Charles Sale: Shoots of recovery don't impress Fabio
06 June 2009 12:17
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England coach Fabio Capello has yet to give Wembley groundstaff his critical seal of approval for the new pitch at the national stadium much to their disappointment.
Capello was the most influential voice in his vocal criticisms of the previous sub-standard surface that persuaded the FA to rip it up ahead of schedule and make all the changes in personnel, suppliers and the turf itself ahead of the last World Cup qualifier of the season against Andorra on Wednesday.
The England coach's total disregard for the Wembley pitch has showed itself during his time in charge by the squad hardly ever training at the stadium on the eve of a home game despite it being common practice for the opposition and previous England teams.
Capello, along with his assistant Franco Baldini, had a walk over the newly-laid surface that had already stood up to three successive play-off games before the FA Cup final and made positive comments afterwards about the improvement in the conditions.
But the progress still doesn't look enough to make the hardline Capello return to Wembley for any training sessions.
There is nothing in the current FA itinerary for next Tuesday regarding a Wembley practice with the team keeping to their Watford Grove hotel base and Arsenal's London Colney training ground regime.
Rio Ferdinand's attention to footwear is such that it's being claimed by a swish new shoe shop Jeffery-West in Manchester that the England centre back, right, has bought a pair of their shoes - prices start at £240 - for every member of the Manchester United squad to wear at his wedding to Rebecca Ellison at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire this month, which has all the makings of a WAGs extravaganza.
David Beckham may only have a bit part to play from the substitutes bench for England against Kazakhstan today, but the full package so to speak will on display outside London's Selfridges store on Thursday and it will close the traffic down Oxford Street such will be the interest in what is still the most famous body in football.
Becks, right, is the model for a new range of Armani underwear and will be launching the worldwide poster campaign of him posing in the tightest of underpants by unveiling a giant-size picture dominating the outside of the department store.
According to a spokesperson for brand Beckham, who said 'He is what he is', there was no need for any photographic enhancement of Beckham in his briefs.
Getty Images, the picture agency causing controversy in football by working with Manchester United and Chelsea to get newspapers to pay exorbitant rates for exclusive snaps from inside the clubs, have not only won the FA contract off their rivals Action Images but have taken their star England photographer Michael Regan as well.
It was a move recommended by the FA as Regan is trusted by theEngland players. But at least the FA have no plans to charge forEngland pictures.
It remains highly unlikely that England Under 21 boss Stuart Pearce, right, will ever be appointed the national team coach, but Pearce is still using his position to learn as much as he can from Fabio Capello incase the call does come.
Pearce sat in on the Press conferences in Almaty yesterday to
watch how Capello, who never gives much away, interacts with the media.
Brundle's Button U-turnIt has taken Grand Prix driver Jenson Button to win five out of six races before BBC pundit and co-commentator Martin Brundle's pre-season team predictions on the Beeb website which forecasted another wasted year for Jenson in the Brawn GP to be rewritten.
The 180 degree U-turn by former driver Brundle now says Jenson is fulfilling all his potential in the Brawn car.
Liverpool have chronic financial problems with serious doubts as to how their American owners will manage the debt.
But that hasn't prevented the club expanding their interests into India by forming close links with a university dedicated to football business being launched by commercial boss Ian Ayre in Pune south of Mumbai on Monday.
The club's worldwide appeal is such Liverpool talisman Steven Gerrard played host at the England hotel in Almaty yesterday to a party from the Kazakhstan branch of the Liverpool supporters club.