By FOX SPORTS staff
After a respectable run to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012, Roy Hodgson must now guide England to a berth at the 2014 World Cup. However, the former West Brom manager's squad appears to be light on defensive stability, with the retirement of Chelsea skipper John Terry and the fracas involving Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand denying Hodgson the services of two of the best centre-backs in the Premier League.
Speaking to Absolute Radio, Wright criticized the current crop of English players for treating the opportunity of playing for the country too lightly.
"It's very disappointing because all I want for England is for them to do well. That's all you want - people to play for England, heart-on-sleeves stuff, go out there, tin hats and everything, go out and make the country proud. We must get to the finals in Brazil in 2014 because it's going to be an amazing World Cup and, once there, just give us a run for our money," he said.
"But we've got players retiring left, right and centre - not wanting to play, then they're saying, well, now I do want to play. England isn't a plaything, England isn't something you can pick up and put down when you want and that's what's disappointing. It's not a good message. You've got Ben Foster who has come back now after he turned his back on the international scene. Now it suits him to come back."
The former striker believed that most of the players eligible to don the Three Lions crest were content to limit their time to club football.
"England just don't seem to be the be-all and end-all any more, because there's so much money with the players. I remember it used to be something where, if you played for England, that put you on a bigger stage. So then sponsors and people would come in, because they knew you're nationally known," Wright remarked.
"Now you don't need to be nationally known because you get so much money from playing a couple of mediocre games in the Premier League and you get these unbelievable wages. England is not something that the players need because all that comes with England, in their eyes, is the pressure of having to perform."
England face Montenegro in a 2014 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, with a chance to top Group H on offer for Hodgson's team.