Capello defends tactics against critical attack by scornful Redknapp

Harry Redknapp had certainly seen enough. The Portsmouth manager last night attacked Fabio Capello's England tactics, accusing the Italian of "killing" Steven Gerrard and overseeing "one of the worst performances I have seen" from the national team. "The second half was diabolical," Redknapp, who was working as a television summariser, said. "They didn't play like the same players who perform week in week out in the Premier League. What are we doing to them?"

Redknapp singled out Capello's use of Gerrard, criticising the tactic of playing the Liverpool captain on the left. "We have one of the finest midfielders in Steven Gerrard. He plays for Liverpool and he is like Roy of the Rovers. He shoots, he scores, he tackles. He is not a left midfielder. It is unbelievable. He has to be in the centre. We are killing Gerrard."

Capello bridled at Redknapp's claims, insisting he deployed a 4-3-2-1 formation with Gerrard given licence to roam "between the lines". If that was the case then it didn't work.

Indeed much of the visual evidence ran contrary to what Capello said. He doggedly insisted England would be "ready" come the World Cup qualification campaign, which starts next month, and that his team had taken "another step forward". Or perhaps two steps backwards. Ready for Andorra, maybe, but after last night's display against the Czechs the visit to Croatia is one that might not be made with the "big confidence" that the Italian had hoped to instil by now.

Nevertheless Capello said the first-half performance was full of "good football, good style". "There was only one thing I didn't like," he said. "Sometimes when the Czechs counter-attacked we suffered a lot and we have to repair that problem."

It was a performance – by manager and team – worryingly short of coherence. Indeed there was an early goal for the opposition, plenty of rain ... but no brolly. No one would suggest that Capello is a wally. Not with his record or serial success. But there were perhaps a few too many parallels with that infamous night last November when England lost to Croatia and Steve McClaren lost his job. Capello chose the Czechs as his warm-up because of their similarities with Slaven Bilic's team. Except Croatia are better. And England play them in Zagreb.

There were, five games into his regime, more questions than answers. The David Beckham conundrum, badly at fault for one Czech goal and then the set-piece creator of England's equaliser, the mix in midfield, who to play up front, the vain hope that one of those strikers might just spark... and the perennial underperformance for his country of Wayne Rooney. Even the defence creaked badly. Fabio may not be a wally. But neither he nor his players were too clever last night.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones