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Is England a camp divided?

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Phil McNulty | 15:00 UK time, Sunday, 20 June 2010

World Cup 2010: Rustenburg

In quite easily the most thrilling and eventful hour of England's World Cup campaign to date, John Terry was restored to captain in all but name as he exposed life inside Fabio Capello's regime.

Terry's role was to present England's united front after the shameful display in the draw against Algeria was followed by reports of widespread unrest among the squad at their Rustenburg training base.

It was compulsive stuff - although reviews might suggest Terry's performance fell some way short of sealing all the reported cracks at "Camp Capello".

Terry waved away claims of disharmony and insisted England's squad were fully behind Capello as the accusations and speculation about his long-term future flew.

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This message was drowned out by Terry effectively launching a one-man campaign to get Joe Cole selected for the pivotal game with Slovenia, then admitting boredom had indeed set in. Last, and by no means least, he revealed what might happen in a summit meeting between Capello and his players on Monday night.

Terry may have been stripped of the armband for reasons other than football, but as he openly laid bare some of the problems at the heart of England's stuttering South African mission, it was clear he still regards himself as this squad's leader.

To witness Capello's immediate response, as the coach who prides himself on throwing a veil of secrecy over his plans, would have been priceless as brutal honesty about England's current dismal plight oozed out of Terry.

In defence of Chelsea's captain Capello demanded passion from his players after sleepwalking their way around Cape Town against Algeria, and Terry provided more than enough to go around.

Some felt Terry had been too candid, told too many secrets. Not here - a toxic cloud had gathered over England's squad since the Algeria game and at least the former captain came out swinging and tried to do something about it.

How can you criticise players for not being open and then criticise them when they are?

What Terry did not do, however, was totally banish the growing sense that England's camp is not entirely happy with their lot tucked away behind the iron gates and overt security at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus.

Sven-Goran Eriksson created an almost holiday atmosphere in Baden-Baden four years ago, resulting in a destructive cocktail of too many WAGs and an ambience that was free and easy beyond belief.

Capello has taken life to the other extreme when perhaps a balance needed to be struck. The obviously failings of the relaxed Eriksson regime that played out behind a poor campaign in Germany undoubtedly needed to be addressed, but now the pendulum may have swung too far in the opposite direction.

There has been a boot camp air about the weeks England's players have spent together since the end of the season, and hints that all was not well have been gathering momentum.

Joe Cole, what seemed like an age ago, responded to questioning about Capello's austere regime and strict approach by saying: "You can't suck the fun out of football."

Maybe not for one of the liveliest personalities in this squad - but it looked like the fun had been sucked out of football, not to mention life itself, for some of England's players.

Wayne Rooney, hyperactive and boisterous, hinted at tedium last week when he admitted he suffered the boredom of long afternoons in his hotel room and a day that was "breakfast, training, lunch, bed, dinner, bed".

Rooney, so poor against Algeria, admitted: "There are only so many games of darts and snooker that you can play."

Terry revealed the tried and trusted darts, snooker and pool were still diversions from serious World Cup business, but added that there were "six or seven hours until we meet for dinner."

Killing time has never been an English footballer's forte and Capello may need to address that aspect of our culture.

This is not a rallying call for Capello to order England's players to get roaring drunk and trash bars in and around Rustenburg - simply an acceptance that a monastic lifestyle for weeks on end does not work for everyone.

It did not end there. Not by a long stretch.

Terry openly admitted he would be willing to even upset Capello during frank exchanges at Sunday's meeting - and came as close as I have ever heard any England player to demanding the inclusion of an ignored team-mate.

He bracketed his one-time Chelsea team-mate Joe Cole with Wayne Rooney as "the only two in the side who are the kind to break down defences."

Give him the benefit of the doubt as I'm certain he did not want to offend fellow team-mates, but the message to Capello was clear - get Joe Cole in the side.

I whole-heartedly agree, but whether Terry was wise to indulge in such obvious campaigning is another matter.

Capello, who keeps England's squad on their toes by mixing ambivalence with the occasionally friendly approach, does not appear the sort to take kindly to taking orders from the rank and file.

Terry, however, seemed determined to adopt a high-risk strategy knowing he could be 90 minutes away from the end of his World Cup career.

In the absence of the coach, Terry came out firing. Some shots came out of a loose cannon while other hit the target full on - it was pure theatre.

If England are not disunited, if England are truly behind Capello, then all the meetings and all the brave messages can be rammed home in one, simple way - namely beating Slovenia to reach the last 16.

Old rules can be applied here. If England win against Slovenia and make an impact in the last 16, the present furore will be forgotten.

The Football Association have been at pains to stress England's group is not disunited. Terry attempted to do the same, but there is no doubt there is a suggestion that this World Cup campaign might benefit from a loosening of the strings by Capello.

Capello, in the shadows since Friday, got it right when he said before the Algeria draw: "The score is the most important thing. The other things are only words."

Terry at least tried to make those words count yesterday in his "captain's speech" - now they must be back up with actions otherwise all the talk of a camp in crisis will continue.

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Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    When many of the team are on over £100,00 a week! you simply cant defend the performances. Ask a member of the general public and they would give you their left you know what to play for England and would fight for every ball etc...

    That performance on Friday had no passion at all. A bunch of overpaid guys who didnt want to be there...

    And as for Rooney..dont get me started.

  • Comment number 2.

    How dare these pverpaid pampered buffoons complain about being bored or there even be a sggestiopn that there is "Disharmony" in the camp? They earn more in two or three days than most people earn in a year, they only have to play football, something that teh rest of us do as a passtime and they can't even be bothered to try???? or they are Bored sitting in their five star accomodations in South Africa that the fans are, ultimatly, paying for?!?!?

    Someone needs to take these people out and explane to them exactly how privaledged that are to even be there. The VERY LEAST that fans sould be able to exopect, regardless of the petty annoyances that they feel they are subjected to.

    Grow up you pampered, selfish, buffoons and give something back!

  • Comment number 3.

    Spot on blog. Stirring is up big time Mr Terry was. 0h, to be a fly on the wall at the meeting tonight!

  • Comment number 4.

    Quote of the day: "Sod it"

  • Comment number 5.

    What a diabolical performance on friday. All the adjectives have been used to death so I won't add any more on that. England and Capello are really at a crossroads. Now does Capello listen to his players and risk losing his authority further down the line? I think he must risk it- at the end of the day we are 90 minutes away from going out of the World Cup- drastic times mean drastic measures. The players are ultimately the ones who have to go out and play the match so Fabio, take on board their greivances and thoughts and play Gerrard, Rooney etc in their favoured positions. Be Bold and name the team days before kick off. Here you are Slovenia- take this lot on. We have nothing to lose now. Terry said get behind the team for 90 minutes and boo after if they fail- fair enough, i'll do just that.

  • Comment number 6.

