'Ee bah gum', regional accents leave Capello lost for words

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The Independent Online

Fabio Capello has been in the England manager's job for less than two months but yesterday he showed the first signs that he is immersing himself in English culture. The Italian admitted that he is paying more than £2,000-a-week rent on his apartment in London and that he finds it impossible to understand certain English regional accents.

In an interview yesterday with Italian journalists, Capello gave his first impressions of his new home to his compatriots and conceded that his England team had only implemented "80 per cent" of what he asked them to do in their win over Switzerland this month. He will watch his first English cup final on Sunday when Chelsea and Tottenham face each other in the Carling Cup, and described his England players as "well-disposed and eager".

Capello said: "English players are tactically fine. But every coach has his own ideas and characteristics. The England players will have to do what I ask of them. What I asked over three days in terms of team movement and schemes was performed, against Switzerland, at 80 per cent.

"I was very satisfied with their attitude. I had seen most of them in action before, but watching them on television doesn't allow you to appraise them off the ball. You can only verify their tactical level watching from the pitch."

Capello ticked off the Italian reporters for writing previously that he was paying £4,500-a-week rent on his apartment – correcting them that it was £2,100. He said that English people had greeted him with "great warmth" at Premier League grounds but he had encountered problems understanding all of them.

"The only difficulty, when I tour Premier League matches, is that different people in different accents talk to me, and in some instances I can hardly understand a word," he said. "But I'm happy with my language progress. It is fundamental to speak the language, particularly when you are talking before kick-off and during half-time, for tactical plans and psychological support. The latter can be more important at times than the former."

Capello added that his vision of the England team he wanted to build was clear: "Disciplined on the pitch, with good movement as a team, and at the same time capable of stressing the qualities of each player."

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