England talks 'blocked' by Capello
Published : 21 Jun 2010 08:18:33
John Terry's attempts to highlight growing discontent within the England squad at a clear-the-air meeting on Monday night appear to have been quashed by coach Fabio Capello.
Although there has been no official statement on the discussion Terry was expecting to have in a pre-planned team gathering, reports have emerged suggesting Capello squashed the idea flat.
Rather than listening to what Terry had to say, it is claimed the revolt was headed off before it even got underway, on the advice of senior figures surrounding the England camp who feared Terry was not speaking for the whole team.
If true, it would leave a group of senior England players - Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, David James, Jamie Carragher, Glen Johnson, Aaron Lennon and Peter Crouch - who initially got their problems out into the open over a beer after the Algeria debacle, in an uncomfortable position given Terry named them ahead of an intention to speak, which he indicated he was willing to go through with no matter what the consequences.
"We are in a meeting with the manager, whether he starts it or finishes it, the players can say how they feel and if it upsets him then I'm on the verge of just saying: 'you know what? so what? I'm here to win it for England'," he said.
"If we can't be honest with each other there is no point being here.
"It has worked in the past at Chelsea. We have a responsibility to ourselves, the manager and everyone else to voice an opinion and hope he takes it on board."
Based on an assumption that Terry was not able to get across a point of view that would have included irritation at the lack of things to occupy them at their Rustenburg base, players being described as fearful by Capello following the dismal draw with Algeria and a growing belief that the Italian must ditch his preference for a 4-4-2 formation in order to secure the most from his talented but underperforming squad, where England go now is anybody's guess.
It appears Capello is not in a mood to concede the high ground that comes with his status as coach, other than reportedly agreeing to confirm his starting line-up to his players more than two hours before kick-off, as has been his practice up to now.
Terry must now either swallow his pride and redouble his efforts ahead of the Slovenia encounter in Port Elizabeth, when only victory can be certain of securing a last-16 berth, or have a second go at raising issues that came to light following that plea from the Chelsea defender for a post-match beer on Friday.