    Hopefully the senior players beg for heskey to be dropped and for a 4-5-1 to played. Someone needs to stand up to capello and tell him you cant play a 4-4-2 with a rubbish striker and with gerrard on the left.Come on JT do the talking

  • Comment number 7.

    Poor Rooney is bored with all the free time they have. That has to be the reason why the players are not performing. So the pundits saying that the ball was too round or, the reason I heard on radio yesterday that Capello doesn't love them, are wrong.

    I believe the real reason for their underperformance on Friday was oxygen poisoning from playing at sea level. Mind you it could also be the pitch was too good compared to the ploughed field of Wembley they have become used to playing on or it may be that they think they are better than they really are.

  • Comment number 8.

    I don't think I'd want to win for England the mood England seems to be in.

    It was an interesting press conference. Hope the pressing for Joe Cole doesn't backfire.

    Roll on Wednesday!

  • Comment number 9.

    I agree with what you say Phil, what with injuries and suspensions, Terry will be our most experienced defender against Slovenia, and, as he is still a natural leader, a lot of responsibility falls to him and Gerrard (as well as Capello) to raise morale in the England camp.
    It would be nice to know how other countries are faring though - there is obviously a lot of coverage of the England team here, but, with the exception of France, we're not hearing much about the other countries. Sometimes only watching a team on the pitch does not give you the full picture of the team, as Capello keeps trying to say.

  • Comment number 10.

    It was a very interesting interview with John Terry.
    Clearly some kind of player fragmentation has taken place. Maybe some of the Chelsea players are very unhappy with Joe coles exclusion. Heskeys inclusion into the WC squad might have upset some players in the England squad as well. Just guessing.

    England will need a performance beyond anything yet seen in their last two games to get past Slovenia. Gerrard as you have said in other excellent write ups should play behind Rooney. Why is this so difficult for Capello to see? Joe cole should play on the left. Sadly even if Capello does make these changes (I would be amazed if he did not) it may still be too late as the game might still be beyond England if they do not add far more passion to their game even with those suggested changes.

    I think Capello is baffled. If his tactics and team selection process worked so well with the same team in qualifying, why the collapse against Algeria? Maybe the change from the freedom the players had with Sven is just too much a contrast to the more disciplined surroundings England find themselves in with Capello in this World Cup.

    But is that even a valid reason for the strange lack of interest the players appeared to have against Algeria? Not really. Even a technically weak team can show drive and passion. England did not look interested at all against Algeria. That tells me the players are upset about something or more than a few issues we do not know about...yet.

  • Comment number 11.

    John Terry is an arrogant fool. I don't give a monkeys what he has to say, they just need to get out on the pitch and do the business on Wednesday. Get over yourselves.

  • Comment number 12.

    I find it incredibly ironic that John Terry, the ex-Captain of England, is hauled out by the FA before a press conference to publicly defend the Manager who sacked him of the captainacy.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Terry is a leader but I don't understand why all the media put so much pressure on Rooney and built him up so much before this tournament. Yes he's had a great season, but he hasn't even scored for England since September. Calling him some kind of savour and placing him in the same bracket as Messi is ridiculous.

  • Comment number 15.

    Good blog, totally agree about Joe Cole. Should have been in the team from the start!

    While I do agree that the players get paid a lot of money for doing what is ultimately a dream job for many people, I do understand how it must feel couped up in a hotel for 6-7 hours a day with only darts, snooker and pool to keep you occupied! No amount of money in the world could make you enjoy that day in, day out. If you are really that bothered about how much the players are played, may I suggest you stop buying replica shirts, stop buying tickets and merchandise and certainly cancel that Sky Sports subscription, because you are contributing a huge amount to them wages they get paid. Yes they should show more fight, desire, will to win but negativity and bad mouthing isn't going to help anyone!

    I think its about time the team relax on the pitch, enjoy their football again and the results will come!

  • Comment number 16.

    the england performance was embarassing, in the the past the team was accused of being poor passers and not holding possesion well enough, but they always fought and left everything on the pitch.Joe Cole needs to play against slovenia, and everyone must show a bit of passion.

  • Comment number 17.

    in comparison with france i think we should count our blessings

  • Comment number 18.

    The only reason that the harmony in the camp is being questioned is because of that one bad performance, according to the media the only way we could possibly play badly is if there's some kind of feud going on. If anything it's the obsessive media attention and the expectation created because of that which is doing the most bad to the players.

  • Comment number 19.

    Can you honestly see any of them trying to upset Capello, not a chance in hell of that happening.

  • Comment number 20.

    dont blame the players. the manager plays a very strict formation. Walcott paid the price for doing something different. THE MANAGER SHOULD BE SACKED,.
    telling players 2hrs before a world cup game is BAD how can you sort your game plan, set peices ect with only 2hrs before match. HESKEY should not be playing.
    roy hodgson and david beckham(who im not a fan) but he has passion should take over.
    the england team lacks passion and look scared, moral is low because of the manager.
    if the manager was that good why hasnt he had the italy job?

  • Comment number 21.

    Unlike the first couple of posters here, attacking players lifestyles, I do not forget that they are after all, still people. They need distraction and relief from pressure, they need freedom. If things are so regimented under Capello then perhaps the rules and preparation are to blame for stifling the players attitudes?

    Great players dont become poor over the space of a few weeks - all are adults and experienced players at the highest levels. I dont see why any manager with such a group of players would need to disturb or constrict their personal lifestyles off the pitch. We arent talking about kids. I mean if any 25+ international player needs to be told not to go drinking before a big match, he shouldnt be there in the first place. They should then be role models for the younger ones in the squad. Is the England squad really in need of an authoritarian au-pair as well as a manager?

  • Comment number 22.

    I wonder how many books the England squad took on this campaign to help ease the boredom?

  • Comment number 23.

    Good blog Phil, this is an embaressment. I was just watching New Zeland V Italy when a bank worker just came on for the Kiwis. Somehow can't imagine him getting bored. These players seriously need pay cuts, it is sick what they get paid and then can complain about being 'bored' in a country for a few weeks

  • Comment number 24.

    Poor Rooney is bored!! I'm afraid only boring people get bored. Maybe he should pick up a book, may I suggest something about pele, or the team of 66.

  • Comment number 25.

    It is extraordinary that vast amounts of money do not enable the players to perform the most basic of functions; not getting stressed, not losing confidence; playing as a team; having energy; not getting bored; refraining from immature displays of pique, bad manners and temper on pitch. Etc. Clearly throwing so much money at the game does not produce the right results for fans; evidence of skill, passion and commitment, entertaining exciting games with lots of action, and lots of goals. So if money can't make it happen, what can?

  • Comment number 26.

    Somebody, somewhere, has to have the courage to make the other big decision: the dropping of Lampard. He never, never, never does it for England on the big stage. While he's on the pitch we look insipid, immobile and unimaginative. Drop him, bring Gerrard and Barry together in central midfield, put Joe Cole on one flank, and then we're half way there.

