Tottenham Hotspur’s Dutch manager Martin Jol believes England have a better team than Holland and expects them to be among the contenders to win the World Cup.

“I think if England play at the top of their game they are a better side (than Holland),” Jol told reporters on Thursday after the final round of World Cup qualifiers. “But they didn’t do that and we did.”

England and Holland won their respective groups although the Dutch remained unbeaten in what appeared on paper to be a tougher group. However, Jol believes England will pose a threat at next year’s finals than.

“They are still moaning in Holland because they had two draws against Macedonia,” said Jol.

“But I think that is good because if you want to create top players you have to be very, very critical and honest.

“I think you can judge (the potential of the Dutch team) when they play against the likes of Argentina and Brazil and England because, like England, Holland did not play in the best group.”

Asked if the nine-place gap in the world rankings between the Netherlands in second and England was justified, Jol said: “It’s because they haven’t lost for 15 games and then you go (up) places in the rankings.

“In Holland they say, ‘We don’t have the best players but we play as a team’. If (Chelsea winger Arjen) Robben is not there we are still very vulnerable because then we don’t seem to play well.

“If Robben is there he’s always scoring the first goal and giving us that extra spark and you need that. (Wayne) Rooney is probably the same player for England.

“Holland play in the same formation all the time. If England get the chance to do that I think they will be one of the contenders (to win the World Cup).”