Eric Dier says England can be “too honest and hard working at times” and must learn to be as “streetwise” as their international rivals.
Two years ago, as Roy Hodgson’s men crashed out at the group stage of the 2014 World Cup, Wayne Rooney suggested their style was “too honest” and needed the kind of “nastiness” and “clever” play exhibited by other international sides.
England, now captained by Rooney, are currently preparing for the European Championships that get under way next month, with a friendly against Australia on Friday representing the second of three warm-up games.
And utility man Dier, who looks set to play a key role for the Three Lions this summer, said: “I think international football is a bit different (to English club football).
“I grew up in Portugal where it’s quite similar and I don’t think it’s as aggressive – it’s got more of an intelligent edge.
“I think it’s important that we have that. A lot of European and international teams have that intelligent edge as much as an aggressive edge. We’ve got to be like that too.
“I don’t think they go around kicking people. They win fouls in clever places on the pitch, they keep possession, they know how to wind people up, they know how agitate people. We can’t fall for that and we can learn from that.
“Streetwise is the perfect way to put it. European teams and nations are like that.
“I think the English are a bit too honest, hard working at times.
“We need to be clever, but we don’t want to lose that English attitude either.”