  • Comment number 27.

    Obviously you can't defend the performance, but until people have actually played football professionally you can't really judge that harshly. They don't get paid whilst on international duty, yet they have the responsibility of the entire nation, playing a game that only has a certain degree of control. Players will be mentally and physically drained after a long season, where they have trained hard since July. As an amateur player, I usually get a winter break due to weather postponing games, I can get up on Christmas day and New Years Day knowing that I don't have to think about work the next day, which is exactly the opposite of what they do. Let them have a winter break to rediscover the hunger that amateur players get after 3 or 4 weeks without playing

  • Comment number 28.

    How about we actually looks at England over the last 8 years of this media labelled 'golden generation'

    three managers, exact same lacklustre performance, from the same core group of players as soon as the pressure is on.

    Thats the facts,maybe its time for the media to simply accept all the rally cries of 'can we win' spouted before every tournament are so much hot air, and the team simply isnt that good, and the players are not as godlike as 'experts' constantly ram down our throats.

  • Comment number 29.

    capellos big mistakes.

    1 telling players 2hrs before game the team.
    2 strict formations.
    3 playing and taking injured players. (rooney 60% fit)
    4 ruling with a rod of iron.
    5 taking heskey
    6 playing heskey
    7 starting with heskey
    8 john terry should still be captian( thanks to the media hes not)

  • Comment number 30.

    Disgusting and this is why I have no interest in Football and prefer to watch Rugby. These spoilt prima donna's are paid too much, think they can swan through life and not fit to pull on the England shirt. It just goes to show how shallow these players are if they cannot give a 110% when representing their country at the top level event for their sport.

    It is time that there clubs took grip of them and their wages drastically cut. Rugby players have been dropped from their national team's for not following the rules, this bunch of losers have it far too easy.

    Roony's antics towards the fan's was disgusting. Respect is earned not bought!

  • Comment number 31.

    Are they bored...really?? Oh dear...what about a lifetime of commuting for a 9-5 job, to add some excitement to their life?

    Maybe they could un-bore themselves during the matches and try harder to score, instead of boring us to death with their inability to play at world class level.

  • Comment number 32.

    I am not normally one to voice complaints about reports, but I think this is sensationalist reporting of the lowest tabloid order. Having watched the interview, you have attached hidden messages to almost every one of John Terry's responses (for example, the Joe Cole response to which he simply responded in the way the reporter led him to). The interview was certainly insightful, but not exactly mind-blowing stuff. I imagine if John Terry was reading this now, he would be questioning how on earth such an article was drawn from his interview.

  • Comment number 33.

    phil
    as a scotsman i'm most certainly in the minority up here and one who would like to see england win, i know that will raise an eyebrow but to be honest i just want to watch good football and i argue week in week out up here that the quality north of the border is sadly lacking.
    the premiership is full of world class players and the england team certainly has thier fair share of them, it is with some envy that i watch the likes of rooney , lampard, gerard etc etc how i wish we had half the talent you's have down there but to pull you back to earth a bit the one thing that seems to stick out is the lack of togetherness within the playing squad itself, and there seems to be some huge ego's in there, none bigger than john terry .
    if you were a manager, in charge of a team at a world cup and your ex captain holds a news conference and talks frankly about team selection and spirit and lack of enthusiasm in the camp i'm sure i would be wondering what the player is up to, surely there's a time and a place for a news conference like that and i'm sure that wasn't the best time.
    to me it looks like a power struggle within the squad, the current captain should be the only player holding confrences like that and with his manager beside him, it does nothing but heap more pressure on the players and lets face it , john terry hasn't excelled in the two games, no player has but i'm sure if england go on now and win... and i hope they do...i wonder how much credit john terry will attribute to himself, probably all of it, giving his humble character.
    i was once told that to be a great football player it's not what you do on the field, it's what you do away from it but in todays world and the power of the media that seems impossible.
    the media love player power, just a pity it could cost you the chance of winning this competition, just look at france and anelka.
    i hope england don't regret that john terry press conference and all the questions that follow because lets face it , the madia will be wanting a scape goat if the next game goes wrong, so far capello is top of the list and john terry has put him there.

  • Comment number 34.

    I wish people would stop equating everything with money.

    'I paid thousands so I can boo if I like'. - If you can't afford it them stay home and watch it on the telly. No-one forced you to spend your life savings on a months holiday. It's got nothing to do with football.

    'They earn 100,000 a week and should be better' - What their club pays them is irrelevant here. They were not purchased but selected on the basis of ability and nationality. If they don't play for the shirt then that's a good reason to complain but it's nothing to do with wages.

  • Comment number 35.

    Here we go again. Anyone see similarities with France? And why does Terry think he needs to comment on the Anelka affair? Wow, footballers with opinions - almost frightening. Some obvious facts. Some very highly paid, but maybe less talented footballers have been over-hyped yet again, and failed to perform. It may not be on the same scale as the banking fiasco but the public has a right to expect and in terms of outcomes this is very nearly as disasterous. And why all the boredom? It used to be a common joke that most footballers didn't know what to do with themselves without a ball in front of them. Are we saying that in this high-tec digital age these footballers can't find a way of entertaining themselves that doesn't include sleeping with someone else's partner? Apparently there's only so many games of darts you can play - so say the great darts players in the England squad. Well judging by the way we've played so far there's also only so many ways they can play football - and thus far all bad. Guess there must be only so many ways we can score goals as well - well at least one way!! Let's get real here, Terry is no longer the captain. This little outburst doesn't make him the natural team leader because there clearly isn't one on or off the field. Is the England camp divided? Yes into two groups - one group of potential losers, and a very small group of potential winners. People get fired from real jobs for less than this lot achieved. I'd love us to get through to the next stage but will it be enough? New Zealand showed real bottle today. Hope England watched and learned.

  • Comment number 36.

    . At 4:34pm on 20 Jun 2010, Big Geordie Falcon wrote:

    When many of the team are on over £100,00 a week! you simply cant defend the performances. Ask a member of the general public and they would give you their left you know what to play for England and would fight for every ball etc...

    That performance on Friday had no passion at all. A bunch of overpaid guys who didnt want to be there...

    And as for Rooney..dont get me started.



    Well said Big Geordie Falcon, while the rest of us face meltdown on "Budget Day" the least they can do is earn their wages as professional footballers and not blame, as looks like is going to happen, the manager.

  • Comment number 37.

    Why, when results don't go our way, does everyone (sports writers, fans, random strangers, etc) think they know what we should do? Capello was brought in to pick the team, manage the players during a tournament, decide which tactics to use and when to put on subs. You have to earn your right to do the job. And the only opinions that count when it comes to the above are those of Capello and his coaching staff. If the FA aren't satisfied with our performance after the World Cup, then they can do something about it. In the meantime, I'll moan and whinge about how bad we are but I refuse to tell anyone and everyone what I think Capello should do. Capello has earned his right to have his opinion listened to so if he picks Heskey to play up front with Rooney, who am I to criticise? If he picks James in goal, who am I to criticise? If he leaves Joe Cole out the team, who am I to criticise? Anyone who thinks they know best is simply venting their frustration.

