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Barnes: Rooney our only world star

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16 Oct 2013 12:31:54

Barnes: Rooney our only world star

John Barnes sounded a note of caution amid the celebrations at England's World Cup qualification.

A 2-0 win over Poland at Wembley on Tuesday night saw Roy Hodgson's men book their tickets to Brazil with top spot in Group H, but Barnes warned that England do not have the class to consider themselves contenders next summer.

"Wayne (Rooney) is our own only truly world-class player," the former England winger told talkSPORT. "Andros Townsend played well but we're not going to win the World Cup by just getting down the wings and putting crosses in."

Barnes argued that England need to concentrate on developing strong defensive midfielders to complement the attacking talent in the side, but said there is not enough time to unearth one before the tournament kicks off in Brazil.

"We have to develop different types of players rather than just wingers who can get down the line or attacking midfield players," Barnes said.

Former England captain Terry Butcher hailed Tuesday night's performance as England's best of the qualifying campaign, coming when they most needed it with only victory good enough at Wembley.

"In the Montenegro game we were very good against a stubborn team, but Poland are much better so it was the best performance for me," Butcher said.

Butcher joined those heaping praise on young Tottenham winger Townsend, who only made his England debut against Montenegro on Friday.

"He's come from nowhere when you think about it," Butcher said. "He's worked hard on his game but he's burst on to the international scene in the last week and had a massive impact. I can't think of a better debut since Gazza (Paul Gascoigne) all those years ago.

"Roy Hodgson takes great credit for playing him. It's always hard if you have a great performance to replicate it again a few days on but England did that."

Prime Minister David Cameron had led the applause for Hodgson's side immediately after the final whistle.

"Proud to see England qualify for the World Cup in Brazil," he Tweeted.

Former England international Rio Ferdinand joined those praising Hodgson's men.

"Qualifying campaign completed....onto Brazil!" said the Manchester United defender, who retired from international duty earlier this year.


PA

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