Sir Geoff Hurst, who famously scored a hat-trick in the 1966 World Cup final, believes Fabio Capello has similar steel to that of Sir Alf Ramsey.
England's players were criticised in 2006 in Germany for the circus caused by the presence of their wives and girlfriends.
This summer in South Africa, the Wags will have limited access to their loved ones as England concentrate on trying to become champions of the world for the first time in 44 years.
Hurst believes Capello is right and adds that Ramsey was not a fan of wives being in the same hotel as the players - threatening not to pick anyone who broke the rules.
"We played in a friendly game in Europe before the 1970 World Cup and my wife went," said Hurst.
"My wife was around in the lift with Sir Alf, I was not there, and he started poking my wife in the chest saying 'We are not going to Mexico for your benefit, we are going to win the pot - I don't want to see you in the same hotel as the players'."
Hurst added: "He (Capello) is right to keep the wives at arms length. Four years ago the wives were a distraction, a total distraction."
The former West Ham man believes England can go on to reach the semi-finals of this year's tournament.
"We are better prepared going into the World Cup and the draw is vary favourable," he added.
"I think we are quite capable of getting to the semi-final. I think the players will be disappointed if they don't and so will I. Once you get to a semi-final, anything can happen."