England can win it without WAGs

Hosts' Brazilian coach tips Capello's unified troops to shock the world...now that he's sorted out 'all this partying'

Andrew Warshaw
Sunday 06 December 2009 01:00
Comments

Fabio Capello has turned England from a country obsessed by the WAGs culture into one of the most disciplined powers in world football, according to Carlos Alberto Parreira, coach of hosts South Africa.

Parreira, one of the most knowledgeable international coaches who led Brazil to World Cup glory in 1994, says Capello's regime has made England a stronger favourite next year than at any time in recent history.

Parreira has his work cut out to prevent South Africa becoming the first hosts to be eliminated in the group phase but England, he says, can be a surprise winner. "Capello has changed the philosophy," said Parreira. "England always had good players but now they have unity and focus. All this stuff about wives, girlfriends, partying – it's no good. When you go to a World Cup, it's like going to war. When you go to war, you don't take the wife. You go prepared to win a battle.

"There is more freedom these days with mobiles and things but you have to focus on your job. The performance of England in qualifying was excellent. There is a new mentality surrounding the team in terms of discipline and this will help a lot. I really think this could be England's best chance for a long time."

Meanwhile, US captain Landon Donovan can't wait to lock horns with David Beckham – provided his LA Galaxy team-mate is in Capello's squad. Donovan and Beckham fell out spectacularly earlier this year when the American questioned Beckham's commitment following his extended loan move at Milan. Although they made up over the season – and helped the Galaxy reach the MLS final – Donovan would love nothing more than to put one over on England on 12 June.

"It took me about half a second to realise what this means," said Donovan. "I wish we could have got a shot of David's face directly but I'm sure he was thinking the same thing. To play against your own team-mate is actually pretty incredible."

Donovan believes the US are capable of dealing with whatever is thrown at them by Capello's side. "With England, they're just physical and they're big and they're used to playing the game at a very high pace," he said. "Are we as talented as England? Probably not. But we think on a given day that we have a chance to beat them."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in