed that in big important periods of the game they have sometimes lacked quality. Of course the potential is there, but they lack maturity and they lack balance between the offensive and defensive."

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