Cesc Fabregas has said England have “seemed scared” and warned they need to play with the handbrake off if they want to advance past Germany.
The two time European championship winner has had his say on Gareth Southgate’s side and believes that they need to change their approach in order to win the competition.
England face Germany at Wembley on Tuesday in their last 16 clash after finishing top of Group D with a 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic.
Fabregas spoke to The Telegraph about England and harked back to his Arsenal days to share advice given by Arsene Wenger that he believes is appropriate for the Three Lions.
He said: “As Arsene would say to us at Arenal, I just feel that Gareth Southgate’s team are playing with the handbrake on,
“Portugal proved that it is possible to win a major tournament with the handbrake on at the last Euros. You never know and if you are lucky in seven games, you can do it.
“But, generally, I believe you are more likely to eventually get knocked out this way.”
The Monaco midfielder also questioned if England are in the right headspace saying that they have “tension” in their heads and “seem scared”, but believes Harry Maguire can help to rectify the issue.
He said: “I would like to see England take more risks and play with more freedom, and the return of Harry Maguire can help that because he can break lines by carrying the ball forwards or finding a pass.
“Up until now, they have seemed a little bit scared and like they have some tension in their heads.”
The Germans have had a mixed campaign at Euro 2020 so far, drawing two games and winning once in the so called ‘group of death’.
Fabregas said that despite not knowing which Germany will show up on Tuesday, England must play at their very best in order to progress.
The former Barcelona star said: “The tournament so far has told us it is difficult to know which Germany will turn up: will it be the team that lost to France and were very lucky against Hungary, or will it be the team that beat Portugal?
“Whichever Germany arrives at Wembley, England must prepare as though they will need to be at their very best and they will need to dominate the midfield a little bit more because they have been too passive.
“England are such a powerful squad, full of energy. They should just free themselves a bit more with all the very talented players they have.”