Reprieved Capello points finger at famous stars

Coach indicates end of England career for certain players

Reprieved Capello points finger at famous stars

The inquest over England’s 4-1 defeat to Germany in South Africa has been intense, not least at the Football Association (FA) where some senior figures wanted to remove Capello from his six-million-pounds-a-year post.

Having opted to stick by their man, the focus now is on how England change for the Euro 2012 qualifiers which begin in September. Speculation has been rife that older players such as Frank Lampard (32), David Beckham (35), David James (39) and Emile Heskey (32) may be nearing the end of their England careers and Capello has confirmed that his squad will be rejuvenated.

Asked if South Africa represented the end of the road for some of his squad, the Italian was typically frank. “For some players I think so,” he said. Germany’s pace, fitness and energy levels were key to their last-16 victory in Bloemfontein, with manager Joachim Loew speculating later that younger players were better able to recover from a long season.

Now England must search out new, young, talent and intense discussions have already taken place between Capello and his coach Stuart Pearce, who is also manager of England’s under-21 side.

The view in the camp is that only a handful of Pearce’s players are anywhere near ready for promotion and England’s best hopes lie in the under-17 squad which recently beat Spain in the European Championships but are years away from selection for the senior squad.

Players Capello sees coming through in time for Euro 2012 include Manchester City winger Adam Johnson, who only just missed out on selection for this tournament, Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs and goalkeeper Joe Hart, who the England boss expects to become Manchester City’s number one next season.

But he underlined that England does not have a bottomless pool of talent. “The big problem for us is only 38 percent of players in the Premier League are English. In other countries it is 68, 69 or 70 per cent.

“Clubs do produce young players. But some are Welsh, some are Irish, some are the others. They are not English but they play in the Premier League. “It can happen suddenly, though. When I was director of the academy at Milan we produced seven players who played for AC Milan. Now, no one. It is the same for Manchester United. You have to be lucky sometimes. At some moments players come, at others nothing.”

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