Current England crop no match for 'golden generation', says Dyer


Kieron Dyer says England's Euro 2016 squad is no match for the so-called 'golden generation' that he played in during the 2000s.

Roy Hodgson's side are in France ahead of their bid to end a 50-year wait for a major international trophy.

But Dyer, who earned 33 caps for his country, believes Joe Hart is the only player who can be considered world class in the current side, which the former Newcastle United midfielder says does not compare to the teams he played in that included the likes of David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole.

Speaking exclusively to Carlsberg, Dyer said: "When us lot went to the 2002 World Cup and 2004 Euro Championships we had a team of world-class players. 

"We had Gary Neville who's one of the best right-backs we've ever had, Ashley Cole who was the best left-back in the world, Sol Campbell and John Terry who were both world class. 

"In midfield we had Beckham, [Paul] Scholes, Lampard and Gerrard, all world-class players. Up front we had a young Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen. I've just reeled off 10 world-class players.

"With this team Rooney isn't world class anymore with age catching up with him so maybe we have Joe Hart who is and that's it. The rest are very good players with the potential to be world class.

"Because of their age and because they haven't played much Champions League football yet you cannot compare this squad to that squad. They were called the 'golden generation' for a reason."

However, Dyer is not writing off England's chances and believes the Three Lions, who possess one of the youngest squads at the tournament, can emulate the Manchester United side of 1995, who went on to win the Premier League title despite a damning assessment from former BBC pundit Alan Hansen that "you can't win anything with kids".

"Because they're so young and have the potential to be world class this England team reminds me of when Manchester United won the league and Alan Hansen said you win nothing with kids," he added. 

"Back then Scholes and Beckham weren't considered world class but look what happened."

Kieron Dyer met England fans at The Three Lions pub in Newcastle as part of Carlsberg's 'Pubstitutions' campaign.