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Capello restores England control

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Phil McNulty | 20:05 UK time, Monday, 21 June 2010

World Cup 2010: Johannesburg

Fabio Capello's pep talk was not suddenly interrupted by the so-called rebel factions in England's squad bundling him into the boot of a waiting car.

In fact, England's players could not have looked less mutinous. They gathered with heads bowed obediently around Capello as he delivered a short, sharp assertion of his authority before training in Rustenburg. The Bounty this was not.

And Frank Lampard's revelations about the "crisis meeting" at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus on Sunday hardly painted a picture of naked hostility between Capello and his charges as he said: "The manager just spoke himself and then we watched the Algeria game."

If England's players had called a war with Capello, it appeared nobody came. And judging by the emphatic way John Terry was put in his place by the Italian for the "big mistake" of publicly demanding the inclusion of Joe Cole, who can blame them?

Make no mistake, there has been discontent within the England camp. It appears Capello's rigid and ruthless approach, so respected and revered in previously short doses, has become less of a pleasure and more of a pain over this long period of weeks.

And the cracks were exposed by former captain Terry's electrifying media briefing, that started out with him peddling England's united front and ended with him pitched somewhere between a mutineer plotting a Cape Town coup to unseat Capello and the spokesman for a disgruntled squad and dissatisfied nation.

So it was time for a measure of calm to return to England's squad after the storm that had followed the dismal draw against Algeria, whipped up by Terry's frankness.

Capello has not exactly made the debate disappear by publicly criticising Terry for his comments, but any suggestion the coach has let England's squad escape his iron grasp can now be dismissed.

Frank Lampard provided a steadying influence with a rebuttal of claims that Capello's squad is laced with rebels, and a measured analysis of a flawed World Cup campaign that could yet pick up momentum with a win against Slovenia that would put England in the last 16.

Frank Lampard managed a smile as England manager Fabio Capello took training on Monday

But before Lampard attempted to restore equilibrium to what many believed to be a broken England squad, it is worth revisiting Terry's part in the events of the last 48 hours.

Terry did not disguise his feelings about the direction England's World Cup was taking, revealing boredom within the squad, his open insistence that Joe Cole should start and his intention to confront some of the difficulties with Capello.

When the meeting came, it appeared no-one spoke up, leaving Terry an isolated voice exposed to public censure from Capello and with any grievances left unsaid, which in itself is a problem. If there is an undercurrent of discontent undermining England's World Cup, then surely it would be better for it to be debated before this crucial game in Port Elizabeth.

If England's players genuinely felt something needed saying, they should have stepped forward and spoken up rather leaving any problems - real or imagined - to fester.

Terry has been castigated in many quarters for his exposé of life under Capello and his determination to have it out in the open, even if he was running the risk of upsetting England's unbending coach.

Here is my take: I believe Terry was entitled to say pretty much everything he said, apart from his shameless lobbying for the inclusion of Joe Cole. To say someone should be in is self-evidently saying someone should be out - and this is not Terry's place.

And his additional announcement that "Joe and Wayne (Rooney) are the only two in the side that can break down defences" might have raised eyebrows among players such as Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Aaron Lennon and others.

So Capello was right to take Terry to task for appearing to want to take a hand in team selection. This must always be the Italian's territory and Terry made the mistake of not only angering his coach, but also gave the impression, perhaps inadvertently, that some of his England colleagues on show so far in South Africa were not up to the task.

But there the criticism ends. England were stumbling along in such aimless fashion that someone had to air the worries of the squad. Terry may have taken the message too far, but no-one should blame him for trying.

If it was his intent to ambush Capello at Sunday's meeting, he was hardly subtle as he revealed his plans hours in advance, alerting the supposed "enemy".

The Football Association's choice of Terry to speak on Sunday was the correct one, even if its hierarchy may have winced at some of the headlines he created. On an operational note, the decision on who speaks at briefings is made between the FA media department and the team management - with a nod to the most appropriate person on the day.

Terry's natural tub-thumping, albeit somewhat over-enthusiastic, fitted the bill after the torture of Algeria. Someone needed to rally the troops, to spark some sort of reaction in a team that looked like it needed to be collectively jabbed with a cattle prod in Cape Town.

Yes, Terry stepped over the line in attempting to influence Capello's team selection, but so much of what else he said carried real worth as an effort to galvanise England's listless World Cup.

As Terry was the ideal man to speak on Sunday, so the mature and experienced figure of Lampard was the natural follow up act on Monday. And he delivered his lines with a mixture of humour and candour that at least allowed some semblance of sanity to be restored at England's Rustenburg HQ.

It needed to be ahead of a game that may not just shape England's World Cup but also Capello's future. He has admitted it is one of the biggest games of his career - and he is not wrong.

Lampard said: "No matter who the manager is, you have up and down moments. There are no factions and we're looking to turn things round against Slovenia.

"The manager has complete respect from everybody. We want to give the fans and the nation something to be happy and proud about. We have to put perspective on this."

There still appeared to be some uncertainty in Capello's mind about thrusting Joe Cole into a game that cries out for that something extra he can offer. Is he destined to be a talent that is not quite trusted by Capello, too much of a free spirit to fit within the rigid tactical framework the coach prefers?

I hope not. Cole's inclusion will allow Gerrard (I know, here I go again) to link up with Rooney in attacking positions.

The World Cup is such a fickle beast - see 1986 and 1990 for proof - that a win against Slovenia could be just the springboard required to end the air of crisis that has hung over England since the draw with Algeria.

It can restore faith in Capello, as victories tend to silence loose lips and those who may just be tempted to spread the bad word about a coach and his control.

Lampard started the process followed by Capello, although the coach's comments about "fantastic" team spirit were accompanied by a rider that made it clear they were "not on holiday".

Capello and England's squad will be on holiday if they fail to get the required result against Slovenia - and the recriminations will last a lot longer than their time on the beach.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Tis interesting to see the vitriol being aimed at the England team. I have to say though that I predicted there would be a lot of disappointed England fans:

    Trouble is, that because I am Welsh it was inevitably taken, by some, as a cheap dig at the English. I was clearly and objectively stating what I thought and it seems to have been a pretty good prediction so far.

  • Comment number 2.

    Nicely balanced view. I am sure a lot of people will get heated in either support or condemnation of Terry. Hopefully come Wednesday the players frustrations can all be focussed into useful energy.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hopefully they are all big enough men, to have had their say, listened and/or dismissed/acted upon and moved on.

    Capello is in charge, long may it continue!! The manager should be; show me a successful team riding the crest of a wave of success on the back of player power. Maradona aside...but he was a one-off and England don't have a once in a generation player anyway!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Sorry but John Terry must really have made some big media bribes to get this support. He's an arrogant idiot who thinks he is the 'main man' and can behave as he sees fit. It's a shame we're so lacking in fit centre backs so Capello can't do what I'd like to see and drop him for the rest of the tournament.

