Neville says FA must back Capello

Manchester United captain Gary Neville accepts England sorely underperformed at the World Cup but has called on the Football Association to back Fabio Capello.

Neville, who has not played for his country since 2007 despite a surprise call-up to the squad last year, believes the Italian was guilty of mistakes in South Africa but insists the players must take a greater share of the blame.



And he has hit out at the decision to spend two weeks pondering Capello's fate - especially after removing an exit clause from his contract just before the tournament.



Writing in The Times, the 35-year-old said: "England are out of the World Cup and, surprise, surprise, we are talking about sacking the manager.



"If that was a reaction I expected from some fans and pundits, I was disappointed - although not exactly shocked - to hear wavering coming out of the FA.



"Two weeks to decide Fabio Capello's future, says Adrian Bevington, the Club England managing director.



"This is the same Club England (whatever that is) that trumpeted so proudly 28 days ago that it had taken the release clause out of the manager's contract.



"One minute these guys are talking about Capello as world-class, now they need a fortnight to decide if he is the man for them after all.



"What are they waiting for - to see what's in the newspapers? Where is the backbone? Now you can understand why I have had my arguments with the FA down the years."



Neville believes Capello was guilty of some tactical errors - notably his disinclination to waver from 4-4-2 - but is certain he must remain in place to tackle the problems which were highlighted at the World Cup.



"It (the FA) has to stick by Capello. I do not agree with all his decisions, from squad selection to formation, but nor do I buy the idea that he merits the sack.



"It is easy for Alan Shearer to say the players haven't performed for him, but is that all one man's fault? I'd put three of Germany's four goals down to individuals.



"Whatever anyone says about systems - and I was surprised Capello didn't try 4-5-1 - these were errors from experienced players."



Neville, one of the few homegrown players to enjoy consistent success at home and in Europe in recent years, also accepts that English clubs' reliance on foreign-born talent has been a problem for the national side.



"We have to question how good we truly are," he added. "Better than we performed in this World Cup, for sure, but have we overestimated our strengths on the basis of our strong record in the Champions League? Possibly.



"The success of Manchester United and Chelsea cannot be a reliable guide to the merits of the England team, given the number of top-class players from overseas."



Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
football
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

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all