England manager Fabio Capello is being hampered by the fact contemporary players care much more about their club careers than their international careers, according to former Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield Wednesday boss David Pleat.
With reports of ructions in the camp after Friday evening's shambolic draw with Algeria, Capello is currently facing a real test of his management skills.
Pleat feels that the attitudes of modern players only serve to complicate a diffcult and volatile situation.
"I think the players in this country have been well protected by the clubs, making the (England) shirt less important to them," Pleat told BBC Radio 5Live.
"Their desire to play for their country is not what it was years ago. It doesn't mean as much and that's a shame. Their clubs are the most important things in their lives.
"We have some very single-minded, self-confident players within the group who know they've played rather poorly.
"Bobby Robson knew how to work the English players and Capello comes from a different culture, but there will always be pressure and arguments when a team isn't doing well."
Pleat does feel though that the Three Lions can beat Slovenia to reach the second round, emulating the squads of 1986 and 1990 who started poorly only to have relatively successful campaigns.
"I think we'll come through this but it's interesting that it's the European teams who have had problems while the South Americans have taken to the tournament with real joy," he added.
"We have got very good players but I think we over-hype them - and the influx of foreign players has stunted the progress of youngsters.
"Not enough players are challenging to come through. They are not getting the chance early in their careers and that's because we are still obsessed with foreign players."