Rio Ferdinand explains his early impressions on the new era and aura of Fabio Capello.
England v Switzerland
8pm, Wednesday 6 February 2008
Rio Ferdinand has been struck by the sheer presence and aura of new England Manager Fabio Capello after meeting him for the first time.
Manchester United defender Ferdinand got his first taste of what the new era in English football will be like as the Three Lions squad trained twice yesterday, once at London Colney and once at Wembley.
First impressions are always important in these circumstances and it seems the players were hugely impressed with how their new manager approached the occasion.
Ferdinand said: "There's an aura about him. Definitely. There can't not be. You command respect with results, that's what my boss at Manchester United has got.
“He commands respect through his achievements - and because of his work ethic and the ideals he manages by.
"That runs throughout the club at United, and that is apparent in the way the new manager has come in with England too. From all the players there is a respect for what he's achieved and hopefully he can bring it to our squad as well.”
Ferdinand spotted several small differences in the way the first day of the international get-together was organised – players being expected to eat together at dinner, for instance, and then asked to turn up as a group for breakfast.
So there was a fresh feel to the start of a new campaign – because make no mistake, England’s World Cup campaign begins with tomorrow’s friendly against Switzerland in the mind of Mr Capello.
"It's been different,” admitted Rio. “He called me Ferdinand and his coaching staff called us by our surnames too. Maybe on the continent that's what they do. You take it as being about different backgrounds.”
There was also the first team talk of the new era to experience and by the sounds of it the message, after the initial pleasantaries and welcome, was all about winning.
"The new manager has his own identity and it's a winning identity," said Rio.
"His mentality is driven towards winning. He just wants to win and wants everyone to be in the same frame of mind as him.
"That's good because it’s a results business. I don't want to finish my career with England without at least having a chance to play in a final and try to win something.
"I want to win a medal for England and there isn't anyone on the planet with a better CV than this manager to help us do it."