    Only one man makes the decisions. Like it or not, agree with him or not, that's Capello. Terry shut up and get on with your job if you're lucky enough to be selected. I for one hope you're not.

  • Comment number 5.

    Neither Rooney nor Lampard should be on the pitch against Slovenia. Let them sit on the bench and think about their non-performances. Then, if we need something with thirty minutes to go, Capello can put them on ... they should b champing at the bit to make an impression.

  • Comment number 6.

    This whole thing seems a tabloid scandal. As you say Phil, the only contentious thing is his promotion of Cole, although I didn't even see that as too bad. The rest of the conference is pretty candid and nothing really contentious. Indeed, this conference was yesterday afternoon and didn't even cause a ripple on the TV news. It took till the morning and the red tops hitting the pavement for it to make a stir.

    Just tabloid hype... and we will see a lot more before this is out.

    Well done Phil for injecting some objectivity at the end. All that matters is qualification. From then on, it is business. France, Italy and Brazil have all had problems getting out of their groups in recent WCs and gone on to win. I am not saying England will win, but it makes the point that getting out the group is all that matters.

  • Comment number 7.

    I can't understand the England players' reluctance at speaking out at the supposedly no holds barred meeting.

  • Comment number 8.

    Sorry, I don't buy it, Terry and his personal advisers have already ousted 2 managers from Chelsea and are are now in danger of taking control of England.

    Capello is the boss, full stop, If the players do not want to play for him, they can go home. Player power has become far too large and is grossly over-rated.

    I feel sorry for these poor players who must spend 4 to 6 weeks of their life 'cooped up in hotels" with nothing to do. I travel, a lot, and spend many nights away from family and friends, with no one else around in maximum 3 star hotels. So, I find it very hard to understand the feelings of these pampered babies.

    As the French players have said, somethings belong in the dressing room, so why is Terry allowed to air the dirty washing?

    I can not for one minute understand why John terry was the man to be the one to talk on Sunday, other than it coincided with the FA leaking stories about Capello packing it in, if we lost against Slovenia. This is propaganda on a large scale and why our glorious press do not see through it, I do not understand. Although they probably do, but the old school boy club that is the FA and England reporters do not want to upset one another

    The association between the London players, the press and the FA has long been a theme worth discussing, maybe it is worth it again. But since most of the sycophantic press are involved, we never get that discussion.

    This whole thing now stinks of claim, counter claim and subterfuge, so that regardless of the result on Wednesday the only loser, again, is English football.

    Capello will eventually move on, forced out by the FA bigwigs and player pressure and England will be subjected to yet another false start, with another new manager and no continuity.

  • Comment number 9.

    Phil, you are so wrong about Terry. What was needed was someone to put their hands up and admit that the players simply did not perform. Terry instead blamed Capello. He may be a great leader in his own mind, but all he did, once again, was cause more division within the squad.

  • Comment number 10.

    So, in private the team are as meek and meely mouthed as they were on the pitch.

    When a bit of passion, a bit of fight, and a desire to do something is shown, Terry (whom I am not a fan of) was left isolated and alone.

    Shameful display on the pitch England, matched by another shameful one in the camp.

    Woe betide them if they produce anything near Saturdays performance again.

  • Comment number 11.

    If Capello was a proper man he would have invited Terry (and anyone else) to air their greivances so they could be properly discussed.

    There is no form of management weaker and more ineffective than managers who hide behind the authority of their position by refusing to take advice or suggestions from the people who they are managing (the ones actually doing the job).

    Very old school.

    Engalnd's haven't put in a good performance since Capello showed his weakness and lack of loyalty to the players when he pandered to the press by removing Terry from the captaincy.

    Hopefully capello will resign after the World Cup, he has singularly failed to motivate the team or set the team shape up in a suitable manner for the quality of the opposition (much higher in the tournament than in qualifying).

    Neither has he shown himself to have interest in effective man-management, preferring to egotistically assert his own power and authority which judging by the teams performances so far is pretty near zero in the players minds.

  • Comment number 12.

    At the end of the day, this stars have showed they are not good collectively & are not built of steel....My fears are fast becoming reality & i see England getting knocked out in the first round.The players should take the blame & stop having a dig at Capelo after-all he doesn't play on the pitch..

  • Comment number 13.

    Why on earth did they let terry chair the press conference?

    He is an embaressment to the country & just stirred up more trouble.

    TBH...england dont deserve to go through considering the way they've played & acted.

    It would be a massive wake up call for the spoilt players who think they deserve everything without having to work for it.

  • Comment number 14.

    A good blog. Alot more balanced than most of the media currently. I am getting fed up with the papers over reacting to every single comment and over analysing each sentance.

  • Comment number 15.

    Just the sort of foolish behaviour we've come to expect from Terry. Hopefully, the rest of the squad weren't easily led by his wayward opinions. Good work from Lampard today to restore some sort of sanity in the England camp.

  • Comment number 16.

    So basically...everything's fine. Terry was a bit right, but I hasten to add, the manager was also right. And Gerrard of course is also right. So we're alright, Jack. I honestly have to say, whilst I heart you as a commentator, I bit more analysis - and dare I say it - criticism of a team that is clearly not managed well and in disarray would have been in order.

  • Comment number 17.

    "But before Lampard attempted to restore equilibrium to what many believed to be a broken England squad,"

    Many? I've not met one person who believes this. Not one, now either all the people I know are fools for not believing the media or the media are using Graham Taylors knowledge of David James 20 odd years ago and are extrapolating all sorts of issues to make a juicy story with no evidence.

    The roumors today were that there were 9 rebels, if the media know who they are they should come out and name them. So come on Phil, name those who think the managers wrong! I challenge you! Stop this drip drip of "some players" "some of the team" etc and tell us! We, the public deserve to know who the childish people are who can't take not being pandered too for a few weeks! So if you know their names, name them. If not then for goodness sake stop spouting this rubbish!

    You say Capello is ruling with an Iron fist, as far as i'm aware that extends to keeping the media away from the players so how do you know this info? HOW? Spell it out for us? Or we will continue to believe that this is all yet another media mountain out of a mole hill trying to destabalise England.

    Breaking news, Rooney didn't smile when he woke up this moring! He must be one of the rebels!

    About the only thing I agree with you on is this

    "If England's players genuinely felt something needed saying, they should have stepped forward and spoken up rather leaving any problems - real or imagined - to fester."

    On that basis if what you say is true then I challenge you to interview one of the players you know to be "rebelling" and ask why they didn't say anything. The country deserves an anwser.

    But the media loves keeping us in the dark, I bet we'll never find out, we'll here a drip drip for months afterwards from "sources" and no-one will ever admit to their part in anything thats gone on.

    Knowledge is power, and the media enjoy their power by keeping the public in the dark in the most crucial areas of every story.

  • Comment number 18.

    Tiptota - spot on old chap. The primarily London based English media is hugely sycophantic towards Terry, dark forces in action.

  • Comment number 19.

