Mawhinney challenges Capello to drop old guard

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The Independent Football

Former Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney believes Fabio Capello should overlook several of England's older players following their World Cup humiliation.

Mawhinney, a member of the England 2018 board, gave his support to the under-fire Italian, but claimed he needs to start developing a younger squad if they are to be more successful at the next two major tournaments.

"I think Fabio should be encouraged to recognise that a number of the present team are going to be past their peak by the European Championships in 2012," Mawhinney said.

"So I would hope that he will announce now that he is retiring a number of those players from international duty and commit to developing a newer, younger squad that can be trained up for the European Championships in 2012 and the World Cup again in 2014."

Mawhinney also felt Capello moved away from his vow only to pick players who were fit and in-form in South Africa, and should return to it.

"I was always in favour of Fabio Capello staying in the job," he added. "I had no problem about that.

"But I do think there needs to be a private conversation with him which might include, 'Fabio you've promised only to pick fit and in-form players, be grateful if in the future you would stick to that promise and not create the impression that maybe you're occasionally influenced by reputation or size of wage packet'."

He added: "I think he's an excellent manager. I think he has already helped to reshape the England team from a bunch of celebrities to a bunch of footballers." Mawhinney also called for the behaviour of the players to be looked into.

"There needs to be a proper inquiry and if it turns out that some people behaved poorly, disruptively or improperly then Fabio needs to be asked: 'Why didn't you send one of them home so that you could demonstrate beyond question who's running this operation?'

"Because no successful operation can be one that is torn between two leaders," he said.

Mawhinney also criticised the Football Association, branding it "dysfunctional" and "incapable of fixing itself".

"I do think it's dysfunctional, it's been dysfunctional for some time," he said. "What has impressed me in recent days has not been the number of people who have said to me that the FA has been dysfunctional, it's the number of people who have said to me that not only is it dysfunctional but it's incapable of fixing itself. It's going to need help from outside sources to do that."

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