Capello makes peace with Ferdinand over skipper snub

Fabio Capello revealed on Friday that he has finally held clear-the-air talks with Rio Ferdinand over his decision to strip the Manchester United defender of the England captaincy.

Updated: June 03, 2011 18:41 IST
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London: Fabio Capello revealed on Friday that he has finally held clear-the-air talks with Rio Ferdinand over his decision to strip the Manchester United defender of the England captaincy.

Capello caused a storm in March when he failed to speak to Ferdinand to inform him of his surprise move to give the skipper's armband back to John Terry.

The England coach endured a barrage of criticism for his careless handling of a delicate situation as he made an unsuccessful attempt to meet Ferdinand at Old Trafford to speak about the decision.

Ferdinand missed the first two England matches after his demotion due to injury, but the centre-half is back in Capello's squad for their Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland at Wembley on Saturday, giving the Italian a chance to make peace with one of his key players at last.

Capello met Ferdinand at the team's plush Grove Hotel on Tuesday evening and insisted an amicable discussion ended with a friendly handshake.

"I spoke especially with him on Tuesday in the evening. I told him what really happened when I decided to make the decision to give the armband to John Terry," Capello said on Friday.

"He told me what he thought in this period and at the end we shook hands and the relationship is fantastic."

"The relationship is perfect. We spoke personally and privately."

With the Ferdinand situation defused, Capello also answered criticism of his decision to allow his England players to go on holiday in the days leading up to this international week.

After the Premier League season finished on May 22 many of Capello's squad jetted off for sunshine breaks, but the Italian believes the time away from the game has refreshed their minds at the end of a gruelling season.

He even admitted he had to stop training several times this week because his squad were having too much fun.

"They returned happy and I needed to stop the training sometimes because they were too happy," Capello said.

"They were happy to be playing with the ball after one week away. They were playing like children!"

That kind of carefree attitude is a far-cry from the boredom that crippled Capello's squad during their World Cup training camp in South Africa and he has learned from that debacle.

If England do qualify for Euro 2012, Capello plans to give his players at least 10 days off before the tournament rather than taking them away for weeks of training and friendly matches.

"If we play the Euros they will go to holiday and after we will start preparations for the Euros," he said.

"I learned a lot at the World Cup, I learned the players are rather tired at the end of the season and you don't need a lot of games before the first game of a tournament."

"I think being on holiday is good, they recover their focus, their mind energy. It is really important when you have to stay focused for a long time."

"They will have a mimimum of 10 days or two weeks on holidays. Yes, I trust them to be good, why not?"

Capello, who revealed strikers Peter Crouch and Bobby Zamora were fit for selection after recovering from injuries to train on Friday, insisted he was happy with England's goalkeeper situation despite the international retirement of Ben Foster.

Birmingham star Foster called time on his England career recently, while West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green had to be persuaded to reverse his decision to retire from England duty after a lack of opportunities.

With Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson also ruling himself out, there is a lack of experienced quality back-up for first-choice Joe Hart.

But Capello believes Foster could yet return. "Foster is different because he played for months with a big problem with the finger and he needs to recover this injury," he said.

"He asked to stay home but he still has a future, he is a good keeper."

"Green? He had a few problems but he stays here with the squad because he is happy."

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