    I really hope John Terry's comments, along with many pundits pushing for the inclusion of Joe Cole don't have a negative effect with Capello, ie. playing Joe Cole would be an admission that Fabio was wrong?

    The fans seem to be behind Joe Cole, so much so a Facebook petition I started yesterday has already gathered 440+ fans -

    Here's hoping England take inspiration from Portugal's performance today! 6 would do! :)

  • Comment number 20.

    Terry should remeber he's one of a squad - also a bit sad that his main priority post match v Algeria was to whine to the Asst Manager about getting a beer.

    If he's that unhappy I suggest he retires from international football after the world cup.

  • Comment number 21.

    Completely agree with everything. I thought Terry was excellent in the press conference yesterday, but admittedly naming Cole was going too I've heard many be critical of Terry for not letting go of being stripped from the captaincy, but we need leaders like him if we want to really progress. The captaincy was rightly taken from him, but he still has vital leadership qualities and much of what he said yesterday I was happy to hear.

  • Comment number 22.

    I think the whole I'm bored thing is ridiculous, yes I know they are all millionaires and used to a fast lifestyle, but still they represent England for 6 weeks (well less if they keep this up) its up to them... everyone knows they can play well, each and every one of them (apart from maybe Heskey) I say put on Crouch, Defoe, Rooney and take the game to them and honestly I'm not sad Carragher is out either.....

  • Comment number 23.

    Well said that there reporter...balanced and correct.. We need to realise this team is in last chance saloon. Not many will be left of the golden bunch that so far as promised so much but delivered so little. (unless you count heart ache)

  • Comment number 24.

    I cannot even believe that there are people who are devoting time, space and energy to talking about the England players suffering from boredom. Am I the only one to find this appalling and disgusting in equal measure? If a squad of eleven are finding the time together to be boring, how can they be expected to perform in unison? In fact, now their performance on the field makes perfect sense. This was a mediocre (regardless of the media hype) team to begin with. Throw in a good dose of apathy, boredom and lack of pride (representing the country) and we have a recipe for disaster. The England team needs a radical overhaul. It is ludicrous that a manager who was until now hailed as a saviour is now being cast as the devil. Make no mistake, without Capello England may not have qualified. It is one thing if the goals are not flowing, it is entirely another matter when the players just have no imagination or drive - utterly boring to watch. Hopefully, we have teams with flair (sorry it does not include England) that make it out of the group stages so we can enjoy the football in the knockout rounds.

  • Comment number 25.

    Do you just like to hype everything phil?

  • Comment number 26.

    capello is not a good national manager. anyone knows 23 englishmen can't be left with no outlet for tension and something for empty head syndrome. the day before the algeria game he should have said the FA would charter WAG airlines if they won. In 66 and beyond bally ran the bookmaking and someone must have been on smuggling duty. Just games to outwit alf but at least a calming balance.

    The real problem on the field is one of scientific control. Capello has never heard of the concept. Just because we won some games with heskey it proves he must be the best (rubbish) you have to ask if with crouch we would have even more convincingly. Crouch is the goalscorer so why worry about rooney. in his first real year in Man U he provided the diver with most of his chances. so let rooney run riot with joe cole and have crouch up top as well. In order to have lamps and gerrard use Dawson Terry and upson at the back and the coles on either wing. out go heskey and johnson. who the hell are Slovenia if you can't brush them aside then have no pretentions towards winning the thing.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm Scottish-born; however my family are English, and I support England in every game they play (except against Scotland, naturally). so I feel I can look at this with at least some of the objectivity missing from my fellow posters, yet with some of the passion for the England side lacking in the views of posters who have no connection to the English National Side.

    Firstly, looking at the players, they actually looked scared - whether this is because of the headmasterly persona of Capello and they are scared of a caning, or the immense pressure on them to do well (natural after we enjoyed such a wonderful qualifying campaign), is hard to tell - perhaps it is a combination of both of these things.

    Firstly, Rooney is obviously not 100% fit; incidentally I think he was quite right to criticize the fans booing the team off the park - after such an amazing qualifying campaign, he, along with his team-mates, are obviously deeply frustrated at their inability to thus far reproduce some of the wonderful football played during our route to South Africa. After such an amazing season for Man Utd, the hopes of a nation are placed on his young shoulders, and his inability to reproduce that form is obviously deeply personally frustrating, which manifested itself in his outburst, which if anything shows his passion; so much pressure, by fans and media alike, has been placed on this young mans shoulders.

    The middle of a World Cup campaign is not the time to start fighting among ourselves - we have a game still to play, against a game we should not underestimate but should beat - if we can't, then quite frankly we don't deserve to be at the World Cup - however, I sense that we can pull it out of the bag on Wednesday - a good victory, 2 or 3 goals, and the 4 points dropped in the first 2 games will be forgotten - much comparison has been made with our predicament going into the final game at Italia 90 against Poland, a tournament where we went on to reach the semis.

    Some teams start slowly at tournaments, and we have made a rod for our own back in performing so well during qualification; expecting to beat the USA and Algeria 3 or 4 nil is simply unrealistic. All that matters now is the game on Wednesday - our destiny is still in our own hands, and a positive result could, in my opinion, spur us on to greater things.

    One thing which has always bothered me about the England team, and British teams in general, is our lack of basic technical ability. I don't know how many times during Brazils last game I witnessed players chesting the ball down straight to feet, and performing what should be rudimentary technical skills such as the ability to control a ball while running at speed, accurate passing, the ability to switch play in an instant. Yet even without the technical skill of some sides - which, to take an example from qualification, Croatia seem leaps and bounds ahead of us - we managed to hammer teams, including a technically superior Croatia side home and away.

    I don't even wish to comment on Phils interpretation of JT's press conference, although I do wonder if there is some split in the camp which emanates from his dismissal as captain. It should have been Gerard out there facing the media; instead we get Terry, who still appears to be captain in all but name - perhaps the fact he lost the captains armband for non-footballing reasons rankles with certain members of the squad.

    One good win on Wednesday and our campaign could be turned upside down - having seen the likes of Brazil and Portugal play some beautiful football I would not be confident of us coming home from the cup, but I simply cannot see us being eliminated in the first round. Perhaps the media and fans should try getting behind the team, even after a mediocre performance - the players need to know that the fans are behind them, in South Africa and back here in the UK; maybe they don't deserve such backing following the performances such far - but should we blow the opposition away in the final game, I'm sure the whole country will be right behind them. Good sides don'y suddenly become bad - the players are under immense pressure, with the hopes and dreams of millions resting on their shoulders. Should they get through this group, the nation will get behind the team......and anything can happen after that.

  • Comment number 28.

    oh and based on current performances I bet Brazil to walk away with it again....... nice for them to win it on a fifth continent.... we have only won it once.... perhaps the team should think about that also.......

  • Comment number 29.

    This has raised some very interesting questions.

