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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 3 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 25, 2007

Capello: England shirt weighs heavy

MADRID, Nov 25 (Reuters) - England's problems at international level are more psychological than technical, Italian coach Fabio Capello said on Sunday. The former Real Madrid, AC Milan and Juventus coach is the favourite to replace Steve McLaren, who was sacked after England's 3-2 defeat to Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday denied them a place at next year's European championship. 'As coaches we all ask ourselves how England, with the players they have, failed to qualify for Euro 2008,' Capello said in his weekly column in Spanish sports daily Marca. 'The English national team, like the Spanish one, win little despite having leagues that make more money than the others. 'I have seen some of England's games. Against Russia in Moscow they defended on the edge of their area for 90 minutes despite holding a 1-0 lead.' England lost 2-1 after late goals from Russia's Roman Pavlyuchenko. 'Against Croatia, they all pushed up and lost 3-2 when a draw would have qualified them,' Capello continued. 'The difference in attitude between these games is too great. How can players with the quality of David Beckham and Michael Owen perform so differently when playing for their country? It is clear the shirt weighs heavy even for these winners. 'In these situations the coach's role is fundamental and he needs to be more psychologist than tactician or technician. The obvious explanation is that there is a mental block. Otherwise, how else can you explain their elimination?' Capello has registered his interest in taking on the England job.