Is Capello feeling the strain?
World Cup 2010: Rustenburg
Fabio Capello's volcanic eruption at England's Rustenburg base has prompted the first whispers that he is feeling the pressure of a World Cup campaign.
Taking his cue from Vesuvius, the England coach gave a glimpse of the fires bubbling beneath the surface in a brief, but explosive, confrontation with photographers in the South African sunshine.
The Italian rarely moves around the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus at anything other than a brisk and businesslike march, so there was no indication of the sound and fury to come as he made his way from the main building to consult with his backroom team.
Striding towards England's perfectly manicured training pitch and seeing lenses pointed towards rooms inside the complex, the side of Capello normally reserved for his players was exposed.
Making no attempt to disguise his anger, he shouted: "Why you take photos of the dressing room. Why? Why? Why you take photos of the dressing room? No excuses."
The incident lasted less than a minute but instantly became the main talking point of the day - complete with a debate about whether his outburst was a very public sign of the personal strain he is suffering beneath the usually strictly controlled exterior.
Capello will be feeling pressure - he is about to manage England at a World Cup after all - but those looking for cracks in his iron mask will be wasting their time. He is one of the most experienced and respected figures in world football, so you suspect he simply does not do cracking up.
I am told there is plenty of tension in the England camp, but only the sort that comes from the adrenalin and anticipation that builds up in the days leading up to a game of the magnitude of Saturday's meeting with the United States in Rustenburg.
Capello and his players have been together for more than three weeks, a long lead into a major tournament. The feeling is that they just want to get started - and the coach probably feels exactly the same.
It is believed there was some discontent because England's players were followed by the media on their safari on Tuesday, but it was a public place after all and closing down an entire game reserve for their benefit was never going to be an option.
England's training session on Thursday will be behind closed doors in keeping with Fifa guidelines, not as any sort of punishment for the media but as part of a pre-arranged programme. So Capello will have the chance to put the final touches to his plans away from prying eyes.
The angry exchange was arguably of more interest because it gave, at least for a moment, an insight into Capello's combustible temperament when everything is not to his liking.
It was in evidence on England's first day of work in South Africa when Capello barked angrily in Italian at a member of his backroom staff for the crime of placing a plastic disc a few feet away from its intended target.
But cracking up? This takes quite a leap of the imagination for a man who has managed in some of the most pressurised environments in world football - and flourished, too.
The hours and days before the start of a World Cup are those when a release of tension is needed most - and Capello certainly got a few things off his chest here.
As the countdown to the big kick-off continues, with the whole of South Africa waiting for the opening ceremony and the chance to see their heroes in action, Capello still has plenty of issues to occupy his mind.
Chief among them is who will be England's goalkeeper against the US.
For a country blessed with past greatness in this position, England are in the worrying plight of having no undisputed first choice goalkeeper. Not ideal for any international games, let alone a World Cup.
Capello has taken to casting his gaze over David James, Robert Green and Joe Hart on a separate pitch away from the main body of the squad in the last couple of days, watching for the vital signs that will make the difference when it comes to selection. It is an indication of the importance of this decision.
It is understood James is the preferred choice of his England colleagues, who believe his experience, presence and communication skills make him the best option. The downside for James is lingering fears about a knee injury and his habit of making the occasional expensive error.
West Ham's Green has yet to develop the stature of an international goalkeeper, while Hart was the best Englishman in his position in the Premier League last season.
Hart is likely to be groomed for the number one spot after the World Cup, but for now his inexperience may count against him.
Like the photographers, he caught the rough edge of Capello's tongue on Monday when England played a warm-up game against the Platinum Stars.
Hart was given a chance behind what is likely to be England's defence for their first game only to frustrate Capello with his poor distribution. However, Hart has, by all accounts, been outstanding in training, which may impact on Capello's calculations.
The problem for Capello is that none of the choices will be made with complete confidence - and if he gets it wrong the consequences could be wide-ranging.
If James can convince Capello he is fit for selection, he is likely to get the nod. Capello has always stated he knows who he would pick if everyone was in good condition, but fitness is the major question mark over James.
England do not have the riches available to teams such as Spain, who have Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes as back-up to the outstanding Iker Casillas.
This is a major headache for Capello - and one that would have been at the forefront of his thinking in the moments before he let fly on Thursday.
But cracking up? Not Capello.