Fabio Capello: I Got World Cup 2010 Preparation Wrong

Italian admits he should have given players more rest.
England coach Fabio Capello has held his hands up and admitted he should have given his squad an extended break before they began their World Cup 2010 preparations.

While other sides were resting ahead of the tournament in South Africa, the Three Lions chief took his side altitude training in Austria before playing two international friendlies against Mexico and Japan.

The lack of rest after a grueling Premier League season visibly told on the England players, with a string of lackluster performances before their elimination to Germany in the last 16.

And Capello, who was given backing by the FA last week to lead the nation through Euro 2012 qualifying, admitted he had got some aspects of the pre-tournament preparations wrong.

"We have already spoken about what we can do," Capello told reporters.

"And I think after the end of the Premier League or the FA Cup final, the players needed more free time, more time on holiday."

The Three Lions coach recalled the European Championships in Sweden in 1992, where Denmark, having virtually arrived at the tournament off the beach, went on to win the competition.

"I remember clearly when Denmark won the Euros," he added. "They arrived off the beach. There was no pressure not like it was here in England.

"We played one build-up game against Mexico at Wembley and we had already decided on this fixture. We probably regret that. But now the situation is different, we are talking about what we could have changed."

Most of the England squad were restricted to just a six-day break before they met up for World Cup duty after the season ended on May 9.

Chelsea stars John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole had even less time with their feet up, having joined the squad later than planned due to the FA Cup final on May 15.

Capello then took his side to Austria two days later for a tough training camp before returning to England to play against Mexico at Wembley.

The hectic schedule didn't stop there either, as the England squad was then rushed back to continue with more altitude work before flying out to Graz for a friendly against Japan.

England were one of the first nation's to arrive in South Africa to acclimatise to conditions, but after 25 days of preparation in three different countries Capello concedes his plans were wrong.

In comparison, the European Champions Spain remained at home and played their final warm-up game against Poland on June 9, which they won 6-0, before traveling to South Africa the next day.

"We have to try and understand what happened," Capello added. "We have analyzed the group of players and I understand that it was not only the body that was tired but also their minds and this is the problem. Too many games.

"I understand the problems better now and I know that you can't play seven games at more or less the same level in a tournament when the big problem is a physical one."

Capello has also pointed to the problem caused by the foreign invasion into the Premier League. Despite being regarded as the most exciting divisions in the world, Capello believes home-grown players need to start finding places in top-flight teams for the nation to progress.

The former Milan coach identified that more players need to break through from academies and be given the opportunity of first team football, otherwise the likes of Germany and Spain will continue to dominate.

"Germany have some very good players who have come through their under-21 set-up and into this World Cup," Capello said.

"We hope to find the same in England but you have to understand that in Germany there are 70 million people and in England there are 60 million people.

"But for me, one of the reasons is that only 38 per cent of the players in the Premier League are English. That has to change. When you have only 38 per cent of English players in the home league then that is the big problem because other countries are nearer 70 per cent.

"Like Manchester United a few years ago and at AC Milan when I was in the academy, we produced seven players who went through into the senior team. But now in Milan there is no-one and it is the same for Manchester United. You have to be lucky to have the moment when players are coming. At the moment, there are none.

"When we spoke after the Germany game, Dave Richards [chairman of Club England] asked me what I thought about the next tournament and the young players we might have to bring through, like Adam Johnson, Kieran Gibbs and Joe Hart.

"These are the players we have to look at now because for some of the players maybe it is the end of an era."

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