    Will Capello play John Terry in the next game? Will Cole start? Giving the impression John Terry got his way? Personally I would make changes to the squad formation anyway, bring Gerrard behind Rooney and Start Joe Cole on the left. Even if it appears to be bowing to John Terrys comments it is hardly a secret that Joe Cole is preferred by many (in and out of the England squad) to start. With Gerrard roaming behind Rooney.

    It would be a win win scenario for Capello should he make those changes. He would appear flexible and willing to make changes for the good of the team and if England lose, few will be able to say he should have stuck with 442 and Heskey seeing how hopeless that was against Algeria.

    Should England win...well the whole John Terry saga will be forgotten (hopefully) but he is highly unlikely to ever get the England Captaincy back while Capello remains England Manager.

    I would also add that if his timing of team selection announcements worked so well in qualifying why should he change now because (as it appears) John Terry does not like it anymore? That is nonsensical.

    You almost wonder how much of a negative effect on England John Terry was against Algeria. He now has to have a really great game against Slovenia as the spotlight is now firmly placed on his performance above others IMO after his comments. I hope he does have a great game.

  • Comment number 30.

    All correlations to the Bounty are correct: one needs but a Pitcairn for Mr. Terry who thinks that team captaincy allows one to second-guess ones own coach, and the FA put him up to say this?? Fortunately for the others on the team, they realised that there was no such island available, and that indeed it was their absent performance, and not Capello's, that has evoked this "crisis" which could also be referred as "much ado about nothing".

  • Comment number 31.

    Good article. Completely agree that we need the inventiveness of Cole and to push Gerrard up in free role alongside (or just behind) Rooney. Its completely bonkers that we waste such a vital player on the left when he really wants to play in the middle. The yawning gaps he leaves will surely be exposed by any decent side. Regardless of whether the air has been cleared, however, I still think England will struggle on Wednesday. Brace yourself folks. Its not going to be pretty!

  • Comment number 32.

    There's a lot of nonsense in the media supporting Terry for his honesty and forthrightness. Could it be that he's after a ghostwriter in the autumn?

    I have already written a blog post on this, so suffice it to say that if this were Manchester United, Terry would already be on the transfer list, or worse, for what he did. Remember Roy Keane's departure?

    One of football's unwritten rules is that certain things stay within the dressing room. That code has been violated in a blatant power grab by a man who feels he is entitled to be captain - "I was born to do this sort of thing" is what I believe he said yesterday.

    I hope that for the good of the team that Capello is given the leeway to deal with Terry after the World Cup, and ensure he never plays at international level again.

    And if the players are bored, to quote JT, so what? They're not there for a picnic or a nice time, there getting the chance to play in a tournament that most of us would give up a limb for, and all they can do is moan about being bored. They should grow up and get on with it. Had they taken the chance to visit Robben Island, they might have learnt a thing or two about what being isolated and shut away really is.

  • Comment number 33.

    You know, English players say that there is a bit of boredom you can only play so much golf etc but do any of them read books? It would be nice to think that they are cultured enough to read a novel...
    As for discontent in the camp I think there was intense dissapointment about the performance and the result, but I think that the players still undoubtedly have respect for capello

  • Comment number 34.

    "No African team has ever beaten England" England have quality players that are capable of at least getting to the semi-finals at this year's world cup." These and many more I have read in the past few months; however, within the past few days and not even weeks, we have found out the truth. Algerian draw with England as far as I am concern is a good as defeat. I say this because the average English thought that the Desert Foxes will be nothing. After all, the same Three Lions dismissed Egypt (Champions of Africa) by a score of 3-1. Forgetting, of course, that friendly matches are not as the same as competitive games. How can anybody in his right mind make the argument that England have players that are capable of winning the world cup? Where lies their qualities when none of them plies his trade outside the English shores. "We have the best league in the world, so no need to go outside", an ignorant English fan may argue.

    One thing is sure, England is coming home on Wednesday. They will play out another draw. When that has been done, I will return to finish up my comment on opinion on them.

  • Comment number 35.

    To begin with Terry's credibility, as a person, was sharply called into question in the lead up to these Finals on 2 separate occasions.

    Now he's come out and in my opinion completely undermined Steven Gerrard, THE CAPTAIN, belittled whatever player he thinks Joe Cole should replace, attempted to pick Capello's team. Nice!

  • Comment number 36.

    Terry looks a right Charlie now I bet he's sniffing around Capello trying to make it up to him with some due speed. I personally would have had him marching down the road who does he think he his Billy Whizz!

  • Comment number 37.

    Phil (and everyone else in the Gerrard behind Rooney camp)

    Unless I was watching a different game last Friday, Gerrard spent virtually the whole second half playing in the attacking central midfield position you demand. It didn't work. True, the main reason it didn't work was that Rooney was utterly hopeless, but it didn't work.

    For Capello, there really is only one major question for Wednesday, namely whether Rooney is fit and ready to play. If you base your entire attacking side around one player, he better play well. And he hasn't so far.

    Beyond that, Lampard and Lennon have been poor as well and could be dropped, but frankly we seem to have come to the point that we're a one man show. Better hope he delivers or come up with a plan B pdq.

  • Comment number 38.


  • Comment number 39.


  • Comment number 40.

    Terry is not the captain anymore. He needs to realise this and stop trying to grab the lime light. If anything needed to be said, then the current captain and his deputy should have been the ones to do so. If anything was that important then it should have been discussed, in-house, by the senior players and management. Terry really needs to wise up and engage his brain before he acts/speaks.

  • Comment number 41.

    i think that in our last game cappelo should have rooney on the bench and have defoe and crouch up front with a 4-4-2 formation. Also he shoud start with joe cole and michal carrik as well as have gerrard in his right possition!!!!! We might see some goals then whcih we will defo need for our game against slovenia on wednesday :)

    if you read this fabio please do this you should see an better outcomme

  • Comment number 42.

    We all would love to know where the team that played in the qualifying games has gone????.I think what hurts me the most is the lack of passion in the faces of my fellow countrymen who have the honour to wear the shirt of the three lions.I feel they need a little lesson in what this should mean to them from two guys on the England bench who always showed that passion in every game they played for their country, Psycho and Becks.

  • Comment number 43.

    To seanspa...I think in Terry's defence I should say he did not blame Capello for what had gone wrong. He accepted the performance against Algeria was not good enough and that England had to do better.

    I'm not here to simply mount a defence of John Terry. I felt he was wrong to campaign for Joe Cole's selection, but what was so bad about everything else he said?

    Interesting point raised by some posters - will Capello now punish Terry by dropping him? I think the absence of Ferdinand, King and the suspended Carragher answers that. I think Capello has said his piece and it would be a mistake to even contemplate leaving Terry out.

    What do you think? Remember, this is your platform as much as mine so let's hear from you.

  • Comment number 44.

    Do you paid from our licence fee for writing this gossip garbage? What a pointless page of words. Can we please just stop this playground tittle tattle - "he said, she said". Stop writing about it, start writing something positive about England, let's give them some impetus as we all want to see a win on Wednesday.

  • Comment number 45.

