New generation force way into Capello's Euro plans

Manager full of praise for youngsters after England beat Sweden 1-0 at a half-full Wembley

Wembley Stadium

Fabio Capello has told England's emerging generation of talent they can dislodge some of his more established stars and secure a place in his squad for next summer's European Championships.

The Italian singled out Jack Rodwell, Kyle Walker and Phil Jones for praise after all three impressed during last night's historic 1-0 victory against Sweden, the first time in 43 years England have managed to beat the Scandinavians and a result which ensured his team finish a calendar year unbeaten for the first time since 1994.

Capello dismissed both of those quirks of history – suggesting both statistics and form will mean little next summer – but admitted that the seamless transition to the international arena of some of his younger players means nobody is assured their ticket to Poland and the Ukraine. Indeed, the only exception to that rule appears to be Wayne Rooney, who will have his appeal against his three-match ban heard by Uefa on 9 December, a hearing which could yet allow him to play some part in the group stages.

"The competition to play in the Euros will be really, really strong," said the Italian. "I hope it will be strong for everyone [not just the young players]. During these games I was looking for something new, and I found it. I found three really interesting players. They are really good technically, really good physically, and all three are fast. That is important in modern football.

"It was important to see Jones, Walker and Rodwell against a team that is really well organised and really difficult to play against. The answers they gave me were really important for me. All three played very, very well.

"We have had good results this year and we are unbeaten in 2011, but those are just statistics. It will be important what we do in the Euros, not what we have done this year."

The Italian will be encouraged, though, that England's last two performances – in victory against Spain and last night, when the unfortunate Daniel Majstorovic earned the unwanted honour of scoring the country's 2,000th international goal – have at least served to rid his team of the fear which he has long felt afflicted them at Wembley.

"Yes, we played with less fear," he said. "We started [only] the first 15 minutes against Spain [like that] and [against Sweden] we played without fear."

Even Capello's restored captain, John Terry, felt moved to thank the 48,876 crowd at Wembley – England's lowest attendance since the stadium's renovation – for their warm welcome, insisting that he has never felt any pressure to stand down from his post amid the fall-out from the allegation he racially abused Anton Ferdinand.

"I would never stand down as captain, no chance," he said. "It is something I dreamed of as a boy and I have worked very hard to get. I am very confident and very proud to be England captain, too. The fans have always been great with me and all of the players, win, lose or draw. They get upset sometimes, but that is because they're passionate, and so are we, and that is what makes us the very best. But they were great with me. If we can keep this momentum up for the next six months, then hopefully things will keep getting better."

The Republic of Ireland will join England at Euro 2012 after a 1-1 draw with Estonia. So will Croatia, Portugal and the Czech Republic.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence