LEE Camp is a grumpy old man, he readily admits as much.

These days, the Cherries custodian would much rather kick back with a coffee than join the rat race of the information highway or get too immersed in the faceless world of social media.

Despite his fiery on-field persona, at 29, Camp just wants the quiet life, but like the most self-respecting of irritable sports fans on the street, he simply cannot resist a grumble about the state of the English game.

Accepting he would be a shoo-in for the BBC series Grumpy Old Men, VAT and the price of his afternoon beverage were near the top of his list of gripes.

But the Northern Ireland keeper’s biggest bugbear is the manner in which England’s prospects at international tournaments constantly become embellished.

“I’d probably try to calm people down a bit,” said Camp. “People seem to have this perception that we’re a leading nation in football and I don’t see it. Personally, I think we’re miles behind.

“This is probably the first World Cup I’ve known where I haven’t heard people talking about winning it. It’s the first time people have had a realistic perspective on it.

“I have played a little bit of international football against some top nations and the standard was phenomenal. The likes of Holland, Spain and Germany are turning out players left, right and centre.

“They are a million miles ahead of England in terms of technical ability. We all talk about this English way and playing to our strengths but the game has changed. If we don’t catch up, and quickly, we’ll be left struggling to qualify for major tournaments.

“You look at second division teams in Holland, Portugal and Spain and they all master a technical game, even though they’re not at the top level. It shows how far behind we are.

“It is nice to pick up the papers and not see constant talk about winning the World Cup so let’s hope it doesn’t go too mad once the season finishes.”

But it’s not just the hype surrounding the national team that forces Camp to switch off with the anonymous army of “keyboard warriors” on Facebook and Twitter holding little appeal to Cherries’ former loan star.

Discussing his lifestyle since completing a permanent switch to Dean Court in January, Camp added: “I’m nearly 30 now, I’m becoming an old man but I’m quite happy being grumpy and old. I’m pretty boring – I enjoy a coffee in the afternoon and a read of what’s going on in the world. I try to keep myself to myself because I’m quite a private guy.

“Plenty of people have their opinions about me but a lot of it is down to perception and reality and social media plays its part.

“My family are on Twitter and some of the things people say amaze me. Most of the rumours couldn’t be farther from the truth.

“I’m a great believer that if you have something to say then you have it man to man. I’m not really one for sitting on my settee, voicing my opinion. I have done it in the past and it hasn’t always been the best thing.

“It’s just not for me. I can’t believe people talk about privacy then tweet what they’re doing in a coffee shop to about 50,000 followers.

“It’s a fantastic tool but, unfortunately, people abuse it.

“I just tell people to ring me if they want me.”