Fabio Capello had his first face-to-face discussions with an English-born football coach yesterday when he met Stuart Pearce on his first day in the Football Association's Soho Square offices but the new England manager has still not picked the Englishman who will be part of his coaching set-up.
Pearce, the England Under-21s manager, met with Capello yesterday to talk him through some of the players in his squad but was given no indication that he will be Capello's Englishman among a backroom staff that consists of four Italians. Instead, Capello is hoping to get to know the English game better, and some of its emergent coaches, before he decides.
The meeting with Pearce was not the first time Capello had seen his Under-21s coach, the two were present at Saturday's FA Cup third round tie between Aston Villa and Manchester United but were not sat next to one other because the Italian only decided to attend the game on Thursday. Nevertheless, Capello will be at Stamford Bridge tonight to watch Chelsea play Everton in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg.
The Italian is expected to attend with his chief assistant Franco Baldini who will play a key role in the England team set-up he too started work yesterday. "I had a very good meeting with Stuart Pearce and I want to have a close working relationship with him," Capello said. "The Under-21s play an important part in the England team's development. I am also pleased that my assistant Franco Baldini was able to start with me it's important that we get on with the job as quickly as possible.
"It is a huge honour for me to today begin my work as England manager. I have wanted this job for a long time. I have had the privilege of managing some of the most successful clubs in the world, but the England job is as big as any. I have always followed English football closely and admired the passion and intensity of both the games and the crowds. The England fans are famous around the world for their strength of support. With that support also comes expectation.
"I will have my first experience of managing an England team when we play Switzerland at Wembley next month and look forward to feeling that amazing following for myself on that night. I have very good memories of the old stadium as I scored there for Italy in 1973."
Honoured by the Football Writers' Association on Sunday night, David Beckham said that Capello would bring the "fear factor" to the England players. Beckham was the subject of tributes from Sven Goran Eriksson and Bryan Robson on Sunday night despite the latter having said in his autobiography that either John Terry or Steven Gerrard would have made better England captains at the last World Cup.
"Apart from Sir Alex Ferguson, I have never seen anyone so dedicated to watching football and learning about it," Beckham said of Capello whose first game is against Switzerland at Wembley on 6 February. "He will do it his way and that is a good thing. We had the fear factor the year we won La Liga. That is what all great managers have. The fear factor with a manager is important. We had it at Manchester United with Sir Alex Ferguson, and he had so much success and is still having it."Reuse content