Capello keeps players waiting

England manager considers starting James and moving Gerrard forward

Fabio Capello last night remained tight-lipped over the identity of his line-up for England's crucial Group C meeting with Algeria in Cape Town today, and the Italian insisted once again that the players would not find out the team until two hours before this evening's kick-off in Green Point Stadium on the shores of the Atlantic.

The England manager was criticised in the wake of the opening draw against the US in Rustenburg for keeping the starting XI to himself until late on, with some critics claiming that the lack of mental preparation time contributed to an erratic display, notably by the goalkeeper Rob Green. Capello said: "I have decided but we have to wait until tomorrow. I haven't told the goalkeeper who is playing. As always, they will find out on the the day of the game – never the day before." Capello has to decide whether to leave Green in place or recall the more experienced David James, who was originally given the squad's No 1 shirt. There are also question marks over the inclusion of Emile Heskey, after the Aston Villa striker again failed to score in an England shirt.

Jermain Defoe has been mooted as a replacement for Heskey, with another train of thought promoting captain Steven Gerrard to a role further forward. Capello said: "Heskey is important for movement but also a different supporter of the other players. I was happy after the USA game after everything I saw but not the result. But the pressure of the first game is higher than the other games."

Capello defended his selection of Green, although his preference for experience may tilt the balance in favour of James, who has 50 caps compared to Green's 11. "I think Green was in a good moment, he played very well against Mexico," said Capello. "Some keepers are making mistakes. The problem is the ball, the bounce is higher than normal. I think all the players can make mistakes. But I have to choose by the value of different players, not for mistakes."

Capello has been the subject of criticism for the first time since being appointed England manager in the wake of the unsuccessful attempt to qualify for Euro 2008.

Asked if he had made any mistakes over the past week, he added: "All managers can make mistakes. I decided the best players I saw during training, I decided the first XI and who I think was the best player who can play. I can make mistakes but I choose the players at this moment who is the best."

Algeria lost their first game against Slovenia but Capello said neither he nor his players would underestimate them. "I respect the team," he continued. "They have scored a lot of goals. Algeria are dangerous at free-kicks and corners. Also on counter-attack they play very well. I saw all the games that have been played. Not one game is easy. It will be a big mistake to think this game will be easy."

Gerrard is hoping to play a more attacking role against Algeria, the weakest team in the group. It has been mooted that the Liverpool striker may move into a position further forward behind Wayne Rooney, who was a frustrated figure last weekend, and the 30-year-old welcomed the possibility.

He said: "We'll have to wait and see what formation we choose to play. I'd imagine I'd be in a more forward, attacking role and that suits me. I am looking forward to it. We were pleased with the majority of the first performance. There was a lot of pressure and tension – hopefully the second will be more fluid."

Gerrard added: "Rooney looks great in training, it's only a matter of time before he finds the back of the net. This season he has been one of the best players in the world and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before we see that in this World Cup."

The Jabulani ball has been highly criticised with Capello joining in the chorus. Gerrard, though, was philosophical, saying: "It's not so bad for midfielders and strikers. But when it comes off the ground it's very unpredictable You get an advantage when shooting because the keeper doesn't know what's happening. But it's one of those things, it's the same for both sides. It's going to be the ball for the rest of tournament so we have got to accept it."

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower