Fabio Capello, who is staying on as head coach of England for two more years, has issued an apology to all supporters for the shocking performances at the World Cup. He admits his own reputation has been damaged as well but he has already concluded that the team will never win a major competition if the players are as drained physically and mentally as they were in South Africa.
Capello believes the failure was the direct result of a hard domestic season. His staff thought there was sufficient time to recover between the FA Cup final and the opening World Cup match four weeks later, but with the added complications of shuffling backwards and forwards to Austria for altitude training and a lucrative friendly match at Wembley, they did not do so.
Asked about the chances of winning the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine in 2012, for which qualifying begins in September against Bulgaria and Switzerland, Capello said: "If we arrive fresh, yes. If we arrive tired, no."
The former Football Association executive director David Davies, who worked with a succession of England managers, said last night that they had all made the same complaint and the answer was a winter break.
Davies also joined Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association and a member of the Football Association's international committee, in calling for a much more widespread review of England's failure than planned, involving all interested parties.
Having suggested they would take two weeks to review the tournament and decide Capello's future, the FA suddenly came out and backed him within four days last week.
Capello's message to supporters was: "I am really disappointed for them. The expectation was really big and the performance was not good, Sorry."Reuse content