    I'm also pretty fed up with people talking about players wages and how that equates to effort on the pitch. All players (from the part timers at New Zealand to the top paid English) are trying. The English, Italians, French and Spanish just haven't been good enough from a qualitative perspective. Aside from the French performance against the Mexicans, I haven't seen anyone give up or not make an effort.

    We don't own the players. We don't pay the players wages. As fans, we simply spend the amount of money we choose on being entertained - SKY/Virgin packages, shirts, tickets, merchandise, etc. We all have a choice and so do the chairmen who employ the players on big contracts. It's just the way of life.

    I am as frustrated as anyone with what i'm seeing from the England team. But let's let Capello and the team get on with it before we start asking ourselves 'has Capello lost the plot?'

  • Comment number 38.

    It is, in some ways, inexcusable for England's performance on Friday against Algeria. It seemed to have lacked passion; even speaking objectively, it was a pretty poor game of football to watch.

    On the other hand, the players need to be happy in order to perform well. Perhaps this 'boot-camp' regime is partially to blame for their sub-par performances. It's important to reach a balance, but Capello needs to make a change (and fast) if we've any chance of making it to the next phase, if at all.

  • Comment number 39.

    Coupled with the goings on in the French camp this is surely evidence if it were needed of player power gone ballistic.
    Who's in charge here? It seems like the players and their agents are.

  • Comment number 40.

    Can we sign up the Kiwi squad! More passion, more commitment, better first touch and some of them are part-timers!!!!

  • Comment number 41.

    I have never understood the "overpaid" argument when it comes to performance on the field. Surely, what the player earns is irrelevant. It is the football club and FA's choice to pay these guys as much as they do. Good luck to them I say. If you don't like it cancel your season ticket and Sky subscription.

    But don't get confused between what they do on the field and what they take home in their pay packets, unless of course you say to your employer, "Please boss, don't pay me that much!"

    Shocking performances so far but i doubt it has anything to do with bank balances.

  • Comment number 42.

    James

    Johnson Carragher Terry A.Cole

    Lampard Barry

    Lennon Gerrard J.Cole

    Rooney

    Seems obvious to me, and I suspect will be what the team are trying to rally for in the meeting tonight. Then, when we're into the second half and still haven't scored yet, Lampard comes off and Defoe goes up front with Rooney.

  • Comment number 43.

    The game against Algeria was truly awful, the worst performance of Capello's reign, however if Wednesday's game goes well then we'll be in the last 16 and hopefully this will all be forgotten.

    Terry's talk was reassuring and I for one like the fact that he has come out and openly backed Joe Cole, the rest of us seem to know he's the much better option on the left, so it's good to know that some of the professionals are also aware. In a ideal world he would have come out and said 4-5-1 (Or 4-4-1-1, depending on how precise you're being)

    I hope that the fear of failure that gripped them on Friday is overtaken by a the realisation that, for many this is their last chance to do well at a World Cup and they go out and enjoy the game. If they do then I think we'll see a convincing win and hopefully they can build on that for the last part of the tournament.

    Come on England!!

  • Comment number 44.

    This man should never have been replaced as England captain....

  • Comment number 45.

    Any talk of money is pure jealousy. It makes no difference at all. You do your job for personal satisfaction regardless of payment.

    No.1 They don't earn £100,000 per week for England and being stuck in a hotel away from their families for weeks on end - a select few of them get that playing for their clubs.

    They don't get £100,000 per week either, for being under intense media scrutiny and for every Joe and his mate passing judgement on them.

    Most of the squad had to take plane trips, be away from their homes and families etc during midweek between tough Premiership matches throughout the season to represent their country trying to qualify for the World Cup. International travel is tough and tiring for anybody at the best of times. They did that all year and just to get criticised in a nasty unconstructive manner by all and sundry because of the teams poor performance.

    How about looking at the manager's set-up of the team. Old-fashioned - lump it up the big man up front, leaving only four in midfield and consequantly being overrun there and unable to control the game.

    Making Frank Lampard sit deep which isn't his position thereby managing to make one of the best midfielders in Europe look distinctly ordinary.

    Playing Gerrard on the left, leaving out Joe Cole and not even taking Adam Johnson, the two players with that bit of flair and inmagination to unlock defences at the top level.

    Insisting on Heskey who can't get into the Villa team, leaving out the top English scorer Bent and including Lennon and Wright-Pillips who have no end product but leaving out Walcott who although similar in that respect at least gives you the option of playing him down the middle. And Walcott has delivered before at International level and in the Champions League (e.g. Arsenal v Barcelona).

    Lumping it up the big man up front might work against average teams in qualifying but doesn't work at the much higher level of the tournament itself and Capello still hasn't woken up to that. He should have changed the formation and personnal at half time against the USA and most certainly at half time against Algeria after making the same mistake twice in his initial team selection.

    But no, his substitutions were like for like - he seemed clueless, or too intransigent to change things might mean admitting his selection and setup were wrong in the first place.

    Any group of people in the workplace cannot work effectively as a group without good management, to blame them as individuls is completely missing he point.

    Good management is the key, hence the salaries and success of the best managers, Wenger, Ferguson, Mourinho, Guardiola etc.

    Unfortunately Capello seems to be turning out to be an incompetent International tornament coach - his team setup is not getting the best out of the players, in fact it's getting the worst out of them.

  • Comment number 46.

    Goodness, more hate for Heskey. Yet the man has probably been England's best player in the first two games. Expecting Joe Cole, a man with around sixty minutes of good football last season and released on a free by his club, to save England's World Cup is desperation of the worst kind.

    Changes are definitely needed and the exclusion of Rooney and Lampard should be the first ones made.

  • Comment number 47.

    As someone has said before, England are in a much better position than France, but at the same time the Three Lions are in no position to be smug at all. They really need to pull up their socks and play, although I would also not excuse Capello from criticism. He made some pretty irresponsible squad selections, now he's got to try and at least get the team he has to gel as a unit. IF that means bringing in Joe Cole and Michael Carrick/Gareth Barry while dropping Emile Heskey and Frank Lampard, then so be it!

    Also, it's nice to see Terry trying to portray a united front but he should remember that he's no longer captain of the team. HE needs to look back with regret over his own stupid reckless actions that got him sacked as captain.

    As far as the players' feeling 'bored' is concerned, I'm often reminded of the words of on of m favourite singers, Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, who says, "You can never be bored unless you are boring"! Maybe England's players should engage in more constructive hobbies than late-night parties! :)

  • Comment number 48.

    Let's just see what happens in the next match before judging anything, even Terry said that. I mean knowing every mistake an England player makes can potentially make them public enemy number one ain't easy to play with. Italy, Spain, Germany and France are not doing especially well currently. All England need to do is make it up with their next performance. End of.

  • Comment number 49.

    you have completely twisted everything that was said. Were we watching the same interview?

    I agree with you on one thing though, and it was obvious the moment it was announced Terry was coming out to talk 'on behalf of the players'; he is STILL the captain of this squad in all name.

    And for God's sake drop Heskey, put Lennon and Cole on the wings with Gerrard in support of Rooney.

  • Comment number 50.

    The players aren't complaining about being bored, they're bored because there isn't much to do, but they're not complaining, they just answered the media's questions.

    Secondly the players did try, not their hardest, but everything they tried went wrong, which got them frustrated, which caused even more to go wrong, which lead to them losing all hope and confidence in themselves. Ultimately if Gerrard, arguably the only player to try and really get things moving, had the backbone to finish the two opportunities he had then we wouldn't be having this debate about there being disharmony in the camp.

    The game against Algeria, at the moment, can be taken as a one off disaster, if we perform that badly against Slovenia as well then it's time to ask questions about what's going on with Capello and/or the camp, but at the moment it should just be assumed that it was just one of those days for the whole of the team and they just had no ideas. The USA game wasn't that bad, we could've won it and ultimately only didn't because of a goalkeeping freak accident (even with that we still should've won it), it had a couple of nerves of the first game, but we didn't actually play that badly.

    Everyone calm down, one game doesn't mean that there's something wrong with anything. Hopefully Capello will try and change things to give them a kick up the backside, but it was one match, that's all.

  • Comment number 51.

    Part of the problem from the players point of view is Capellos hypocrisy. He demands a "boot camp" style set-up for them and admonishes them for their previous indulgences and WAG culture sloppyness yet at the same time they see how he openly indulges the King of that era-Beckham. They cant have respect for him and neither can i when they know what David Beckham was and represented in the previous regime yet see Capello taken in so easily by the celebritys about-turn in personality to suit the new guard. Capello cant have it all ways, he must treat every member the same, make no indulgences of his own for God knows what reason and then the players will want to play for him.

  • Comment number 52.

    lol wht a bunch of panzies!!!!

    they r all offended because capello is treating them like the way they behave, like spoilt brats, i mean get a life they r all feelin the heat and tryin to blame capello for there own inadaquices because he spoke up and told the truth that they r scared!!!
    Surely proving that they r actually the worlds best players and actually being 100% focused on winning the world cup is more important?
    lifes all about priorities boyz get ur act together!!

  • Comment number 53.

    The subheading to this blog is also disgraceful, Terry's not trying to cover up and cracks, there are no cracks, these cracks have been made up by the media, which is just creating more pressure for the players to deal with.

  • Comment number 54.

    The problem isn't with the manager. This lack of passion, belief and talent has plagued the England team for YEARS, it dates as far back as Keegan's reign. The problem transcends the managers (Keegan, Eriksson, McLaren, Capello).

    No, the problem is with the players. Overpaid, overprivileged, pampered, underperforming, uninspiring prima-donnas. They (and most of England's public) think they're better than they actually are.

    Take away the blind patriotic optimism, and in reality, can you imagine this bunch beating the likes of Argentina, Brazil or Germany? Because I can't.

    As for suggestions that the ball is to blame, the pitch is too flat, the formation is unfamiliar, they have too much free time, etc etc. The ball is round, the pitch is supposed to be flat, 4-4-2 is a tried and tested formation that they've been playing for years, and I wish I had more free time! These are pathetic excuses, and plain wrong.

    The problem is as simple as this: ENGLISH PLAYERS JUST AREN'T GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN A WORLD CUP!

  • Comment number 55.

    When I saw the team photo boarding the plane, and the lacklustre response to their welcome at the hotel, I had the feeling that they didn't want to be there. I am now convinced that our current squad aren't interested in the world cup.
    Here's an idea for the BBC, create one of your Sound of Music, Over the Rainbow type shows to select a squad for the next world cup, no professionals permitted. We may not get a winning team but at least it will be one that wishes to participate, and will be proud to wear the shirt. I sugest Beckham as manager. Lets exclude these spoilt 'stars'.

  • Comment number 56.

    I really can't beleive what I am hearing when it comes to this set of players. It seems to me the media, in all forms, are reluctant to blame the players for their failure to perform.

    Capello is a provern winner, has had success in different countries and there is certainly a case for him on of the best managers in the last 50 years. Lets also not forget that these methods that are causing us to fail made us look like world beaters in qualifying.

    England players are spoilt they are used to feeling like the star attraction and getting their own way. I would like Joe Cole in the team to but spitting your dummy out because he is not is unprofessional and quite frankly seems to suggest a culture of only wanting certain players in there.

    I am sick of the media for building these players up, sick of the defending of them and quite frankly ashamed of what I see on the film.

  • Comment number 57.

    Allan Hansen in the BBC coverage seems to have hit the nail on the head. Capello's strength is his confidence and conviction but the danger is this strays a very line with being stubborn. I think at the moment he is in danger of being stuck in the stubborn camp.

    The mark of a truly great leader is not only the ability to lead from the front, but also to be able to listen to those around you and to realise that sometimes others are seeing things that you may be missing. Humility is key and often admitting you have got it wrong and having the adaptability to change is the sign of a much stronger character than the stubborn refusal to budge from failing methods for fear of looking undermined.

    I think the discord in the England setup at the moment is no more than frustration from a number of the key players at Capello's obliviousness to so obviously the best system for them all. Terry's comments today have just highlighted this. Rooney has said publicly he prefers playing upfront on his own already and is clearly frustrated. The players seem to be frustrated that the only person in the camp who cannot see what they are all crying out for is Capello. It's no surprise really as Capello has created an atmosphere of such tyranny that I can't imagine till now there is much open discussion and debate about these matters.

    Today's meeting could well be the most important event of this World Cup for these players. Most of them will not have another. The worst disappointment for them and the fans will be going out knowing we did not play our strongest team in our strongest formation. I don't care what happens, if we win or lose so long as the players have been given every chance and right now they are not. They are being stifled.

    They need to realise that this is their World Cup not Capello's. As Terry hinted they now must be brave enough to risk his wrath and demand the system and the personnel we all know necessary for English success. If Capello flips so be it. It's last chance saloon for the senior guys os what do they really have to lose?

    If they do have the bravery to do this in the meeting the next key question is whether Capello is humble enough to listen to his players. Is he a big enough man to realise and appreciate that they are not trying to undermine him but merely alert him to something he seemingly cannot see. That is to play Gerard just off Rooney in a 4-4-1-1 with Joe Cole on the left. With Crouch and Defoe as impact players from the bench if required.

    We'll know everything we need to know about Capello 2 hours before the game on Wednesday and I for one unfortunately don't think he has the humility to do this and will doggedly stick to 4-4-2 changing like for like players again. It will be a shame because I believe these players, whatever anyone says about their performances, deserve better and deserve the chance to shine by playing the way they play best, not stifled and shoehorned into a rigid unadaptable system.

