Banks of England: Hart to start as Capello must ring changes

World Cup-winning legend pulls no punches

Now that the Football Association have backed Fabio Capello, rather than sacking him, it is counterproductive to continue the debate over whether he's the right manager for England. Lessons must be learned, but we have to look to the future and not get bogged down in the blame game.

It's up to Capello to look at the age of particular players, and how they're performing, then decide who he's going to keep and which new faces he's going to try. There's no need to be hasty and throw in a load of untried young players – that wouldn't be good for them or for England – but he should bring in a few at a time and see how they shape up.

The parallels with 1970 are instructive. Alf Ramsey knew when and how to ring the changes. Bobby Charlton and a handful of others never played for England again after we returned from Mexico. In the first match after that World Cup, we played East Germany at Wembley. There was a clamour for change but Alf gave only one new cap, and that was to Peter Shilton. However, I was interested to note that he gave a debut to no fewer than 10 players in the 12 months after those finals. Then, as now, we were starting a European Championship qualifying campaign in the autumn. For the first match, in Malta, he brought in four new caps, including Roy McFarland and Martin Chivers.

The goalkeeping position is one where we need to move on to the next generation. The Germany game should be David James's swan-song, though I didn't hold him culpable for more than one of their goals.

Some critics said he should have charged out when Miroslav Klose was running on to the keeper's long kick for the first goal. I feel he had a right to expect one of the centre-halves or full-backs to be covering the centre. It was too late for him to come out; that would have made it too easy for Klose. It was better to try to stand up and try to psyche him out.

But James will be pushing 42 by the time of Euro 2012. Joe Hart was probably the most consistent last season of the three keepers Capello took to South Africa and he has to start a game now, perhaps in the Hungary friendly next month. He came on leaps and bounds by virtue of playing regularly on loan at Birmingham City and having a manager, Alex McLeish, who believed in him.

Ben Foster has now joined up with Alex McLeish at Birmingham and I can see him benefiting in a similar way. He was playing terrifically for Manchester United but when he made a couple of errors, Sir Alex Ferguson dropped him straight away. I thought that was sad. Everyone makes mistakes. There's also Paul Robinson, who's only 30, which is no age for a keeper, and Capello ought to monitor the progress of the lad who did well in the Under-21 set-up, Scott Loach of Watford.

Talking of which, I look at the players Germany brought to the finals, with half a dozen of their Under-21 team from a year earlier. We played them in the final of that tournament and yet we had only one of our side, James Milner, in the World Cup squad.

Ryan Shawcross, the centre-back from Stoke City, is one young player I'd like to see given a chance. Once Rio Ferdinand pulled out, we were struggling for central defenders. Let's be frank, the support cast to John Terry wasn't great. Shawcross is raw but quick and dominant in the air.

Capello needs to look closely at players like him. He also has to be humble enough to look at himself. We don't know what was going on in that dressing room. We don't know whether there was disruption within the camp, or whether certain players didn't get on with him and he wasn't happy with particular individuals. But there are questions that we can answer. Why was he playing Steven Gerrard in the wrong place on the left of midfield in a 4-4-2, rather than in the centre, playing off Wayne Rooney in a 4-5-1? Did he place too much trust in Emile Heskey when Peter Crouch always looks a more likely scorer?

If it was based purely on Capello's tactics, then I'd have said: "Yes, he's got to go". But the way that some of the players performed, so far below their club standards, you can't necessarily hold the manager responsible. There comes a point when the players have to stand up and be counted. You can't blame him for Robert Green's mistake in the US game, or for Frank Lampard's disallowed goal against Germany. They were massive turning points in the campaign.

The bottom line is that Capello has to do better in the European Championship or the FA must look elsewhere. But now that he's definitely staying, we need to look forward. As down as people are feeling now, it's potentially an exciting time.

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
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.

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?