    Good grief, how much more psychoanalysis from journalists does the current England mess need? The simple fact is: the players aren't good enough. How can you blame a manager for so called professional footballers who cannot control, pass (see statistics for real and not speculative evidence) or press the opposition? This has been an issue for years, camouflaged by swathes of better foreign players in the Premier League. Only now has it become embarrassingly obvious and the individuals who represent our country can't face the truth that the rest of the world (i.e. lower ranked teams) is overtaking us in terms of skill and performance. Furthermore, it is quite obvious that a certain 'big' names hold sway at club level and don't like the discipline that Capello instills. Solutions? Firstly, we need a TEAM who want to play for this country. Secondly, the FA needs to sort out its own backyard and then sink its millions into developing younger players' skill and technique. Thirdly, we as supporters needs to cease the hero worship of mediocre footballers who are terrible role-models. Lastly, stop buying newspapers which pay the wages of failed writers who spout utter nonsense about the beautiful game.

  • Comment number 46.

    The only positive I can find so far is that the french are making bigger fools of themselves than the english...

  • Comment number 47.

    First things first I am no huge Terry fan, he is a limited but steady player but there must be something behind his comments, Lampard is wheeled out the next day (briefed by the FA)? To tone the comments down, at no stage did Terry say Joe Cole should be played, merely he thought he and Rooney were the players to open up teams.
    Football and this site are all about opinions so is a senior player who is a 'ex' Captain not allowed to have an opinion?
    It seems to have rankled with Capello but what was the mistake to have the opinion or speak it?
    Personally I have never thought Joe Cole is the answer on the left as he will always cut inside onto his right foot BUT it has to be better than having Gerrard out there and should bring Ashley Cole into the game who has been invisible coming forward so far.
    Plus the fact he is a better player than SWP so could the answer be start J Cole and Milner and save Lennon as a sub against a tiring team if things really are going the way of the pear??

  • Comment number 48.

    England team should be
    Terry and dawson or upson, Cole and johnson
    Lennon lampard barry cole

  • Comment number 49.

    Well no doubt after the tournament the publishers will be busy. Plenty of autumn/winter reading on the way. We should start dreaming up some titles to keep us engaged after Wednesday. I don't see the team progressing.

  • Comment number 50.


    What John Terry said wasn't the issue. The fact that he said it to a room full of journalists and not the manager is.

  • Comment number 51.

    Hmmm, Phil. I think you are trying to recover from your earlier mistake when you lauded Mr Terry as he appeared to fit your own agenda - Gerrard behind Rooney, 4-5-1, J Cole in - without getting, as a journo, that the Chelsea captain was not speaking for the squad, but just for himself.
    I thought your previous blog was a mistake. Obviously this is better, but as a senior BBC football reporter, you must be aware that you were wrong-footed by this story.
    Ultimately we stand or fall on whether England can beat Slovenia. Do I trust Fabio or the wealth of opinion from ex-player pundits and never played journalists? Frankly, I don't know. Rooney has looked so poor that I have a lot of sympathy - expressed forcibly on the 606 Spurs board (unsurprisingly) for Crouch and Defoe to start up front - but, maybe, if anyone can get this right, it's the Don. Let's face it, if he gets it wrong - and England go out at the group stage - he's out; finished; done.

  • Comment number 52.

    This is much much more like the Phil McNulty I respected - correct on all accounts. It was a good performance to galvanise the nation but he stepped too far in naming Cole, it's not his right to and Capello was right to put him in his place and reassert his authority. Mainly to stop the media rubbish about a divided dressing room and echoes of unrest - all exaggerated rubbish. Well done Phil, good balanced account, and compared to your last few posts, much less sensationalist.

  • Comment number 53.

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

  • Comment number 54.

    They should stop selecting players from Premier League clubs to play for England. For the most part they are not interested, not hungry, and do not need the money. They are always aware that an injury could jeopardise their very lucrative incomes and play accordingly. They are also, for the most part, prima donnas’, where a word out of place will make them sulk for days. Discipline is an anathema to them as they have always had it their own way and resent being told what to do and think they know better.
    There may be exceptions to this generalisation but, in the main, it is a fairly accurate description of the Premier League player today.
    Our national team should be selected from the lower leagues where, I’m sure, it is possible to find honest players of equal calibre and determination who, would, at the very least, be proud to play for their country and disport themselves in a manner their countrymen, equally, could be proud of. They would find it difficult to do worse.

  • Comment number 55.

    To answer your question, Phil, I think Capello will deal with Terry after the World Cup when he can "build for the future". Assuming he is still in the job of course...

    To drop him during the world cup would cause more problems than it solves.

  • Comment number 56.

    They think it's all over....

    Upson, not Dawson......

    It is now!

  • Comment number 57.

    Needless to say, TERRY was spot on in his articulation of the difficulties facing the ENGLAND squad.
    Is it wrong for TERRY to advocate the inclusion of JOE COLE in the ENGLAND squad, especially when players like LAMPARD, GERRAD, and ROONEY have been utterly ineffective and incapable of proving themselves at the highest level?
    It appears that
    many ENGLISH FANS are oblivious of the consequences of a first round ENGLAND exit.

  • Comment number 58.

    Listen - John Terry is just vocalising what we are all thinking. I don't especially like John Terry, but I watched the press conference he gave in full - and I couldn't see then, and I can't see now : why there has been so much made of it. He didn't make any "big mistakes" that I could see.

    There is indeed some kind of toxic air hanging over the squad, and ever since the Algeria game supporters have been dying to know what is wrong behind the scenes. Now that you have a glimpse - it's all Terry's fault? I don't buy it.

    Phil - in yesterday's blog you were praising JT. Today you are saying he was at fault? Why the 24 hr shift? I would love to see Gerrard up front with Rooney and Joe Cole on the left; but I can't see Capello going for it.

  • Comment number 59.

    If we lose on Wednesday perhaps the FA could arrange an early friendly match against France so the new manager can assess his squad.

  • Comment number 60.

    Quite simply Capello cannot afford to drop Terry at this stage. However if England make a fist of this world cup and Capello stays on then I think Terry might find himself usurped rather than the usurper.

    Having said that if Capello thinks everything is fine in the squad then someone is missing something. He will be judged on performances and so far they have gone from poor to dire. I don't like hearing six million pound a year men saying they cannot understand what's happening.

    He seems intractable at the moment which is fine when you are winning but a bit worrying when your team are floundering. If he can't see the need for changes then he's the wrong man for the job. Admitting mistakes and adapting should be second nature at this level.

    If the man cannot sort it and does not have the man management skills to turn things around then he's been a waste of money and the FA have, again, been wrong.

  • Comment number 61.

    One thing this has done is make a total mockery of David Beckhams touted fake job title of "liaison officer". What a complete and utter unmitigated disaster and non-event that has turned out to be.

  • Comment number 62.

    "After 26 games this is a new problem," he said. "Before it was OK and the players played well every time. Now they have to know the first XI. I don't understand why. In my career I use this system always, why change?"

