GERMANY (4) vs ENGLAND (1)
FABIO CAPELLO remained defiant last night he would not stand down as England manager despite his side’s World Cup humiliation in Bloemfontein.
But the Italian admitted he would seek crisis talks with Football Association chiefs after England’s woeful display against the Germans culminated in a heaviest-ever World Cup finals’ defeat.
Capello will point to Frank Lampard’s ‘goal that never was’ as the turning point of the match after his first-half shot cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and over the line, only for Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda to wave play on.
Nevertheless, he will still be made to carry the can for a spineless display, which saw the Three Lions defence carved open on numerous occasions by the rampant Germans. First-half strikes from Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski gave Capello’s men a mountain to climb before Matthew Upson handed England a lifeline with a towering header.
The injustice of Lampard’s disallowed ‘goal’, just 55 seconds later, put fire in the England bellies with Lampard crashing a swerving 30-yard free-kick against the crossbar just after the break.
But it wasn’t to last long as England were made to pay for failing to retain possession and Thomas Muller’s second-half brace compounded a miserable exit.
Capello’s position will now come under intense scrutiny just a month after having a clause removed from his £6m-a-year contract to allow either party to terminate the contract after the World Cup.
He will further explain his position at a press conference this afternoon, but, for now, the 64-year-old was standing his ground.
“I want to speak with the chairman [Sir Dave Richards] and then decide my future,” he said. “I need to know whether the FA have confidence in me or not.”
Asked if he would resign, he replied: “Absolutely not. We have to wait until we get back to London.”
When he meets with Sir Richards at FA HQ, Capello will be forced to explain a dismal World Cup campaign, which saw England well below-par in three of their four matches with only a win against Slovenia to show for their efforts.
But bosses at Soho Square are unlikely to share Capello’s view that England bowed out with a good performance in Bloemfontein, insiting they were beaten only by a moment of controversy.
“It was one of the most important things in the game,” Capello said. “The goal was very important. We could have played a different style. We played I think well at 2-1, but after the third goal it was a little bit disappointing.
“We played well. Germany is a big team. They played a good game. We made some mistakes when they played the counter-attack. The referee made bigger mistakes. Little things decide the result always.”
Captain Steven Gerrard also admitted the disallowed goal had an effect on the result, but, unlike his boss, had no excuses for the manner of the defeat.
“At 2-1 we had a goal disallowed. At 2-1 we were hurting them and we were still in the game. I think it had an effect but we cannot use that as an excuse with being beaten 4-1.
“You go away and you have a think about what went wrong and why we didn’t progress further in the tournament.
“As a team we’ve made a big mistake today and we’ve been beaten by a good team.
“They were more clinical in front of goal and they made less mistakes than us and we got punished for that today.”