Capello blasts unhappy England players

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The Independent Football

Under-pressure Fabio Capello has admitted he may have a couple of unhappy campers at England's Rustenburg base, but warned them: "You're at the World Cup, not on holiday."

Former skipper John Terry went public with a list of grievances in his remarkable account of life with England in South Africa yesterday.

Terry confirmed that he had to plead with Capello's trusted right-hand man Franco Baldini to be allowed a beer in the aftermath of England's dismal draw with Algeria in Cape Town on Friday.

The defender is unhappy at the way Capello has been guiding England through the tournament, feeling preparation, tactics and personnel have been wrong, whilst there has been little to alleviate the sheer boredom of spending so much time away.

Players tend to spend most afternoons with little to do, a problem Wayne Rooney hinted at last week, and after five weeks it appears patience in some quarters is at breaking point.

However, in silencing Terry last night, Capello proved he did not share the concerns and confirmed this afternoon that those who do not like it will have to lump it.

"Probably one or two are not happy but the majority are," Capello told the BBC.

"One player is not so important compared to all the others. The group is more important. For this reason it is no problem.

"We are here to play at the World Cup, not for a holiday."

Capello did not mention Terry by name following the Chelsea player's extraordinary outburst.

However, he almost taunted the 29-year-old by insisting no attempt was made to raise any issues at last night's team meeting, which Terry had vowed to use as the platform from which to air his grievances.

And the thinly-veiled attempt to press the claims of Joe Cole for a starting berth in Wednesday's do-or-die clash with Slovenia in Port Elizabeth were also dismissed, with Capello claiming Terry was not treating the other members of his squad with respect by singling out his Chelsea team-mate for such lavish praise.

"If somebody wants to speak with me, he can speak. I always tell the players they can speak but yesterday nobody did," Capello added.

"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."

Terry cannot be used to being slapped down in quite such a brutal manner.

After frequently referring to his experiences at Chelsea yesterday, he has suddenly found he does not have the same power, either with the captain's armband or without, with England.

However, Capello cannot afford to alienate the 29-year-old completely.

With the Italian's resignation widely anticipated if England fail to secure a place in the last 16, Terry remains one of the true world-class talents in the England squad.

And, with Jamie Carragher suspended and Ledley King injured, he will anchor a defence in which he will be partnered by Matthew Upson.

The West Ham defender started four qualifiers, completing a 100% record, and also scored in the impressive friendly win over Germany in Berlin in November 2008.

And although Capello also has the uncapped Michael Dawson available, he will turn to Upson to keep Slovenia at bay.

"Upson will play because he played always with John Terry," Capello said.

Other changes are anticipated, which could yet mean a first appearance of the tournament for Cole, whose total exclusion when Shaun Wright-Phillips has made two appearances from the bench, is mystifying.

Another of Terry's major bones of contention was Capello's post-match assertion that England were struggling so badly because they were fearful of the pressure they were under on such a grand stage.

It raised Terry's hackles and had him bristling with indignation given the huge number of big games he has been involved in throughout his career.

However, 48 hours before a match he admits is one of the most important of his career, Capello is sticking to his guns.

"It is a mental thing. When you are under pressure, big pressure, sometimes the legs do not work normally," he said.

"It happened to me as a player but I think on Wednesday the team will be fit."

They need to be fit, their minds need to be free and Terry in particular needs to approach the game without emotional baggage given the turmoil of the past 24 hours.

So many of Capello's players, Terry included, are in what is expected to be their last World Cup campaign.

And unless England can summon up a performance that is vastly different from the shocking display against Algeria, by Wednesday night they will be packing their bags and getting ready for home.

"After this game we have no more chances. We have to win," Capello added.

"The results have not been good but I haven't seen the right spirit on the pitch for 90 minutes, only for five or six minutes.

"I hope in the next game the spirit I saw in qualification will return."