    Anwser that one Phil!

    Why weren't you moaning after game 2? Game 10? Game 20? Why?

    If it didn't affect them before why now?

    If the Ego's at some of the clubs he has previously managed could take it why is it now an issue?

    If somthing is wrong Phil, it's wrong when you are winning and when you are loosing, it is wrong when things are good and things are bad. Right methods don't become wrong methods overnight, right tactics don't become wrong tactics overnight.

    Capellos tactics, management, squad selection and rules have been constant his entire time as manager, why is it now wrong?

    Because the media, and some players are blaming him when things go wrong.

    How many times have Lampard, Gerrard and Terry, the so called "senior" players led us to Glory? NEVER!

    Blame the players, they have been failures before, and they will be again.

  • Comment number 63.

    Phil, a certain Mr Capello seems to agree with me. A big mistake was his phrase. Saying that Joe Cole should play is saying that Capello's selection is wrong and that other players aren't good enough. As has been pointed out by others, the French squad are up in arms over a 'traitor' in the ranks revealing divisions to the press. For Terry to discuss player selection was way out of order. Now I happen to think that Cole should start and don't understand how SWP gets on the field before him, but my voicing this opinion will not divide the dressing room.

    Some here have asked why the England players can't read books, or visit inspirational sites. I wonder if they have heard that there is a rather important competition going on in South Africa, and whether it has occurred to them to watch a few matches to see how the game should be played.

  • Comment number 64.

    England's millionaire footballers are pathetic. They just do not have the talent on the big stage. They crib about everything and are quick to blame the coach and boredom and surely, in due course will blame the weather, altitude, jabulani and God knows what else!

    If playing for the country is not topmost on their minds, then they do not deserve to be in the world cup

  • Comment number 65.

    All of this masks some real blunders on the part of Capello. Horrendous team selection: Heskey should be nowhere near an England side etc etc and game tacics: 4-4-2? with a striker that ca'nt score and hard to understand substitutions. No team spirit and heads down are all the responsibility of the manager. He picks the players and he chooses how they play. But as always, Capello comes up smelling of roses. They win and it's all down to him. They lose and it's the players' fault.

  • Comment number 66.

    I think that Fab Capello should just drop John Terry, even if we had to play with ten men. The idiot Terry doesnt pick the team, the Manager does. Lets put Terry to good use and get him to clean the pool each morning. However, he would probably cause a row with the other staff.

  • Comment number 67.

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

  • Comment number 68.

    Phil, I think it's one thing to say that Terry was within his right to say these things - it's another to say that he should have said them in a press conference. Surely, as Capello implied, he could have spoken privately to the manager first of all, and then later in a team meeting if necessary. People keep making comparisons to how management works outside of football, and how most office workers in the modern world don't just shut up and toe the line because they're told to do things a certain way. But office workers don't call press conferences to air their grievances either. If they did, they would be fired, and that's why Terry should be sent home (it won't happen). Put Dawson in defence with Upson, and Carragher will be back as cover for the next game if we somehow get through. It won't happen, because Capello will see playing Dawson as too big a risk (and he knows he'll forever be remembered for this decision if England subsequently lose). We should have left Terry at home and picked Wayne Bridge instead (although to be fair, Ashley Cole is one of the few England players who has performed like a professional in this World Cup so far). And no, I won't change my mind if Terry scores the winner on Wednesday - it doesn't make his actions acceptable, even if he scores in every round to the Final.

  • Comment number 69.

    There needs to be a radical change in the English line up on Wednesday. The defence is ok just bring in Upson in place of Carragher. Out should go Heskey & Joe Cole should come in. Play Rooney as a lone striker with Gerard playing just behind him. Use Peter Crouch as & when required to boost the attack in the last 30 minutes as it could come down to goal difference as to who finishes top of the group.

  • Comment number 70.

    Terry won't be left out because, as Trickytree (comment 36) hilariously alluded no-less-than five times, he'll be well-and-truly 'up' for this one... See below:

    "Terry looks a right Charlie now I bet he's sniffing around Capello trying to make it up to him with some due speed. I personally would have had him marching down the road who does he think he his Billy Whizz!"

  • Comment number 71.

    RE: 43 "Interesting point raised by some posters - will Capello now punish Terry by dropping him? I think the absence of Ferdinand, King and the suspended Carragher answers that. I think Capello has said his piece and it would be a mistake to even contemplate leaving Terry out."


    Maybe Capello would drop Terry to make a point if he had another 36 games of a club season ahead of him, but this is do or die and he would be foolish to try to exert his control when this could really be his last game as manager. I agree that Terry didn't say anything too out of line. It was nice to see some frank answers for a change actually. It's not like Steven Gerrard will ever speak up. I recall him having to be prompted several times to speak in that excruciating teleconference with Prince William (yes, I watched it - I was that bored).

  • Comment number 72.

    TERRY is making assidious efforts to avert a potentially disastrous situation; he deserves support rather than castigation.
    England has quality players and it is the responsibility of CAPELLO to mould them into a formidabble side that can stand up to the best in the WORLD. That's why he's being paid; if for any reason he fails to achieve (as the case is now) he alone must take full responsibility.
    Great work, TERRY.
    GREAT blog PHIL.

  • Comment number 73.

    I find it interesting that John Terry lunges on the opportunity to get himself back in the tabloids. If he didn't agree with the manager why didn't he speak to him? Is this Terry's way of worming himself back into the tabloid's good books? Considering Fabio Capello has had a fantastic career as a football player and manager, not to mention getting England to the world cup, why is the finger pointed at him for, what is clearly, a very bad team performance. Do you really think that sending Joe Cole on the pitch will turn around an entire dismal team performance. It's the press, fans, and pundits, who are to blame. If you remember when David Beckham got sent off when he kicked that player in 1998, which led to death threats being made on his kids, can you really expect the current English players, along with all the other added pressure, to take the field without being a tad nervous? That's exactly what they were; nervous, tense, and far from relaxed. Face it, no matter how well the team is managed, if the players are not in a good place (and remember...they are only human!), the won't play well. Let them know they'll be heroes when they return win or loose!!

  • Comment number 74.

    Not quite sure what all the fuss is about with the Terry news conference. I think it's cause it's Terry it is being blown out of proportion.

    David james gave some pretty candid views in an interview after the Algeria game which allyded to much the same as what terry was saying and he wasn't castigated.

  • Comment number 75.

    * england average no more than a goal per game max at recent world cups.

    * we are playing a team who only need a draw and already have the confidence gained from 4 points being on the board.

    * they will no doubt also be aware of the 'togetherness' of our squad.

    * they have some pace in their team

    * they appear strangely motivated by the thought of representing their country at the worlds biggest sporting event?

    * the 0-0 draw is 8/1 with most bookies

    You do the maths..........

  • Comment number 76.

