Graham Taylor: Fabio Capello has damaged England team spirit


Fabio Capello's public criticism of the decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy has further damaged the national team's harmony ahead of Euro 2012, one of his predecessors claimed today.

Graham Taylor, England manager from 1990-93, said Capello should have kept his feelings about the move by the Football Association behind closed doors.

Meanwhile, former FA executive director David Davies suggested the Italian may have been in breach of his contract to speak out in such a way.

Capello said he "absolutely" disagreed with the FA's decision and that Terry should have kept the armband until the outcome of his court case in July where he denies a charge of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand.

Taylor told BBC Radio Five Live: "It doesn't help the situation at all, as England go into the European Championships. I can't see what Capello's agenda is. All it does is disturb everything even more.

"It may be that he wants the FA to take a decision on this job. It depends really on how strongly he feels about it.

"To come out in this public fashion actually, in one respect, gives England an even bigger problem for the selection and harmony of the squad for the European Championships."

Taylor pointed out that whoever is now chosen as England captain by Capello will know full well that the Italian would prefer to have Terry in charge.

He added: "Fabio Capello, having been told by the FA in a private situation what they were going to do, has been a little bit unwise to come out as publicly as this.

"Whoever he makes as captain knows that he is not the manager's choice. That in itself doesn't help the dressing room.

"The FA apparently told Capello in private what they were going to do and why they were going to do it. He disagreed with it and it was noted. The best thing would have been for that to stay there, and not come out in such a public fashion."

Terry lost the captaincy following the decision to postpone his trial for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand in a match last year, a charge he denies.

Capello made his remarks in an interview with Italian broadcaster Rai in London yesterday.

Asked whether he was in agreement with the decision regarding Terry, Capello replied: "No, absolutely not.

"I have spoken to the chairman [David Bernstein] and I have said that in my opinion one cannot be punished until it's official and the court - a non-sporting court, a civil court - has made a decision to decide if John Terry has done what he has been accused of.

"I thought it was right that Terry should keep the captain's armband."

Davies, who left the FA in 2006 before Capello was appointed, told BBC's Breakfast Time show that the £6million-a-year England manager may have breached his contract with his comments and could face action from the FA.

"It is being taken very seriously by the FA because it may be that Fabio Capello has breached his contract," said Davies.

"You have to ask what his motive is. You have to suspect he wants to prevent John Terry retiring as a player before Euro 2012 but there are wider issues.

"You could have what some of the media are calling a morality circus while England are trying to win the second major tournament in football.

"A contract may have been breached, there is strong leadership now at the FA from David Bernstein. Last week he wasn't slow to take things forward and he may not be slow to do so now."