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England in disarray as Capello crushes Terry

sports Updated: Jun 22, 2010 15:46 IST

AFP
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England's preparations for their pivotal World Cup meeting with Slovenia on Wednesday have been left in disarray after Fabio Capello savaged former skipper John Terry for challenging his authority.

Terry will start Wednesday's must-win match in Port Elizabeth but the Chelsea defender has been left in no doubt about the extent to which he enraged Capello with his public revelation of disgruntlement in the England camp.

"This is the big mistake, this is the very big mistake," was the damning verdict from England's head coach, who appeared unable to resist the opportunity to portray Terry as a loose cannon in a squad that has otherwise accepted his leadership, methods and tactics.

"My door is always open. If people want to speak with me they can speak with me," Capello said. "Then I read that John Terry said this, I don't understand why he doesn't speak with me. When you speak you have to speak privately, not with the media."

Terry, who was stripped of the England captaincy by Capello in February, has been left isolated and humiliated in the wake of his pledge to raise concerns over the way Capello was running England's campaign, even if that meant upsetting the Italian.

Capello's response to that broadside was to confirm that Terry had not dared say anything to his face while voicing his own displeasure at the defender publicly pushing the cause of his Chelsea team-mate Joe Cole, who has not been involved in England's first two matches in South Africa.

The Italian said: "Joe Cole is one of 23 players who are here but, when we speak about one single player, you have to respect the other players that played before. That's the most important thing, the respect of the other players."

In a direct reference to Terry, Capello dismissed the concerns the Chelse defender had raised about players being bored under his training regime. "One player is not so important compared to all the others. The group is more important," Capello said. "For this reason it is no problem. We are here to play at the World Cup, not for a holiday."