Relaxed... but not THAT relaxed
Fabio Capello's new relaxed manner does not extend to the golf course or throw-ins, but the man known in Italy as "The Iron Sergeant" for his hardline approach is showing a willingness to bend after last year's sorry summer in South Africa.
If England's team displayed a changing face during the impressive 3-0 win against Bulgaria on Friday, then the players also detect a shift in the demeanour of arch-disciplinarian Capello as they close in on a place at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
Capello's guard as the hard taskmaster has not dropped completely, though, as the squad discovered when a flash of that volcanic temper erupted behind closed doors at a deserted Wembley on Monday during preparations for Tuesday's qualifier against Wales.
The catalyst for Capello's fury was a failure to obey orders over a throw-in. A minor detail to many - but bordering on insubordination to the Italian as it was a fault clearly pointed out at Sunday's team briefing to discuss the few flaws which were on show in Sofia.
It also challenges those who insist Capello no longer cares about England's cause and is only locked in a loveless marriage with the Football Association because neither had the cash or the inclination to call it a day after the 2010 World Cup.
Fabio Capello will be desperate for England to do much better in Ukraine and Poland. Photo: Getty
He is on target to get the opportunity to put that right at another major tournament - and there is a sense that he has learned the lessons of what went wrong inside the now infamous "Camp Capello" at Rustenburg's Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus.
Capello admits, ironically as he moves towards the end of his time in charge, there is now a greater level of understanding between coach and players - and even about the football culture in the country where he now plies his trade.
He said: "They understand now that I am not the ogre."
They also understand, however, that Capello is not a man to be underestimated when his attention to detail is not shared by England's squad.
England captain John Terry explained: "I think he is more relaxed in and around the camp and in the hotel as well. He lets us play golf and even gets involved himself. On the training field he's still very much on the ball and even at Wembley he lost it a little bit because he wanted us to do something a bit better than we did.
"But in and around the training camp he's learned the English way a little bit and brought that in, which is a credit to him. He can be relaxed but when we are on the football pitch he wants it right and that's how it should be. I think he's learned from South Africa. We had really brief discussions about that, and we can all learn from that."
Capello's squad have so far avoided a collision with their coach on the golf course, with Terry revealing: "Thankfully none of the players have ever played with him. I think he's off 16 but him and Ray Clemence always have a ding-dong afterwards, always moaning at each other."
And Capello is more than happy to have a similar confrontation with his players if they show they are unable or unwilling to carry out his instructions.
Terry added: "We had a meeting on Sunday night and spoke about throw-ins and then on Monday it happened again and he stopped it. He wants us to play back and play out. He can't understand why the English mentality is always to throw it down the line.
"It sounds like a small thing to us but the attention to detail is incredible and when you see him react like that you realise how meticulous he is."
Capello's explanation was brutally simple. "We had a meeting on Sunday and they made the same mistake. Why have we got a meeting when this happens?
"We spoke about the mistakes. We did a lot of really good things against Bulgaria but on Sunday we prepared the highlights about the mistakes to improve. They understand me more than before. My style is also the same but probably I understand something more about the players and where I am living."
It remains to be seen whether this altered approach is any more successful than in South Africa, but there is at least a freshness around the squad and a renewed sense of purpose about Capello that has replaced the staleness that surrounded England last June.
And Capello's golf? "I try. Disaster."
England must hope his efforts are rewarded with greater success between now and the end of his time in charge next summer.