(Reuters) - England's coaches need to take the blame for local players' stodgy, workmanlike football, having made them terrified of making mistakes by stifling their creativity, according to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.
Rodgers, whose team lie second in the Premier League, also criticised the English Football Association's (FA) new coaching hub St George's Park as a facility "without a philosophy".
"I wouldn't want to disrespect any (England) coach that has taken the players. But I went into football initially to try and make a difference to the British players, who were told they were not technically good enough or couldn't pass," Rodgers told British media.
"I've thought for years and years that British players are technically as good as their European counterparts. I've worked with kids of five years of age in community schemes, and some of the biggest players in the world, at Chelsea and here, and I've felt that Brits can play football.
"I would say talent can be coached out of players, absolutely.
"It's just fear. It is easier to get rid of the ball than to pass it, and I understand that as a coach you need to win games, so you smash the ball up the pitch so you don't lose your job.
"But don't then say that is the type of player we have in this country because it is not.
"Boys here know how to pass. We need to stop blaming the players because it is not their fault. The problem is the coaching."
Rodgers said that England had also failed to encourage coaches who nurtured their players' creative instincts and that the 'visionaries' were toiling away in lower leagues.
St George's Park's state-of-the-art facilities had also failed to remedy the situation.
"Does St George's eradicate the problem? I don't think it does," the Northern Irishman added.
"You can have all the facilities in the world - and it is a brilliant facility - but without a philosophy, it doesn't matter.
"You can have the best pitches in the world. You can have medical centres and sports science but if you don't have a philosophy and an identity, then it doesn't matter." (Writing by Ian Ransom; editing by Patrick Johnston)