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?
Arts and Entertainment
Reimagined: Gwyneth Paltrow and Toni Collette in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
Cannes 2015Dheepan, film review
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine