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David Beckham: Blame the players, Not Fabio Capello

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England coach Fabio Capello walks past David Beckham (L) during a training session at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus near Rustenburg June 24, 2010. (Getty)

July 15, 2010

(KATAKAMI / DAILY EXPRESS.CO.UK ) FABIO Capello returns to work as England manager today with a perfectly timed endorsement from David Beckham that absolved him of any blame for the woeful World Cup display.

Although he is not expected to attend an FA board meeting at Wembley, Capello is due to have planning meetings with Club England chairman Sir Dave Richards, managing director Adrian Bevington, Sir Trevor Brooking and Alex Horne.

It was those four men who decided Capello should continue as boss of the national team five days after telling him they could take up to two weeks to consider his future.

Beckham believes that the FA were right to stick by their man and now feels Capello’s underperforming squad must take responsibility for nearly costing him his job in South Africa.

Capello, 64, vowed to freshen up his squad by bringing in young players. But he has risked renewed criticism by failing to confirm whether he will attend the European Under-19 Championship, for which England travel to France this weekend.

“He [Capello] did everything that he could have done,” said Beckham. “He prepared us right. He worked the players the right amount and he set everything up for them, but the players know it was disappointing.

“We didn’t perform and as players you know that. The manager can only do so much and then it’s down to the players. They go on to the pitch and know if they don’t perform they don’t win games.

“The players are honest about that, but it’s not about individuals. It’s about how we played as a team. It’s a cliche, but you win as a team and you lose as a team.

“You have to take the good days and enjoy those, and the bad days you learn from. The team will do that because we’ve got a lot of young players.”

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England’s injured midfielder David Beckham (L) vies with England’s coach Fabio Capello (R) during the 2010 World Cup round of 16 match Germany vs England on June 27, 2010 at Free State stadium in Mangaung/Bloemfontein. (Getty)

Beckham faced a public backlash after being sent off in England’s defeat by Argentina during the 1998 World Cup and he fears Wayne Rooney and Co will get similar treatment. “I hope the players don’t get vilified because a lot of them will still be playing for England, but we live in a world where that does happen,” said Beckham.

“You do enjoy the good times, but when the bad times come along you can’t just crumble. If you crumble, then you will get more stick. From the season I came back after 1998, I know it is tough. You have to block that out.”

England, bizarrely, have risen a place in the FIFA rankings to seventh. But Beckham agrees with Capello’s assessment that the nation needs a winter break to seriously challenge countries such as Germany and Spain. “Having played in Spain for four years, I saw the benefit of a winter break because you come back fresh and it’s great,” said Beckham. “It will be difficult to change the tradition of winter football in England, but I’m sure something can happen.

“People say, ‘How can these players be tired because they are playing the same number of games as different nationalities?’ But it is without the break and that is the big thing. If you look at it, the Germans and Spanish had great World Cups, so a break would help the players and help the team.”

Having been ruled out of playing in the World Cup by an Achilles injury, Beckham, 35, travelled to South Africa as a link between Capello’s staff and the players. His role prompted suggestions he could put himself forward as a future England boss, but he has no plans to go into management.

And even though he will be 37 when the Olympics come to London, Beckham has not ruled out the possibility of playing in a Great Britain team.

He said: “I hope I’ll still be playing in 2012. I definitely won’t be coaching the team, but if I am still playing and I am still considered good enough to make a difference then I would love to be involved in the Olympics.

“I must admit management is something I’ve never been interested in. It’s not a passion of mine to be a manager of a football team.

“I’m passionate about the game and being there, and obviously I was wearing the suit so people have thought I could be going into that.

“I spoke to James Milner, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Aaron Lennon, all the right-sided players. If there’s anything that needed saying from the manager to the players, that was kind of my role.”  (*)

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