Fabio Capello last night refused to reveal which players would be released from this morning's flight to Trinidad for Sunday's friendly, but he did let slip that John Terry would now be allowed to go home and continue his rehabilitation. Terry's Moscow penalty miss appears to have shattered his normally ebullient mood and Capello said: "It was important for him that he scored. It made me happy, he is a good captain and it was a good performance. I saw from him on the pitch what I asked for before the game. He has good charisma for other players, he is a natural leader. Now he goes on holiday happy."
Terry admitted he had been dreading this week but ends it feeling much more at peace with himself. "If I'm being honest this is the last place I wanted to come," he said, "seeing all the Manchester United players, but it has done me a huge favour. I've shown I'm a big man. I take full responsibility for what happened in Moscow but I've shown I'm a man for the big games."
David Beckham, who is in a better position to understand Terry's state of mind than most, said: "He's disappointed by last week and still going through that, but on the pitch you see the man and the player he is. He's going to be hurting but he's got character, one of the strongest I've seen in football. Tonight he tackled, he headed every ball, and scored the goal. I think every one of us was happy when he scored. I think he deserved that tonight."
Of the match Capello said: "We played without fear which is very important. We scored two goals and had a lot of chances to score more, that was also important." The England manager added: "I am very happy because I saw a lot of things I tried during training. We did a lot of good movement. When we play long ball it was when we had to. When it was possible to pass we passed the ball. I liked the pressing of the ball and that we won the ball back quickly. It is a step forward. You have to move on every game."
Capello insisted he did not know who will captain the team in Port of Spain on Sunday, which is not very plausible, but underlines his determination to keep his players – and the media – guessing.
The US team were made to look very ordinary by England, but they recently won convincingly in Poland, who are going to Euro 2008. Their coach Bob Bradley was asked how he could explain that. "Sometimes football is a crazy game," he said. "Everyone in the soccer world recognises the talent England possesses, some of the individual performances for England raises the bar for our team. We have players in Europe but we didn't have seven players starting who played in the European Cup final." It was an observation which again prompted the question of how a team with so much individual talent could come third in qualifying behind Croatia and Russia.Reuse content