Former Liverpool captain and current Bayer Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia has said some of the passion has gone missing from the Premier League.
Hyypia, who spent a decade at Anfield, will get a close-up view of English players and fans when he takes his Leverkusen side to Manchester United on Tuesday in the opening game of the Champions League group stage.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the giant Finn also suggested the focus of players in England may not be right.
He said: "I saw a few games recently and I wondered if they were trying hard enough, somehow the passion was not there.
"Maybe it (the English game) has developed in the wrong direction, that when a player goes somewhere and he is earning £200,000 a week, he is happy just to get the money.
"Maybe the focus of playing football is the second most important thing. Maybe players are not working hard, not putting their heart into the game."
Hyypia endeared himself to the Anfield faithful as he consistently produced committed, yet cultured, performances but questioned what has happened to the game, saying: "This was always the trademark of the English game - the tempo was high and there were tackles. But this time I was thinking: 'What's happening?'"
Both managers will be making their managerial debut in the Champions League group stages on Tuesday as Hyypia battles it out with David Moyes, but the Leverkusen boss has admitted the transition into management has not been a simple one.
He added: "As a player it was much easier. You came to training half an hour before, somebody told you what to do, and after training you headed home to the shower and went home.
"Now you have to plan, instruct, think constantly about the next day, the next week, the next game. It's wonderful that I was given this case."
Like United, Leverkusen warmed up for Tuesday's tie with a home win at the weekend as a double from Stefan Kiessling helped them onto a 3-1 win over Bundesliga rivals Wolfsburg.
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