England news

Foster bemoans 'negative' Capello regime

March 4, 2013
By ESPN staff

Recalled England goalkeeper Ben Foster has said his decision to retire from international football two years ago was because of the "serious" restrictions imposed on players by Fabio Capello.

Ben Foster in action in an England-France friendly in 2010
APBen Foster in action in an England-France friendly in 2010

Foster, 29, opted to withdraw himself from selection by the Three Lions in 2011 after becoming disillusioned with Capello's regime, which he said prevented players from having contact with their families.

After talks with current England boss Roy Hodgson, however, the West Brom keeper has agreed to return to the national fold for this month's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

And he has lifted the lid on life under Capello, telling The Times:. "At the time, it was very, very serious with Capello.

"We weren't allowed to go out of the hotel and we weren't allowed visitors, and I just felt that a week or ten days away from the family at that age was too much of a big miss.

"The children were about one and two and it was really hard not to see my kids or family for a week or ten days at a time. It really did hurt me to be away from them for that time.

"I've spoken to a couple of the lads and they say it's completely different now. They'll even get a day or two off after games and it's just a lot more relaxed.

"I think in the Euros in the summer you saw the lads just walking around coffee shops and just taking it a bit easier, interacting with fans and stuff like that, whereas before I just don't think that seemed to be the case."

Foster confirmed that the prospect of being reuinited with Hodgson, under whom he flourished after being brought to West Brom, was a major factor in his decision to accept a call-up.

"Roy has brought that factor of wanting to be there," Foster said. "You saw so many people pull out of international duty when the previous managers were there. At times, there were eight or ten people pulling out of every trip, but players really want to be there now and I'm one that wants to be there as well."

"With Roy in charge, that's a big draw for me. I know what Roy is about and, just from talking to a few of the lads since he took over, he's brought a more relaxed attitude.

"He's so much more relaxed round the England set up, as under Fabio it seemed to be a little bit too negative. Roy has brought a lot more optimism, and the lads seem really happy to be called up and be involved now."

Foster has enjoyed an excellent season at club level and will provide quality competition for current England No. 1 Joe Hart - who has been unopposed for the spot for some time – but he knows usurping him will be no easy task.

"If I can be in the national team and help the team out in any way whatsoever, I'm more than happy to do that," he said. "Joe could be England's No. 1 goalie for the next 10 to 15 years."