|ESPNsoccernet: World Cup 2010|
Less than 24 hours after denials there was a rift in the England camp, the British media is claiming an attempt by some players, led by John Terry, to challenge the authority of coach Fabio Capello has failed.
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At a morning press conference, Terry, who said he was speaking on behalf of the players, told reporters there would be a meeting in the evening to discuss the situation. "We have gone to Fabio Capello and discussed possible tactical changes in the past and we will do again if we feel it needs to be done," he said. "We shouldn't be looking at excuses or criticising the manager. I've seen a few reports myself this morning but I'm coming here on behalf of the players and there's no disharmony in the camp at all."
But reports in the newspapers claim other players were angry they had been dragged into a situation that they would have preferred to remain behind closed doors.
At the evening meeting, which was described as "positive", Capello listened to the players' concerns and agreed to address complaints about their "boredom" but refused to back down regarding challenges to his authority on team selection and tactics.
The Daily Mail said: "According to sources here, Terry has been a hugely disruptive influence. One spoke of an incident during training when Terry clashed with the fitness coach, Massimo Neri, over some shuttle runs he was being ordered to do. Terry refused, Capello intervened and told him to keep running and after one more sprint the Chelsea defender claimed his hamstring was sore and walked off the pitch. Another time Capello reprimanded him for not paying attention, screaming: 'Focus, focus!'"
The Guardian reports that Capello reasserted control, with a member of his coaching staff persuading Terry not to speak at the meeting. It adds that Terry "ended up in danger of being left isolated within the England camp after senior team-mates reacted with dismay to him going public with their desire for a clear-the-air meeting with the manager".
Terry, according to the Daily Mirror, confirmed that Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Jamie Carragher, Peter Crouch, Aaron Lennon, Glen Johnson and David James all stayed up on Friday to discuss the problems within the team.
"Maybe the togetherness has been missing at times," Terry said. "When things don't go well, it is important the group stays together. Usually everyone goes straight back to their room and stays there until the following morning but, on Friday, for the first time since the manager took over, he let us have a beer.
"The staff were there, too, including the manager, having a glass of wine. It was nice. We had one each, nothing more than that, and seven or eight of us sat there talking about the game. It was good to get things off our chest and express how we felt."
However, it appears the others were uncomfortable with the forthright nature of Sunday's press conference, in which Terry said the England set-up is "not one of those things where the manager calls the shots and that's it".
Sky Sports News says that, while Capello would not enter into discussions over his tactics, he may have softened his stance on naming his team two hours before games.