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Capello knows his England lineup

sports Updated: Jan 15, 2008 18:52 IST
Fabio Capello

Fabio Capello has already decided on his England lineup. He is still to decide on a style of play and a captain. "The team I want is in my head, taking into account what I have seen so far and the games of England I've watched," said Capello, whose first game as England coach is a friendly against Switzerland at Wembley on Feb. 6.

"But to have an idea of what I can achieve, I first need to know the players well. Not only their characteristics with the ball, but their tactical sense on and off the ball."

The highly successful former AC Milan, AS Roma, Juventus and Real Madrid coach has watched four domestic games in England so far. He doesn't have a competitive match until September because England failed to qualify for this year's European Championship. That failure led to the Football Association firing Steve McClaren and Capello taking over on Jan. 7.

"The five friendlies I have between now and September will help me to evaluate what team and what style of play to go for, hoping there are no injuries," Capello said. "Already I realize that the England team is something different. Everything has made a big impression on me.

"I was accustomed to the great pressure that comes with Real Madrid. But Madrid is a club _ this is a whole nation." Capello is still to have talks with former captain David Beckham, who played for him at Real Madrid last season, and current captain John Terry, who is out with a foot injury and unlikely to face the Swiss.

Speaking after meeting England's 2010 World Cup qualifying rivals in Zagreb, Croatia, on Monday, Capello admits he has not yet decided on a captain.

"The captaincy issue is a very important one for England," he said. "There are many things I have to evaluate and I must come up with the choice that is right and important. A captain must be a leader, someone who carries the team, somebody who in every moment is important for the team."

Beckham, who plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy, is training with Arsenal to keep him in shape for a possible 100th international, and also for the Major League Soccer season, which kicks off in March. "I have not met Beckham," Capello said. "My first week was taken up by meetings and English lessons. Beckham is important for England and can still give a lot but, as everybody knows, all the players are equally important to me."