Since naming his 23-man party for tomorrow’s friendly with Hungary at Wembley, Capello has seen two of his included players, goalkeeper Paul Robinson and defender Wes Brown, announce their retirement from international football.
And he was left red-faced again at Sunday’s Community Shield at the sight of Michael Carrick turning out for Manchester United, inset, after the midfielder had been omitted from Capello’s squad due to injury.
The events have led to suggestions that Capello has lost touch with his England fringe players, but the Italian says he has no communication failure with his squad, blaming the pre-season for any misunderstanding.
“I spoke with Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday after he won the trophy and he said sorry,” said Capello on explaining the Carrick situation. “He told me Carrick had been injured two days previously but then turned up on Saturday and said he wanted to play.
“I also had a conversation with [sporting director] Frank Arnesen at Chelsea about Daniel Sturridge. He said he had not trained for two weeks, which is why he was not selected for the U21s.
“In pre-season it is not easy to understand what really happens because you can recover from injury really quickly.”
Capello also said he accepted the decision of Robinson and Brown to quit. He added: “Robinson called us and said he wanted to stay at home. I spoke with Brown here. I told him why I didn’t select him for the World Cup because he didn’t play for the last two months. You have to accept what they want to do.”
Not for the first time, Capello blamed the events of South Africa on tiredness, but he insists lessons have been learned and is hoping tomorrow’s friendly will signal the start of a bright new future.
“When you play a World Cup competition, you have to arrive in really good physical condition,” he added. “We were not so fresh as the games we played before the World Cup. We changed some things but it was not enough. Every experience is important for the players, the manager – I learned a lot.”