Cesc Fabregas harked back to advice he received from Arsene Wenger as he instructed England on how to approach their Euro 2020 encounter with Germany.
The Three Lions welcome their old rivals to Wembley on Tuesday in the last 16 of the competition in what is their first clash in almost four years.
Neither side set the world alight in the group stage, with Germany drawing two of their three games and England managing just two goals.
Fabregas claims Gareth Southgate must alter his conservative approach for the knockout stage, citing the warning he once received from former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
“As Arsene would say to us at Arsenal, I just feel that Gareth Southgate’s team are playing with the handbrake on,” the former Gunners midfielder told the Daily Telegraph .
“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.”
Fabregas also explained why Harry Maguire’s return to fitness could prove crucial if England boss Southgate looks to play a more expansive brand of football.
Maguire started the 1-0 victory over Czech Republic on Tuesday after missing one-and-a-half months with an ankle injury.
Fabregas added: “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.
Do England need to come out of their cage to beat Germany in the last 16? Have your say in the comments.
“Up until now, they have seemed a little bit scared and like they have some tension in their heads.”
Fabregas, 34, won the European Championship with Spain in 2008 and 2012, and declared England “should not be fearing” Germany.
The Monaco 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.
“Of course, they can lose playing that way, but I believe their best chance of winning will be to release the handbrake.”