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Aug 15, 2010

Carragher backs Capello over World Cup woes

Jamie Carragher has come out in support of under-fire England coach Fabio Capello. The Italian was widely criticised after this summer's dismal World Cup campaign, with the Football Association taking time to debate his continued employment, and has faced a fresh storm this week over his crude ending of David Beckham's international career.

But Liverpool defender Carragher, who was briefly summoned out of international retirement to play under Capello in South Africa, defended the national team coach - even throwing in a joke at the expense of former Reds boss Rafael Benitez.

He told the Mail on Sunday: "I loved (Capello). He could have done anything for me and I'd have still liked him. I'm a bit like: 'That's his CV, so whatever he does, we can't say that's wrong and that's right because that's what he does'.

"People are criticising him and some players are saying: 'I didn't like this' and 'He was a bit cold towards us'. Well, I think he was fine. I'd had Rafa for six years!"

But Carragher nonetheless feels the next national team manager should be English, arguing that appointing from overseas is tantamount to cheating.

"After this we should have an English manager," he said. "I just think we should always have one because it's cheating in a way.

"If we couldn't score goals, are we allowed to get Italy's centre-forward? We're not, are we? Or get Gianluigi Buffon in goal?"

The 32-year-old feels England's ingrained footballing culture is to blame for their failings on the world stage, pointing to their World Cup exit to Germany as an example.

He continued: "Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard - technically they are as good as any player in Europe. I think it's the brain. I think they're cleverer than us. They know not just how to keep the ball but how to slow the game down.

"I think a lot of other countries see us coming and think we're just going to want to fight. It's the culture really. Look at Germany in the second half, we were going gung-ho. It was still 2-1 and we're getting the better of it, and we lose another goal like that. "

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