Week at the beach shows Capello's change of tack

 

Fabio Capello's attempt to change the style of England's build-up for the European Championship next summer from their preparation for last year's World Cup finals was underlined this weekend when the Football Association announced the team would be spending a week in Marbella.

The sunshine of their prospective pre-tournament base in May contrasts sharply with the grey of Irdning, the Austrian village near Salzburg that was the equivalent England base before they flew to South Africa last year. It was at Irdning that Capello and his staff put England's players through a rigorous training regime that some described as being "like a pre-season" and may have contributed to their sluggishness at the tournament.

From Irdning, England returned to Wembley for a friendly against Mexico and then went back out to Austria for another warm-up game against Japan in Graz. Capello and the squad then returned to England where he released seven players before they flew to South Africa with the final 23.

At the very least, the "Marbella Paradise of Football and Sports", just a ten-minute drive from Puerto Banus, should offer an experience different from that of Irdning and, ultimately, the isolated Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus, where England were billeted for their short, unhappy stay in South Africa. A creature of habit, Capello used Irdning because it had been a favoured training base during his stints at Real Madrid manager, but his change of tack has shown his acceptance that it was not suitable for England's players.

Adrian Bevington, the managing director of Club England, the Football Association body responsible for the England team, said it was Capello's desire to change approach. He said: "Fabio has been clear for several months now that he wants to adopt a different approach to when we went out to South Africa. He wants to give the players as much rest as possible before the tournament."

The shape of England's preparations for Euro 2012 is now becoming clear. They will play a friendly against the Netherlands, the team ranked No 2 in the world, on 29 February, and then two post-season friendlies, the first of which will be against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin, pending Uefa permission. The governing body is being asked by some nations to waive a rule that forbids teams participating in the tournament from playing one another in the build-up.

Those games will come after the Marbella break and then the squad will fly to Krakow where they will be based at the Stary hotel for the duration of the tournament, despite Friday's draw giving them two group games in Dontesk and another in Kiev. Bevington said yesterday that the FA had already been looking at potential bases in Brazil for the World Cup in 2014.

Capello will travel to Switzerland this week to watch Manchester United's Champions League tie against Basle on Wednesday and then fly on to Nyon, and the Uefa headquarters, to attend Wayne Rooney's appeal against his three-match suspension for a red card against Montenegro. The FA are hopeful of getting the ban reduced to two games.

Bevington said: "We have spoken at length with our own internal lawyers on this, and also we have been working with an external legal firm as well, who have a great deal of expertise in sports law. As everyone knows, we have submitted an appeal. Wayne will attend the hearing – he will travel in after United's game on Wednesday night – Fabio will also be there to give evidence.

"I believe the evidence provided by the Montenegrin player [Miodrag Dzudovic, who Rooney fouled for his red card], who was quite supportive of Wayne after the game, will also be part of our case.

"I don't want to say too much more about what our case will be because it would be inappropriate to do so before the hearing, but we go there, obviously, with the hope of at least getting some reduction in the suspension so Wayne can play a more fulsome part in the tournament, if possible.

"I genuinely don't know [if it will be successful]. Thankfully, we aren't overly experienced in going to Uefa, it's not something that we do as an organisation too frequently.

"All we can do is go with the best legal advice that we have, and with the way that Wayne, Fabio and those of us involved present ourselves on the day and appeal to Uefa to look favourably on it."

Slow starters England's warm-up woes

Bobby Moore; World Cup '70

Prior to the Mexico tournament, Bobby Moore found himself under arrest and accused of stealing an emerald bracelet in a Colombian hotel. Diplomatic pressure saw the case dropped and the England captain rejoined his team-mates.

Paul Gascoigne, Dentist's Chair; Euro '96

On the eve of the event, Gazza was photographed in Hong Kong pouring spirits down his team-mates' necks in a dentist's chair. But the hangover never came; England played well, Gazza re-enacting the incident after scoring against Scotland.

Gascoigne, La Manga; World Cup '98

Finding that he was to be cut from the squad, Gazza confronted Glenn Hoddle and had to be restrained by David Seaman and Paul Ince after overturning a table, smashing a vase and putting his foot through a door.

WAGs ; World Cup '06

Heavy criticism rained down on Sven Goran Eriksson after he allowed both his and the players' WAGs to descend on and distract England's pre-World Cup training camp – a situation described by Rio Ferdinand as "a circus".

Altitude sickness; World Cup '10

Fabio Capello's decision to train at altitude in Irdning, Austria, left many players struggling with fatigue and low morale for the shindig in South Africa, where England were overrun by Germany in the last 16.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballLatest score and Twitter updates
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
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

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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'