  • Comment number 58.

    Capello has spent all season visiting all the top teams in the country whatching top games and players to pick the best we have to offer and getting paid for it. he finaly at the last hour picks 23 players to represent our country at the bigest football tournement in the world.

    gone are the day's when you had to proform to get picked and to remain in the squad. the world cup is the bigest stage in the world for footballers that want to make names for themselfs. but we take a bunch of players who already think they are name's and wonder why we cant win it. capelo if your firts 11 cant win a game then pick another untill you can, you have taken 23 players that you belive to be the best in England they think there the best in england so it should'nt matter which 11 you pick we should beat teams like the USA & Algeria. stop treating them like supper stars and drop them if they don't proform and that includes Rooney maybe they will get a wake up call and start playing for the team and not there wallets. Defoe & Crouch and J cole on the leftnew strike parnership next game bet we win a game.

  • Comment number 59.

    England performance went downhill ever since John Terry was stripped as the team captain. Under Rio(friendly matches) and Gerrard(2 group matches), England were poor. Remember this is the England team that destroyed Croasia 5-1 in qualifying group match.

  • Comment number 60.

    John Terry was brilliant in that interview, clearly showed he should be the captain still. It's funny how England have been poor ever since Capello let the media sack John Terry. He handled the whole situation badly for me did Fabio. If we go out, he should go since it would be a lot to do with his decisions. Now the players have been terrible but it's clear that Gerrard can't play well on the left, Rooney clearly isn't a fan of Heskey's so this myth that he likes playing with him is utter rubbish. Heskey out, Cole in, put Cole on the left, Gerrard just off Rooney then it looks a balanced team rather than a bits and pieces team.

  • Comment number 61.

    John Terry should be given the captaincy back. Joe Cole should be included in the starting XI. Gerrard and Rooney should be kicked out for poor performances. Only the Chelsea players can save England's face.

  • Comment number 62.

    Im just as, if not more concerned at what Capello will do at the back. With Carragher suspended, I really do hope that Dawson is picked. But seeing as how Fabio changed his mind from being about picking form players, I fear we will have Upson there. Which isn't good.

    My team to face Slovenia:

    .....DJ.....
    GJ.TJ..MD.AC
    .....GB.....
    ...FL..SG...
    AL........JC
    .....WR.....

    Push Gerrard on to advance to Rooney and have Lampard play just ahead of Barry.

    Team Capello is probably going to play:

    .....DJ.....
    GJ.TJ..MU.AC
    ...GB..FL...
    AL...WR...SG
    ...EH/PC....

  • Comment number 63.

    Phil, why do you keep pretending like you have all the answers to World Cup success?

  • Comment number 64.

    I sugest Beckham as manager.
    ----------------
    i like it. The Braindead underachiever leading the Braindead underachievers, fits i guess.

  • Comment number 65.

    Brilliant. Sven over-indulged the players and treated them like superstars. Didn't work. McClaren was too chummy with them. Didn't work. Now it's not working because Capello is too strict?

    Maybe we just have to accept that although these are good players, they simply do not have the necessary strength of character to deal with the pressure of wearing the three lions.

  • Comment number 66.

    I agree with 34, too much blethering on about money in these forums, it's irrelevant and smacks of petty jealousy.

    I can't believe that people are calling for Capello's head either. He got us to the world cup with a fantastic qualifying campaign and no-one was complaining too much then. The fact he names the team 2 hours before kickoff is irrelevant also - as a squad they will have practiced well enough to know the tactics.

    People also seem to think that Heskey is the sole reason we have performed badly - he was nowhere near our worst player in either game. I thought he did as well as he could against Algeria considering no-one gave him the ball much.

    I saw the poor performance against Algeria purely as a problem with the players. They looked absolutely terrified of losing and so never really got going. This kind of performance has been seen in just about every group game in every world cup we qualified for. Everyone harps on about 1990, but in reality, the only game we actually played well in was the semi-final which we lost.

    I can't wait for Wednesday and I will be shouting at the screen as loud as I always do! Give the manager a break and hope that we get the win we need.

  • Comment number 67.

    My team for the Slovenia game:

    James

    Johnson Upson Terry A.Cole

    Barry

    Milner Gerrard J.Cole

    Defoe Crouch


    You'll note that Rooney, Lampard, Heskey and Lennon are all dropped. That's because they've failed to perform or deliver. They should not be included based on their reputation. Gerrard was lucky he wasn't dropped too. Carragher is out because of his ban.

  • Comment number 68.

    I find it unbelievable that Heskey is even in South Africa let alone playing. This guy has never done anything for England. He is a lumbering donkey who does nothing but slow any game to a near stand still. Never mind who should be playing instead. Just get Heskey out. He could barely make the starting 11 for Aston Villa so how on earth does he get on the pitch in front of Joe Cole, Crouch or Defoe, or any other player in the squad. I'd even play Ledley King up front before Heskey (yeah I know, silly comment but you get my drift). The premiership is fast and most of the players in the England squad thrive on a fast flowing game. Heskey spends half the game slowing it down, and the other half on the floor, leaving us with 10 men. I can't believe he can still walk let alone play the amount of injuries he has seemingly had. I presume he is injured when he is lying on the floor, or is he cheating. Whichever it is he will never allow his team mates to play the distructive game they play for their clubs.
    We didn't like what Beckenbaur said, but he was dead right. It will never change as long as Heskey is around.
    And I still don't think Gerard and Lampard can be in the same team as each other. It still doesn't work. So many other creative options - Joe Cole, Carrick, Milner and Barry.
    As for Capello, he squashes personalities, his methods are seriously flawed. Eg. Beckham at Real Madrid. It was Capello that dumped him, only for injuries to force him to reselect him. Beckham then went on to rejuvinate Real's season. But the American deal was already done by then.

  • Comment number 69.

    Phil - Terry is absolutely right about JOE COLE. He is by a country mile the most creative player England has but successive managers have never harnessed his creative talent as they have just played hime out of position on the left because Lampard & Gerrard have some divine right to be in the team.
    Imagine how good England would be if the team was built around him rather than always acommodating the usual suspects.
    Carrick is the best passer in the team so should play instead of the overated Barry.

    4-2-3-1

    Hart
    Johnson - Terry - Dawson - A.Cole
    Carrick - Lampard
    Milner - J.Cole (free role) Lennon.
    Rooney or Defoe.



  • Comment number 70.

    For once Phil you have got to the heart of the problem although you seem to have failed to see it.

    On Terry you say "he still regards himself as this squad's leader"

    Perhaps that is the problem?

    In effect you have just said we have 2 captains, that means 2 camps. Terry obviously wants his chums picked, not just for England but for France too. Capello has gone down a different route and he's not happy. He is effectivly the leader of a certain camp in the camp. Some of the camp are here to win the world cup, others like Terry are getting bored and want some fun. Capello has tried to form them into a team by having them spend a lot of time together, unfortunatly it doesn't seem to have worked.

    I said at the time and I say it now, Terry should either have kept the Captaincy, or been dropped completly. He is a bad influence in the sqaud and "team terry" risks turning 2 poor games into a Crisis (despite what the media and you say we are not in crisis yet) The fact that the "other" captain, Gerrard, is such a poor leader only makes things worse.

    Yet another thing to add to the medias lenghty list of things they've done to ruin Englands world cup, yet again!

    You must be so proud Phil.

  • Comment number 71.

    couldnt hate a man more than john terry

  • Comment number 72.

    Four years ago Rooney and Lampard were picked and didn't perform, they have had another chance and not performed again. England (pretty much) have to win, so say ciao to Lampard and Rooney (hence also Heskey), move Gerrard inside, Joe Cole on the left and Defoe & Crouch upfront. Goooooaaaaallllll! As for Rooney's boredom; 'The Foundations of Metaphysics in Science' by Errol E Harris takes a few afternoons to read, that should do it.

  • Comment number 73.

    I'm pleased that Terry is passionate enough to stick his head above the parapet but it may well backfire. Capello is notoriously stubborn. I think near enough the whole nation wants Joe Cole to start and who now thinks leaving Walcott at home whilst taking Lennon and Wright Phillips was a good idea? We have also created a position where we need to win but Slovenia don't so unless an early goal comes, then they will just get 11 men behind the ball, which as we saw this afternoon in the Italy v New Zealand game, makes it difficult even for better teams and I wouldn't class us as one of them!

    Against Algeria, if Walcott had been on the bench I'd have taken Rooney off after 60mins and given him a go, but there is no Rooneyless option available to Capello. I won't start on the madness of taking injured defenders when you have injury prone Rio in the squad but to me this campaign started to go wrong from the day of the squad announcement. Pretty much nothing has gone right since!

    Let us hope for an early goal and then go for the jugular. The problem v USA was we did the opposite. I think we may have blown it. I didn't expect them to win the WC but anything less than a QF is surely underachievement given that we really did get one of the easier groups. Fingers crossed.

  • Comment number 74.

    I have now discovered why Rooney is playing so badly. Capello's played MIckey Rooney instead of Wayne Rooney by mistake!

  • Comment number 75.

    Its like the band playing on the Titanic when the waves are lapping around their feet.
    England are for the most part just an average team doing what they are best at.......Failing miserably.

  • Comment number 76.

    Well, there should be no more press conferences/interviews until it is sorted out and sorted out to everyone's satisfaction.

    If it isn't sorted out before Wednesday, they may as well book the flight home for Thursday.

  • Comment number 77.

    There was this interesting comment I heard on the guardian football daily podcast (a recommended listen to everyone).

    Althought I would dearly love england to win the world cup, it was posing the question what sort of template for success would england winning the world cup pose to the rest of the world.

    We have an over inflated, bloated league in the world
    rubbish coaching staff - hence why we have to employ an italian
    don't really have any structure around the youth set up

    surely a team displaying the above characteristics doesn't deserve to win the world cup??

  • Comment number 78.

    I think Terry is lying and the camp is seriously divided.
    My solution would be to sack Capello and appoint David Beckham as interim coach.
    Make Terry captain. We have the players and let them play in the positions they play in their clubs instead of out of position. All Beckham will have to do is pick the team to play with the positions in mind.
    2 fast winger left & right. Rooney up front with Gerrard forward midfield for support. We then have a winner.

  • Comment number 79.

    One other point on Terry.

    He wants J Cole to play on the wing, fair enough, I do too, but that is a direct stab at the real captain who played their last week. What is he saying? that Gerrard should move to the middle? Pointless as him and Lamps proved yet again against the US that they can't play their together. As I doubt he want's Lamps, his mate, dropped maybe he wants Gerrard dropped?

    Alternativly maybe he wants us to switch formation to 4-5-1, lets drop a striker in our must win (and maybe by a big margin) game and see how we do. Of course you'd love that wouldn't you phil? You've been leading that charge for months.

    It will be interesting if we do it and don't win, what will you say then? Assumedly you'd get on your high horse about "player power" and Capello should have stuck to his guns.

    Never for one moment would the media admit their tactics were wrong.

    I hope we don't do it and win though, I don't think I could bear the unbeliveable smugness that is sure to follow.

  • Comment number 80.

    ive been willing to give these guys a chance again and again hoping they work out the problems.
    but when i hear that they are bored omg i have to say they are in the middle of a so called third world county.....players from other countries have been doing hospital visits ect without the cameres following them around,giving something back the brazil team and danish team to name two.our guys show no charecter no desire and the poor boys are BORED where is there humility???utter disgrace i hope we go out and they sack the whole lot of them and start afresh with players that are hungry to try.BORED how dare they!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    59. At 5:41pm on 20 Jun 2010, ayahbebe wrote:
    England performance went downhill ever since John Terry was stripped as the team captain. Under Rio(friendly matches) and Gerrard(2 group matches), England were poor. Remember this is the England team that destroyed Croasia 5-1 in qualifying group match.
    ------------------------------------------

    Its also the same team that, with Terry as captain, didnt qualify for the Euros.

  • Comment number 83.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    The next England manger needs to put a squad together that is committed and shows spirit. He should only select players from outside of the premiership. Look at New Zealand for example, no professional league, but a squad of players that have real spirit and want to win.

  • Comment number 85.

    It has been more or less the same bunch of players over the last three managers that have produced the same garbage over and over again when things really matter. You can excuse lack of talent, or poor tactics, or even maybe people not being 100% fit but you cannot excuse lack of effort for any reason from people claiming to be professionals. Pulling on the England shirt alone should be enough incentive to go out and actually try.

  • Comment number 86.

    It would be interesting to know when Capello asks his troops for their thoughts who else will stand up and be counted.

    How many will sit on their hands, in fear of losing their place in the team.

    We have all been there when the barrack room lawyers stoke the fires, load the bullets, only to go missing in action.

    Who will back JT ? The only one I can see is David James.

    Of the senior players:

    Gerrard as captain will see his job as to stay loyal to the boss.

    Rooney already having to be made to sit in the naughty chair, won't want to rock the boat further.

    Lampard is probably too worried that he might be one of the casualties of a reshuffle, as would be Emile Heskey.

    Ashley Cole knows that any changes won't effect him directly, and generally does not have much to say for himself anyway.

    Joe Cole is desparate to play some part in this world cup.

    Barry knows his place is secure.

    The other problem is Capello won't want to seen as being be bullied into changes.

    When people talk of 1990 and the changes made that led to England getting to the semi finals, we might forget that Bobby Robson had already announced that he was leaving the post and his future authority over the team was negated.

    By going public the players won't be able to let Capello sell any changes in personnel or tactics as his idea.

