Capello plans for Mexico
Monday, 24 May, 2010
Fabio Capello prepares for the final home game before the World Cup.
Fabio Capello will send his England team out against Mexico at Wembley tonight ready for an emotional pre-World Cup farewell but knowing he has some big, big decisions to make in the next two weeks.
The England Manager must cut his squad from 30 to 23 on 1 June so every player in action beneath the giant arch knows they are playing for their World Cup future.
There is also the question of places in the starting eleven: Who will play in goal in South Africa, for instance? Who will beat off intense competition to play on the right wing? Who will partner Wayne Rooney?
We will have to wait for the answers, of course, but there could certainly be clues to spot tonight, not least when it comes to the goalkeeping position which is particularly competitive between Joe Hart, David James and Robert Green.
Capello said: “Joe Hart will play 45 minutes against Mexico. It will be really important for him to play at Wembley because the pressure at Wembley is really, really big. He played in Trinidad and Tobago I remember and he has played all the games for Birmingham this year and improved a lot. I have confidence in him. Like the other two goalkeepers. All the keepers are in the same position. I have time to decide.
“Robert Green played, David James played a lot of games, Hart played once because he is young. I prefer to leave the decision until the last moment because it is really dangerous to decide early. I prefer always to decide late, that is why I announce the team two hours before a game.” There are plenty of other decisions for Capello to make too – not least who to leave out of his squad when it is trimmed on 1 June.
“That is the hardest decision,” he admitted.
“I will speak with these players and then I will decide. They know I have to choose. You have to understand that I have to choose, but to be in the top 30 players of the national team is really important. I will decide on 1 June. We will have to ring some of them when we are back in England. We have to wait after the Japan game to see if there are any injuries. I will just phone the seven who will not go.”
So tonight’s match is particularly important for new additions to the squad who are desperate to impress, such as Manchester City winger Adam Johnson.
Capello said: “He is one player who is really good, He played really well and important games, not easy games, for Manchester City. He has improved a lot, he is a really, really good player. I selected him because I think he can stay with us.
“But he is young and the World cup is different. There is the pressure, the level of the games at the World Cup is really high. I don't know if he will be with us or not, but he can play and his future is with the national team.”
Capello will also want an opportunity over the next few weeks to look at a range of tactical options for the World Cup, including which formation suits his players best. And, as has been reported, that may even include playing with three centre-backs at some stage.
Capello said: “My style was always 4-4-2 or 4-3-1-2 with Steven Gerrard free behind the two forwards and with Roma I played three centre backs and we have to practice here and train and because in every moment it is possible that you might have to use this during one game. If you have to play ten players against eleven for example. You have to prepare these things.
“You have to study the opponents. My plan is to play two styles. You can play the forwards in different positions, but it depends on the game, the injuries to players, the opponents, it depends on a lot of things.
“I think we have a lot of options. Also during the game we might change the style, I remember in one game I changed the style four or five times and changed the position of the players. You have to read what is happening in the game and choose the best positions. I want flexibility.”
An exclusive fans interview with Fabio Capello appears in the official match programme, which is available to buy online now...