    Two things are clear, England Morale is rock bottom, and you don't get good teams with zero morale, the World and his wife saw one of England's best and most passionate players turn in a performance that would have not earned him a place in the New Zealand squad let alone team, he looked sicker than Milner, and for 75 minutes of the worst display I have seen from an England team in the past 50 years, the Manager did nothing. To say that nothing has changed after his 26 previous games is ridiculous, again we all know that had it not been for the FA (yes I have to admit now and again they get something right) Capello would be publishing the perfomance indexes of his players, now we are asked to believe it is just a rather interesting coincidence that he now appears to have fostered a team morale that would rate a negative number of his 'Capello Index' - I think not. If on Wednesday we don't see Joe Cole given a chance and a change that frees Rooney and Gerrard so that they actually look like turning in Premiership performances then I think it a personal tragedy that Wayne Rooney's chance to build a reputation on the world stage has been ruined by what I now think is the Italian Version on Liverpool's Benitez, and look what Benitez did to Gerrard and Torres and Liverpool.

  • Comment number 77.

    Why was John Terry even holding a press conference?

    He has been stripped of the captaincy for his shameful behaviour with an England teammate's partner.

    And now he is clearly trying to undermine the man who has replaced him - Steven Gerrard - firstly by holding a press conference himself, and secondly by stating that only Cole (his Chelsea teammate) and Rooney could unlock defences. This must surely be an intentional slap in the face to the England captain?

    Terry is a disgrace, and from the players' reaction at the team meeting, he is in a minority of one.

    He needs dropped NOW, for the good of the team.

  • Comment number 78.

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

  • Comment number 79.

    In a nutshell, Phil McNulty is saying that it's OK to air dirty linen in public. Which is of course, utterly...

    Phil's last two blogs have been uncommonly bad.

  • Comment number 80.

    Im sorry but who on earth does John Terry think he is?? Why does he think he has ANY say on team matters??? He is there to do what the Manager asks him to do FULL STOP.

    The way he shamelessly used the media to try to speak to Capello instead of doing it in person was gutless and only served to continue this media frenzy that is becoming so predictable and boring that I wonder whether the press have any new ideas at all... He's one for you press boys - how about you try and get behind your team eh??? I wonder whether you will only be happy if / when you get a France situation.

    I think that the England players are the only ones to blame. Overpaid premadonas moaning about being bored and not having fun. Wake up boys!!! You ARE at work. You ARE there to work. You ARE expected to be single-minded about your work and not moan that it's not a holiday camp. Man up you bunch of princesses, stop blaming the manager and take responsibility for sorting this out because I don't ever want to watch something like that Algeria match again!!

  • Comment number 81.

    Sorry Phil but I have to disagree with you on the Terry media circus. He had no right to come out and say the things he did. He is no longer captain and certainly has no moral authority in my view. All he achieved was headlines for our gutter press and caused divisions in the squad where there were none before. The man is a joke and I for one would send him home. He isn't even a decent defender.

    If the media carry on in the same vein for much longer I can see Capello going. For God's sake just get behind the team and the manager.

  • Comment number 82.

    The only issue I have is that it should have been Gerrard openly discussing the issues with the manager -privately at first; but in front of the squad if necessary. All credit to Terry, as one of the most experienced and senior player for having the bravery to do it in the absence of Gerrard, who by his own in actions, shows what a limited captain of England he is.

  • Comment number 83.

    The English press, just like English football and English footballers, are a joke!!!

  • Comment number 84.

    If the England players are bored, they could do with reading some of the biographies from the 1966 World Cup squad. Life under Sir Alf was clearly no holiday camp but it clearly worked.

  • Comment number 85.

    As a Scotsman, who initially supported England and is perhaps most ironically an aspiring sports journalist, the media frenzy that surrounds this England World Cup campaign is utterly ridiculous. Differences in opinion amongst a squad of 23 are a mere by product of human nature, not breaking front page news that must be relayed with panic. The media culture in this country is close to strangling our top sportsmen and for me a massive reason behind the failure so far of England's press-labelled "golden generation."
    It almost didn't come as a surprise that Rob Green fumbled Dempsey's shot in the opening match. No one's hands can be so safe when any potential error is subject to such media hammering.
    I love the premiership, i've become a huge fan of many of the England players but the ridiculously anglo-centric media coverage of the world cup has almost, almost driven me to abandon my support of England.
    The Carlsberg advert ("do it for Bobby"), the advert aimed at Wayne Rooney: "he may be in his twenties, but he's waited over 40 years for this moment..." need I say anymore.
    I will however get behind England on Wednesday, I'd love to see their great players perform. Let's hope they abandon their over-hyped, media generated shackles and play with a freedom that we haven't seen so far.

  • Comment number 86.

    So Capello reckons it is pressure to blame, and reading this blog you can see why. Watching England you can see his point - why does Rooney all of a sudden find it hard to control a ball? Why can't Gerrard complete a pass in 90 minutes? Why can't Lampard get a shot on target? Why can't Carragher run faster than jogging pace...OK - pressure can't be blamed for everything. But will the media allow for this? They seem to be intent on blaming Capello for everything, and this was coming a few months back when they bored of writing "Capello is great", and started to have a few digs about the Capello index, then his squad selection, and when he wouldn't name his team until kick-off he starved them of writing material and they've really gone for him. Reading your blog Phil, (along with David Bond's)I can almost sense a tone of delight as you twist the knife. And so the pressure builds. I'm not English, and I'm not an ABE either, but I reckon if you could get your media to be less negative and self-focused, your players would feel the pressure lift, and you might just see some club performances transferred to the International setup. I'm cheering England on Wednesday so Capello (who's been there and done it as a manager, and has earned a bit more respect than he's currently getting) can stuff the words back down the throats of people who haven't. Forza Fabio!

  • Comment number 87.

    I must say I disagree with a lot of this. The players are plainly unhappy on and off the pitch. A miserable boot-camp regime does not strike me as the way to get the best out of the players. They're bored, they're frustrated, they want a couple of glasses of wine, and why shouldn't they? They could obviously cope with the Cromwellian approach for a few days in the UK - but weeks of being treated like teenagers has taken its toll.

    Personally, if I were there, I would have climbed over the fence and legged it to nearest bar - and I'd have played a lot better!

  • Comment number 88.

    There is a lot of rubbish being written on here as usual by so called fans with hidden and not-so-hidden agendas. John Terry was right to say most of what he said and if you actually listen to the way he spoke about the so called "clear the air" or "crisis" meeting, it was with obvious tongue in cheek. Capello is a problem and it's time more people admitted it. His selections for the original squad were in some cases ludicrous - taking Shaun Wright Philips, Heskey & Carrick, leaving Walcott, Bent (the highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League this season) and more pertinently Adam Johnson behind. SWP is unbelievably lucky to be playing football for a living, let alone playing for Engalnd; there was no way Carrick was ever going to get a game; and Capello must be the only person in the country who thinks England can afford to carry a striker who DOES NOT score goals. Johnson would have given the squad something different, and don't forget Walcot's performance against Croatia - he is more than capable on his day. And why did he take Joe Cole if he wasn't going to use him? The substitutions he's made so far have been like for like, changing nothing when it was clear to anyone watching that something needed to be changed. And starting with a half fit James Milner in the first game - what was that all about?? The refusing to name the team until 2 hours before the game is clearly a problem, does he think they're 12 years old and can't be trusted? Great display of confidence in your players. Capello says he's always done it that way, so why change? - change because it's obviously not working you fool, the players don't like it so how does that build their confidence? It doesn't, obviously, it erodes it. It seems we have Mike Bassett in charge of the national team and the quicker he goes the better.

