england news

Lord Coe slams Capello's "fatally flawed" campaign

August 10, 2010
By ESPN staff

Lord Sebastian Coe has criticised Fabio Capello's "fatally flawed" preparations for England's "dismal" World Cup campaign.

Lord Coe has a formidable reputation in sport
GettyImagesLord Coe has a formidable reputation in sport

• Flops facing a night on the boos
• Capello targets Euro glory
• Pearce: England players find pride
• Forum: Do you care about England?
• Play Premier League fantasy

The 2012 Olympics organiser believes that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who he credits with "changing the face of English football", would never have put the England squad through a similar build-up.

Coe has also revealed that he will urge the top British athletes to not risk the exhaustion suffered by the football squad - one of the reasons Capello cited for England's failure in South Africa - ahead of the 2012 Games.

"[Wenger] would not have taken an England team from sea level to altitude and back again for meaningless friendlies, only to return to thin air again," Coe told the Telegraph. "Under these conditions, fatigue and underperformance were almost guaranteed.

"If those England players who reported for World Cup duty were already exhausted, why continue with such a fatally flawed build-up? Show me any successful Olympic team that would have gone about a campaign in this way.

"As England prepare to qualify for Euro 2012, they must never leave these shores again with preparation so pre-designed to end in failure."

Coe has also hit out at those who accuse the influx of foreign players into the Premier League of stifling the development of young English talent. "I'm not in the camp that routinely blames the foreign legion in English football for our dismal performance in South Africa," he said.

"There may well be fewer opportunities for British talent to hold down first-team places but those who are playing have had their game advanced by playing for overseas talent."