England coach Fabio Capello is set to do a U-turn and allow his players to mix with their wives and girlfriends at the World Cup finals - and could even sanction family barbeques to foster team spirit.
Capello had said he would be banning the infamous WAGS from spending time with his squad members, bar one day after each game. But now Capello has revealed that he believes he will have a more harmonious squad if the players are treated more leniently.
Four years ago in Baden-Baden there was much criticism over the amount of time players were able to spend with their wives and girlfriends which seemed to create a whole new media circus around the squad. It even led to a TV show called WAGS Boutique. But Capello is looking to recreate the successful model of Italy coach Marcello Lippi in Germany, when he gave players time with their families.
"The spirit of the group is really important," Capello was quoted as saying in the Independent. "With Lippi we talked about Italy when they won last time, when the players had free days the players and their families stayed together.
"After each game they had a barbeque. It created a great spirit of the group. These are the little differences that can sometimes make the difference when it comes to winning. The managers need to understand what is best."
Capello went on to explain why his own experience at Real Madrid shows why team spirit can be so important in a successful side: "When I went to Real Madrid [in 2006] they had not won anything for three years, which is strange for a club the size of Real Madrid.
"Inside the dressing room there were three different teams - a South American group, Spanish group and the others. I had to work really hard to break these different groups down and bring everyone together. I had to make strong decisions and make sure there was a spirit within the team - when the group found the spirit of the shirt they won. Spirit is one of the most important things for a team. You need to have a good spirit to win."
The coach also underlined his own importance to England's chances of glory: "Leadership is vital, you can't buy it. You need to have it to be successful. The players will follow a strong leader, you need to be able to convince the players of your methods and ideas at all times and you can only do this by being a good leader."
Capello also discussed England's dismal record in penalty shootouts, and how the squad would be practicing spot-kicks ahead of the knockout stages.
"We always practise with the penalties," Capello said. "The problem is that during training the goal seems wide and the goalkeeper seems little; during the actual game the keeper seems bigger and the goals seem smaller.
"The hardest thing to manage is the pressure. It's important to train, you need to practise so they have confidence - but sometimes when it's time to decide who will take the penalties you need to change because players are tired, you need players with confidence who want to take them. I know who will take the good penalties, but sometimes at the final moment you have to change."