Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Capello admits to mistake in not meeting Ferdinand

Fabio Capello found himself on the back foot again last night as he fended off more questions about his handling of the England captaincy.

If Capello thought the issue of who wears the armband would have come to an end with John Terry's press conference on Tuesday, he was sadly mistaken.

Few have any issue with Terry getting the job back, 13 months after Capello stripped him of the honour. How Rio Ferdinand lost it is another matter.

Capello has still not spoken to the Manchester United star, claiming he preferred to deal with such issues face-to-face rather than on the telephone.

That has not happened because Ferdinand opted not to meet Capello in the United directors' box, immediately before the Champions League victory over Marseille.

“I could have done something different, but it is history,” said Capello.

“I respect the players. I respect all the people. Sometimes I regret what really happened and it is possible to do something better, but all the people make mistakes.

“I tried to meet him when Manchester United played against Marseille. I prefer to speak with the person not on the telephone.”

Capello made it perfectly clear to his inquisitors that he did not care for their persistent line of questioning, taking the unusual step of revealing at least one major piece of team news ahead of a crucial Euro 2012 qualifier.

“Jack Wilshere will start tomorrow,” said Capello.

“He is one of the young players who has improved a lot. He has got a lot better since he played the first game with us at Wembley.

“He plays like someone who has played a lot of games. Like someone who is 28 or 29.

“He was fantastic against Barcelona. He was a leader on the pitch. It is not easy to find players like him, who play without fear in a stadium like the Nou Camp.”

Capello would presumably have been expressing similar sentiments about Andy Carroll had the new Liverpool striker not have arrived on Merseyside carrying an injury.

And, while Carroll has made his comeback, he is clearly not fit enough for England to consider him as a potential partner for Wayne Rooney at the Millennium Stadium today.

“I monitored Andy Carroll in the games that he played for Liverpool and went to see him personally,” said Capello.

“He needs more games to play at the level he was at before he was injured.He is not fit to play 90 minutes.”

It is Wales who have the fitness problems though, with star man Gareth Bale ruled out by a hamstring complaint.

“I have played in derby games in two different countries and I coached in them in four countries,” he said. “The best team does not always win.”

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