ENGLAND vs ALGERIA
ENGLAND manager Fabio Capello last night defended his selection policy after coming under fire for the first time in two-and-a-half years in charge.
On the eve of tonight’s must-win Group C contest with Algeria, Capello vowed to stick with his strategy of only revealing his team two hours before kick-off.
And in the wake of criticism following England’s opening match of the tournament, in
which they only mustered a 1-1 draw with the USA, the Italian insisted he would
continue to base his selection strictly on form.
“All managers can make mistakes,” said Capello. “I decided the best players I saw during
training, I decided the first XI and who I think was the best player who can play. I can make mistakes but I choose the players at this moment who are the best.”
Capello has the luxury of 22 players at his disposal, after the entire squad, aside from
Ledley King, trained yesterday evening in Cape Town.
Having confirmed earlier in the week that the fit-again Gareth Barry will return to central
midfield, all eyes are on who Capello will play alongside Rooney in attack, and who will
be get the nod in goal.
Veteran stopper David James is thought to be in line to take the gloves from Robert Green, following the West Ham man’s costly blunder against the USA, but Capello offered little clue to his thinking.
“Some keepers are making mistakes. The problem is the ball, the bounce is higher than
normal,” he said. “I think all the players can make mistakes. But I have to choose by the
value of different players, not for mistakes.”
Emile Heskey is being tipped to retain his place up front, despite pressure from Jermain Defoe.
Capello added: “I think he played very well. Heskey is important for movement but also a different supporter of the other players. I was happy after the USA game after everything I saw but not the result.”