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England news

Capello blasts Terry 'mistake'

June 21, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Under-pressure Fabio Capello has accused John Terry of making ''a very big mistake'' with his staggering attack on the England World Cup set-up.

Fabio Capello addresses the England players at training on Monday morning
GettyImagesFabio Capello addresses the England players at training on Monday morning

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Former skipper John Terry went public with a list of grievances in his remarkable account of life with England in South Africa and confirmed that he had to plead with Capello's trusted right-hand man Franco Baldini to be allowed a beer in the aftermath of England's dismal draw with Algeria in Cape Town on Friday.

The defender is unhappy at the way Capello has been guiding England through the tournament, feeling preparation, tactics and personnel have been wrong, whilst there has been little to alleviate the sheer boredom of spending so much time away, but Capello hit back at his claims.

''This is the big mistake, this is the very big mistake,'' Capello told ITV1 of Terry's press conference. ''This was not a revolution. It was one mistake from one player. No more.''

Capello did apparently give some ground, agreeing to tell his players his intended starting line-up in advance of his usual policy of informing them five minutes before they board the bus. But it seems he does not quite see why it is so important.

''After 26 games this is a new problem,'' he said. ''Before it was okay and the players played well every time. Now they have to know the first XI. I don't understand why. In my career I use this system always, why change?''

Clearly, Capello is incredulous that his authority should be challenged by a player - his captain until he stripped him of the honour in February over well-publicised personal issues - in a public forum.

''My door is always open. If people want to speak with me they can speak with me,'' added the Italian. ''Every time we have a meeting I ask the captain, problems? You want to say something? Never.

''Then I read yesterday that John Terry said this, I don't understand why he doesn't speak with me. When you speak you have to speak privately, not with the media.

''I think he is more disappointed. I know sometimes players want to speak more with you (the media) than with the other players. But the mistake is that you have to speak with the players, with me, with the dressing room.''

Earlier, Capello had hinted that some players were not happy, but would not name Terry.

''Probably one or two are not happy but the majority are,'' Capello told the BBC. ''One player is not so important compared to all the others. The group is more important. For this reason it is no problem. We are here to play at the World Cup, not for a holiday.''

Terry's thinly-veiled attempt to press the claims of Joe Cole for a starting berth in Wednesday's do-or-die clash with Slovenia in Port Elizabeth were also dismissed, with Capello claiming Terry was not treating the other members of his squad with respect by singling out his Chelsea team-mate for such lavish praise.

''If somebody wants to speak with me, he can speak. I always tell the players they can speak but yesterday nobody did,'' Capello added. ''Joe Cole is one of 23 players who are here but, when we speak about one single player, you have to respect the other players that played before. That's the most important thing, the respect of the other players.''

Another of Terry's major bones of contention was Capello's post-match assertion that England were struggling so badly because they were fearful of the pressure they were under on such a grand stage. However, 48 hours before a match he admits is one of the most important of his career, Capello is sticking to his guns.

''It is a mental thing. When you are under pressure, big pressure, sometimes the legs do not work normally,'' he said. ''It happened to me as a player but I think on Wednesday the team will be fit.''