Hodgson's side not as good as England in the past 10 years - Barnes

The former Liverpool winger admits he has sympathy for Roy Hodgson and believes his current difficulties result from English players' lack of Champions League experience
Former Liverpool legend John Barnes believes England have suffered as a result of a lack of Champions League experience among the national team.

The winger won two league titles and two FA Cups at Anfield and collected 79 England caps, appearing in the squad when national team last made the semi-finals of a World Cup in 1990.

At 20 years old he scored the memorable opening goal in a 2-0 away win over Brazil, having started the game alongside Mark Chamberlain, father of current England international and Sunday’s goalscorer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Three Lions are currently second in Uefa World Cup 2014 qualification Group H, having drawn all three of their matches against their main rivals Poland, Ukraine and group leaders Montenegro, and Barnes believes the team need Champions League regulars to prosper at international level.

"Roy Hodgson no longer has the players," he told The Sun. "I have sympathy with Roy Hodgson as the make-up of his team, through no fault of his own, is not as good as in the last 10 years.

"Compare this team to five years ago with the so-called ‘golden era’. The Beckhams, Gerrards, Lampards, Coles and Owens were playing at the highest level for the top teams in England. Now the team is made of players not playing for the top clubs in England.

"That is going to work against the national team. You need players playing for the Chelseas, Arsenals, Uniteds and regularly in the Champions League, or the national team suffers."