    So when Terry leads his men out of the trenches, I can see most of his comrades running in the opposite direction.

    Just like their performances on the pitch, when the chips are down and who will stand up and to be counted,and how many will go missing ?


  • Comment number 87.

    People who say that by showing a bit more passion, by working a little bit harder and by having more pride in the shirt then everything will be alright are living in cloud-cuckoo land. The players DO try and ARE passionate but, nevertheless, they played extremely poorly. Why is this? In my opinion, a number of reasons: playing players who are not good enough (e.g. Heskey), not playing players who can open up a defence (e.g. Joe Cole), playing a stolid and predictable 4-4-2 and the austere atmosphere Capello has created in the camp.

    It doesn't matter if a a player is on £100,000 a week. These are athletes who will get bored and demoralised in a boot-camp atmosphere. Capello has got to generate a relaxed, fear-free atmosphere to enable our talented players to express themselves on the pitch.

  • Comment number 88.

    Many posters here have critised JT for this press conference, even asking why he took it upon himself as ex captain to call it. Do these people truly believe that he did this purely off his own back just to relieve the boredom? Come on !!!!!!!!
    This was an official FA press conference with an FA PR fella alongside JT to make sure he didn't stray off script. No doubt he was put forward as the players spokesman by the team as he has the most passion and the most guts. But where was Capello? Where was Gerard?
    I find it amazing and incredibly disappointing that not one of the management team had the bottle or integrity to lead this meeting, and to me it illustrates much of what is wrong with the performance currently. The players don't respect the management and the management don't trust the players.
    I would just love to hear exactly what is said at the later team meeting, but you can guarantee that half of the players and half of the management staff won't utter a squeak. Too many overpaid passengers who prefer to let others put their head above the parapet, and just plod along with the crowd.
    That applies to both players and management, too many individuals in S. Africa who really don't deserve to be there.


  • Comment number 89.

    Whoops. Here we go again. More irresponsible journalism trying to stir up trouble in the name of "debate".

  • Comment number 90.

    Oh so the reason why the England team are playing badly is because they are bored! Oh fantastic! Because £100,000 a week, a 5 star hotel full of leisure activities makes them bored! And coming from players who find themselves in a continent rife with poverty and suffering! It sounds like McNulty's article is defending these shoddy, witless players and squaring the blame entirely on the manager. Capello did something decent with his career in football and is a natural winner. These guys will be remembered as nothing but a bunch of undeserving nobodies.

  • Comment number 91.

    Phil, where is this heading? Crisis meeting of players, press conferences. Are you getting a sense Capello will go after the world cup, no matter whether England progress or not?

    When we were winning, people accepted Capello's way of doing things. But now ????

  • Comment number 92.

    By watching with amazement the events of the French and English World Cup campaigns I have come to the conclusion that these people are overpaid, overhyped egotistical prima donnas who do not like being told what to do by their respective managers. It doesn't matter if you don't agree with the manager or if you even like him - he is in charge and that's that. As long as there is no harrassment and bullying, get on with it. These people don't have the common sense they were born with and wouldn't last 30 seconds in a normal job - even in the public sector!!!

  • Comment number 93.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 94.

    How come suddenly Joe Cole is the saviour of England? He hardly played for Chelsea last season and is so valuable he has been released. It seems to me that England are in their present pickle because they simply aren't good enough to compete at the highest level.

  • Comment number 95.

    The only consolation is that I don't support France or Italy!!!!!

  • Comment number 96.

    By being so forthright in calling for the inclusion of Joe Cole, Terry has not only undermined the authority and judgement of Fabio Capello but has also highlighted and suggests there actually may be some divisions and cliques within the squad.
    Heaven knows what some of the of the other squad players are thinking when Terry makes statements about certain players who in his opinion can win us games.
    Terry should leave it up to the manager to decide on who should be in the team and concentrate on his own game. No matter which players Capello picks we should be beating teams like USA and Algeria.

  • Comment number 97.

    I repeat again what I've been saying for the past 10 days: PRESSURE is destroying many of the big teams. It's not the coaches (or, at least, not only them), it's not the players, not the vuvuzelas. Players and managers are overstressed: French, English, Italians, Spanish, even the better-performing Dutch. It's the Media and the hype they create, like this blog. It's funny to think that everytime you post something here you contribute to England's sinking... could it be?

  • Comment number 98.

    The media in this country are a joke. England go to a major tournament and as soon as we play poorly start stirring things up soon to be followed by a campaign for the manager to go. It's not like we havent been down this road before. Same old same old...

    And did anyone expect England to win the world cup ? The premiership is full to capacity with foreign players. The England squad is a bare bones mashup of the 20-something England players who play for the clubs in the top half of the premiership. There are players in there with barely any experience internationally speaking.

    So after two draws, not even defeats, capello suddenly isn't good enough.

    Here's some breaking news. The manager is good enough. It's the players who aren't.

  • Comment number 99.

    This is a great blog Phil.
    The current England team reminds me of the Real Madrid team that Mr. Capello managed. I think at Real Madrid he was arrogant and was not willing to make decision which was better for the team. He left our David Beckham, who at the time was in the form of his life. it was evidently when he dropped his arrogant and larger than life attitude to select David who single handily won the la Liga title for Real Madrid. I can't say the same thing will happen with Joe Cole with such a injury plagued season, but he might just win us the last game ensuring us a chance.

    Joe Cole certainly provides a better option than Shawn right Phillips does for England.Running aimlessly with the ball will not get us the goal.Good crosses for Wayne Rooney will win us games and Joe Cole is someone who will provide them just like David did for real Madrid.

    Capello has to play Gerard alongside or just behind Wayne Rooney. In the first two games i saw Rooney dropping very deep and therefore eliminating the threat he possess for opponents. With Gareth Barry holding up the midfield and playing Gerard behind Rooney you create a lot of space in the middle which can be exploited by our attacking midfielder Lampard.
    Playing Lenon on the right and Joe Cole on the left will stretch the opponents creating gaps in the advance positions giving us a chance to score freely.

    Capello has two of the best attacking right back and left back and he should exploit their attacking instincts. i would rather see a English team loose rather than play a conservative game and get another lackluster tie. I personally think Capello should drop his unrelenting attitude and do something different with the team and he can start by courting in Joe Cole in the starting eleven.

  • Comment number 100.

    It's articles like this one that exacerbate the damage - overblown tosh, oozing hyperbole; we can almost see the gleeful smile on your face from here McNulty:

    "In the absence of the coach, Terry came out firing. Some shots came out of a loose cannon while other [sic] hit the target full on - it was pure theatre."

    Terry's message was the right message and said all it needed to say - it did not need you or any other journalist lacing it with further speculation and innuendo.

    Save all of this "divided camp" nonsense until after we get knocked out. In the meantime, how about making yourself unique among the press vultures? Just get behind the team for now or pipe down altogether.

 

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