Capello lays down law to Three Lions

BY foxsports • September 12, 2010

Fabio Capello has warned his returning stars they will have to accept his decisions if they are to have any future with England.

Although the task has been made slightly easier by injuries to Theo Walcott and Jermain Defoe and the suspension of James Milner that will keep the trio out of next month's Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley, Capello still has some big calls to make with his team selection.

If Capello uses his twin loss as a way of getting Frank Lampard back into his starting line-up, it will mean a change of role for Wayne Rooney or Steven Gerrard, or possibly both, which he might be loathe to do considering how well the pair played in England's excellent start to their qualifying campaign.

Unless injuries bite at the back as well, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry can no longer be sure of their place either considering how well Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka performed against Switzerland.

Capello has never shown any sign of being fazed by such huge decisions.

However, while he confirmed Lampard, Terry and Ferdinand do have a future within the national set-up, they may also have to steel themselves for some bad news.

"They are important players," said Capello.

"But after these performances I have to decide. I need to choose the players I think are in the best moment.

"We still have one month but if they want to stay with us, they have to accept my decisions."

Capello is hardly likely to start making bold statements about his selection to face the only other team in Group G to boast a 100% record, indeed the only team to have collected any points at all.

Yet in his assessment of England's first competitive games since the World Cup debacle, Capello has given those involved this week plenty of room for optimism.

"There are players I selected before but they were injured," he shrugged.

"You can see the players in the last two games were really good. They not only played like good players but also like a team. That is really important.

"The midfield was fantastic. It was a very good balance.

"Our opponents did not have a lot of chance to go forward or score a goal. When we lost the ball we went to win it back very well."

It is every manager's desire to have competition for places.

Capello must feel blessed because when he emerged from the South African travails with his job in tact, he must have surveyed the potential candidates and shuddered.

Yet, quite aside from those on duty this week, Bobby Zamora and Jack Wilshere have already impressed in an England shirt this season, while Jack Rodwell will surely merit closer attention when he gets himself fit again.

"It is good when you have competition," said Capello.

"I wouldn't say it is any greater than it was before. It has more or less always been the same.

"But now the level of some young players is the same as the older ones. Before there was a big difference."

On recent evidence it is difficult to see Shaun Wright-Phillips getting a game ahead of Adam Johnson, who missed the World Cup largely because of his Manchester City team-mate's presence in Capello's squad.

Other than a 10-minute wobble against the Swiss, Joe Hart has enjoyed an impressive introduction to life as England's number one goalkeeper.

And while Ashley Cole remains a clear first-choice at left-back, in Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs, Capello does have a high-class alternative should he ever find himself without the Chelsea man.

"Young players are different," said the Italian, when asked what major difference these fresh faces have made.

"They are always happy. They always joke.

"They are just starting the important time of their career. They want to do something different."


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