    Still on the Terry situation, what manager in any field publicly berates a senior member of his team? It's rule 1 from the managers handbook, those comments stay in house. For that matter, I'm actually wondering if Capello really understood what John Terry said, his English is patently not that good.

    Having said all that, the players are obviously not blameless - none of them have played well, except for maybe a couple of short periods in the first game. But they have a chance to redeem themsleves, as it seems we make a habit of doing in these competitions - it was probably 1982 the last time we started a tournament well. If they do win on Wednesday then they still have a chance of doing well in this tournament, but if they do I firmly believe it will be despite Capello not because of him.

  • Comment number 89.

    If Capello wants to retain the England job, he has to get out of the group, on Friday John Terry was probably in the top 3 performers, leave him out and fail to progress and Capello is toast, mind you I guess he would be toast anyway, the un-named FA sources saying he would be expected to resign suggests to me all is not well, quite frankly all the team looked as though it had Milner's virus - now would it not be interesting if that had been the case and it was being covered up? Regardless, I have been watching Wayne Rooney since he was 16, and I have NEVER seen him so lethargic, if it isn't Morale , then he is injured or ill, and not replacing him was a poor decision. No matter which way you look at it, Capello does not come out of it well, he may have exerted his authority, but come Wednesday if the team is even half as bad as Friday, then his authority will end with the flight home - personally I'd rather we had an Englishman - see if Hodgson would do it, there is an Englishman with possibly more knowlege of European football than Capello, even if not with the same number of championships.

  • Comment number 90.

    There is no defense for Terry - He is no longer the Captain and should keep his opinions to himself.

    We have seen the destruction caused by 'player-power' in the French team - so I'm afraid Terry should be flown home early - to keep Anelka company - at Stamford Bridge.

    Coincidence? Perhaps not.

  • Comment number 91.

    Censorship from the BBC because I highlighted the BBC report which said Capello will resign if England you ‘believe’.

    My language contained no swearing, and my feelings about your reporting of rumours, and your standards dropping, were sincere.

  • Comment number 92.

    McNulty you are funny. I've been reading your tripe for awhile - let's face it we can't avoid it because you have a monopoly on opinion on this website.

    As someone who has actually watched the Terry media interview I can say that he said nothing at all controversial and nothing out of place. Prompted by the media, he did agree that he thought Joe Cole could bring something to the party. How is that controversial? It's what EVERYONE has been saying all week!!!

    He said that there would be a routine team meeting to watch vidoes and discuss tactics, which he pointed out happened every few days, and that it would be a frank meeting where everyone would get to say what they wanted to say. Is that in any way unusual? No.

    This is 100% a media invention because you guys want to sell papers. You don't care about the truth, at all. If indeed Capello has responded to this media invented story, it's merely because you've deliberately distorted the truth in order to present him with a question to which there is only one answer - the one that you want in order to perpetuate this story.

    If course Capello won't drop Terry. He's done nothing wrong and you know it. You just pose the question because you sense blood. You're not interested in 'reporting'. You're only interested in 'speculating'. Terry did absolutely nothing wrong in that interview. Anyone who actually watched it will agree. If Capello reaction is true, it's because he didn't watch it either.

  • Comment number 93.

    'I think in Terry's defence I should say he did not blame Capello for what had gone wrong'

    What? Is this a serious comment? Even Terry wouldn't commit football suicide by saying this in a (very suspect) press conference. He may not have to though, the way he is going.

    Just concentrate on Wednesday. Everyone. Or we are out.

  • Comment number 94.

    What I can't understand is why people are acting as though Terry called a press conference on his own! It was the FA who arranged it, with Capello's full consent! Terry agreed to appear in front of the media, as per his contractual agreement with the FA. That's, er, normal for International duty!!!!!!! None of the players criticised him afterwards. Not in reality. Just in the media imagination.

  • Comment number 95.

    OK...having had an earlier post of mine including my opinions on Terry(even though it was generally sympathetc) deleted, let's see what happens here.

    I think Fabio was right to remove the captaincy from him, if nothing else because the issue between him and Bridge was going to be a major distraction unless the press were shut up.

    Having said that, I still respect him as a player and didn't have an issues with the press conference. Let's face it, something was clearly wrong with the player's heads, Terry gave us some idea of what.

    I just hope Fabio can do whatever it takes to sort this out.

  • Comment number 96.

    I'm perplexed by all this media talk of "mutiny" and "rebels", which has zero basis in anything which any England player has said or done. Once again it appears that the biggest enemy of the England football team is the English press.

  • Comment number 97.

    "Put Dawson in defence with Upson, and Carragher will be back as cover for the next game if we somehow get through. It won't happen, because Capello will see playing Dawson as too big a risk (and he knows he'll forever be remembered for this decision if England subsequently lose). We should have left Terry at home and picked Wayne Bridge instead (although to be fair, Ashley Cole is one of the few England players who has performed like a professional in this World Cup so far). And no, I won't change my mind if Terry scores the winner on Wednesday - it doesn't make his actions acceptable, even if he scores in every round to the Final."


    Is there any possibility that people like you could put their silly grudge against Terry on hold for a couple of weeks, in the best interests of English football?

  • Comment number 98.

    Way off base Phil. First of all Capello has gone back on his, "only 2 hours before kick-off to announce the team. Second, we won't really know what he does about including Cole until Wed.
    3rd. Terry's comment about Cole is absolutely true. He is the only unplayed player left, who does possess creative ability, and how can you say it's upsetting to the likes of Gerrad, Lampard and Lennon (why even mention him)when the first two matches have proved they can't break down defences, even in an average team.

  • Comment number 99.

    What John Terry said wasn't the issue. The fact that he said it to a room full of journalists and not the manager is.


    Right. So if Terry had said "Whew, it sure is hot out today", it would be an issue that he said it to a room full of journalists and not the manager. Because remember, what he said is not the issue!

  • Comment number 100.

    Terry needs educating and so do a lot of these overpaid superstars.
    What makes any sane person think that the inclusion of one man (joe Cole) is going to reap rewards for a team that has underperformed in South Africa in total?
    Capello could do no worse than to give the periphery players their chance to show their worth.
    The tried and trusted so far have failed miserably so why not give those other players their day in the sun.
    I am convinced that Crouch, Defoe, Dawson, Joe Cole, would not let us down as uneducated Terry has hinted at!
    Terry Lampard Rooney and Gerrard need to be on the bench. They have had their chance over and over again.


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