Fabio Capello revealed the secret of his dressing room talk at a Fans Forum.
Fabio Capello has revealed the secret dressing room rule that he hopes will take England to World Cup success next summer – Silence is Golden.
The England manager came face-to-face with over 100 supporters at a Fans Forum in Soho Square this week organised by England sponsors Nationwide Building Society. And when asked what he does at half-time to motivate stars such as Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham, Capello replied: “That is my secret.”
But he did admit that he is not the sort of manager who throws teacups or gives his players the hairdryer treatment when they walk through the dressing room door, preferring a period of peace and quiet so they can all gather their thoughts.
He added: “Always at half-time when we go into the dressing room the first thing I say is: ‘Take five minutes, have a drink, change your shirt and please no one speak. Just relax.’
“Because if you speak when you go into the dressing room then the stress of the first half is too strong. For five minutes, you need to be quiet and relax - after that we speak about what we have to do for the second half. This is my secret.”
And with a 100 per cent success World Cup qualification record that has taken England to the brink of confirming their place at the finals in South Africa, Capello has high hopes for next summer.
“I think we are a very good team and that we have very good players, and I hope that we can do well at the World Cup,” he said to cheering England fans.
He also stressed how much it meant to him to be manager of England, and how he turned down other jobs when the FA came knocking 18 months ago. “I had a lot of opportunities from other teams. But, for me, to be the England manager was a dream and I’m really proud to be here now.”
And he told fans, who won the chance to put questions to him through a ballot of Nationwide’s customers, that his favourite English player all-time was Sir Bobby Charlton.
“He was one of the players I liked a great deal when I was playing, he was a midfielder like myself. He had similar qualities to Alfredo Di Stefano, the same style, always doing everything, defending, attacking. He was really a fantastic player."
But when it came to the best players he had worked with at club level, he chose Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi, the defensive mainstay of the great AC Milan side that Capello led to their famous European Cup final win over Barcelona in 1994.
“As a manager I remember Baresi and Maldini," Capello explained. "They came through the academy, as did Raul at Real Madrid. It’s really important to have players coming from the academy because they have the spirit of the club in them."