Capello sticks to his guns

Fabio Capello insists he won’t change his policy of only telling his team who is playing hours before kick-off, despite concern that the approach does nothing for their confidence.

The England coach has come under rare criticism following England’s opening World Cup performance when they drew 1-1 with the United States.

In particular, he drew flak for his late selection of goalkeeper Robert Green, whose blunder cost England the game.

But Capello is standing firm and adopting the same tactics ahead of their crucial match with Algeria later Friday.

Asked if it would be have been better for his confidence if Green could have woken up on the morning of the match knowing he was playing, he replied: “Do you think so? Next time you take my place.


“I have always used this method,” he added.

“Should there be change? I prefer no change. Why is it harmful? All the players are focused and ready to play, no problem.

“But goalkeepers are different?”

Whether Green is given a chance to redeem himself against Algeria remains to be seen.

Capello said he knows his starting 11 but only would talk to Green on Friday.

“I will speak to him on the day of the game, not the night before,” he said, although the Italian has hinted that he could be used again.

“Everyone can make mistakes, a goalkeeper, defender, a midfielder or a forward,” he said.

“Every player that makes a mistake deserves a second chance,” he added, without naming Green. “I judge a player on his quality and not on his mistakes.”

One area Capello is considering a possible change is up front.

Although Emile Heskey played well against the United States, he may instead opt for Jermain Defoe to give the team a different look.

“I think Heskey and Rooney played very well but I can change the style of the forward,” he said.

“I think Heskey is a very important player in terms of movement at this moment but Defoe is also important, like the other players. I have to choose.”

Capello has made clear he will use Gareth Barry, who is fit after an ankle injury kept him out of their opener.

This would allow captain Steven Gerrard to return to a more offensive role.

The team will definitely be without Ledley King who has a groin strain, meaning Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher is expected to start alongside John Terry, although Matthew Upson is another option.

Capello knows England must take all three points from the match, but has warned his players not to underestimate Algeria.

“I know the value of the Algeria team because they won against Egypt,” he said, referring to the play-off victory against their arch-rivals.

“I think Algeria are better than Egypt. They play a different style because they play with three centre-backs and have two wider players who can defend and go forward.

“They play very well on the counter-attack, whereas Egypt play more short passes, a different style. The value of the team is good.” — AFP

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Martin Parry
Martin Parry
AFP News Editor for Australia/New Zealand/Pacific

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