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5 things we learned at the weekend

La Liga 22 hours ago
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Fans want answers over Sanchez snub

Arsenal 18 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 28, 2008

Capello is delighted with England's progress

England coach Fabio Capello hailed his side's 'step forward' after they found some form to see off USA 2-0 at Wembley.

And Capello wished John Terry a happy holiday after the troubled defender banished the misery of Moscow by heading England towards victory.

Terry's goal just before half-time may not quite make up for missing the penalty that would have won the Champions League for Chelsea seven days ago.

But at least he can go away in the knowledge he has given himself some kind of redemption for his tearful failure at the Luzhniki Stadium.

'I am very pleased to see him score,' said Capello. 'I am very happy for him and us. It was important for him to score. He can go on his holiday happy now.'

Apart from giving himself personal satisfaction, in leading England to a 2-0 win, Terry may also have provided Capello with a dilemma over who to make permanent captain when the decision is made prior to the friendly with the Czech Republic on August 20.

It had been felt Capello was edging towards Rio Ferdinand but Terry must have impressed with his authoritative approach, so his chances of holding onto the job given to him by Steve McClaren have not yet disappeared.

'John Terry is a leader,' said Capello. 'He is a leader for Chelsea and also the national team.

'The captaincy will not be an easy decision and even in my own mind I do not know what the decision will be. But I will make my mind up and when I decide I will talk with the players.'

In confirming seven of the nine players who appeared in the Champions League final will not be required to make the trip to Trinidad for Sunday's next friendly, Capello declared himself 'happy' with what was probably England's best performance of his three matches in charge so far.

Steven Gerrard capped a fine man-of-the-match display from his left-wing berth by adding a second and the margin of victory could have been even greater had some of the clear opportunities England created found their way into the USA net.

'I saw a lot of things that we were trying to do,' said the Italian. 'There was a lot of movement. When we had a chance to play a long ball we did. When it was possible to pass the ball we did that too.

'I liked the way we pressed the ball. We did it quickly. We did not waste a lot of time winning the ball back. We need to score more goals but we won and that was very important.

'But now we have to move on because we need to get better in every game.'

Capello also had words of praise for Wayne Rooney, even though a couple of the Manchester United man's tackles might have landed him in trouble had the environment been more competitive.

'Wayne Rooney did not score goals but he did well for the team,' said Capello. 'That is very important. I spoke with him after the game and he was very happy.'

USA coach Bob Bradley chose his words carefully and wisely as he assessed Rooney's performance, particularly when it came to the subject of his tackling.

'Wayne Rooney stays on the field in most games, we will leave it at that,' he said. 'The fact is he is a leader. He fights for every ball and he is a winner. In that way, he earns his respect.

'As a general rule, players like Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard are good examples of what we are shooting for. We have some players in Europe but not seven who started in the Champions League final.

'We are hoping for more players to move up the ladder and play for better clubs.'

After a three-goal demolition of Poland at the weekend, Bradley admitted England had 'raised the bar' at Wembley.

It seems bizarre therefore that Poland will be at Euro 2008 and England will not, which Bradley admits is something of a surprise.

'Sometimes football can be crazy,' he said. 'Poland had a very good run through qualifying but I think everyone recognises the talent the England team possesses.

'The performances of the individuals within the England team raised the bar for us.'

Bradley confirmed midfielder Landon Donovan had missed out on a 100th cap with a tight hamstring, and with his club side the Los Angeles Galaxy due to play Toronto at the weekend he is now almost certain to miss the weekend clash with Spain.

'We have been jiggling the MLS players around a little bit,' he said.

'It is difficult for the players, with some coming and others going, but the opportunity of having three matches on the trot like this does not come around very often.'

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