Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fitness Levels, Monitoring of Players Play Significant Part in Capello's Present Regime

Fabio Capello's fitness coach, Massimo Neri, has been monitoring the fitness of all the potential players for the England manager's first squad. Neri has been in contact with fitness coaches of all clubs in the Premier League. Players' individual fitness has usually been beyond the control of international managers but was important to Jurgen Klinsmann's Germany team for them to have reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2006.

The new England manager has been able to watch most of the potential players in action playing for their clubs but has not given away much about his plans for the first friendly against Switzerland on February 6 and has not spoken to any players individually – not even England's captain John Terry. Furthermore Capello has recently dropped a hint that David Beckham will be part of the first squad as he has asked Neri to contact Arsenal about Beckham's fitness level.

While Capello has been able to watch most of the potential players in action for their clubs, Beckham's LA Galaxy team's Major League Soccer (MLS) season will not start until March. The midfielder has not played competitively since October but has been training with Arsène Wenger's squad this month to get in shape during Los Angeles Galaxy's close season.

If Capello will name the England squad on the Friday before the weekend that preceded a midweek international as in Steve McClaren's custom, as well as that of his predecessor Sven Goran Eriksson, then the naming of Capello's next squad will be out soon. The new England manager has still not yet given any hint whether Terry will still continue as captain.

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