David Bentley: 'England's expectations hold the team back'

David Bentley in action for Tottenham Hotspur on July 11, 2011.
© Getty Images
David Bentley claims that England's chances are hampered by the unrealistic expectations placed upon them in major tournaments.

David Bentley believes that England players struggle due to the demands placed on them when they take to the field for the Three Lions.

The former Tottenham Hotspur and Blackburn Rovers star, who retired from football earlier this summer, claimed that the likes of Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley are among the most talented youngsters in world football.

However, Bentley thinks that the Three Lions stars are continually held back by crippling expectations.

He told the Daily Mail: "You look at Ross Barkley or Raheem Sterling; do you think Neymar or James Rodriguez are much better? Are they genetically built better? Or is it just in their mind?

"When Neymar or Rodriguez go out on the field they're relaxed. They love to play, with their heart. Young English players are mentally polluted so they can't express themselves.

"England will always struggle at major tournaments until somebody comes in to change the whole system. I played at every England youth level going and it was exactly the same."

Roy Hodgson's side were knocked out of the World Cup at the group stage after picking up just one point.

David Bentley in action for Tottenham Hotspur on July 11, 2011.
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