Walcott Criticises Capello World Cup Regime

Pete South comments on Theo Walcott’s recent foray into the world of publishing – in which the Arsenal star may inadvertantly give us an insight into his relationship with Ar

Theo Walcott has openly criticised England manager Fabio Capello for his “cold and clinical” regime that undermined England’s World Cup campaign in South Africa last year.

Walcott was left out of the final squad that travelled to South Africa last summer before England crashed out at the second round stage against Germany, and the Arsenal midfielder believes the prevailing mood of discipline that surrounded the camp before the tournament did little to help.

In extracts taken of his book that has been serialised in the Sun newspaper, Walcott wrote:

“It became obvious straight away that Mr Capello was very strict. It was like being in the presence of a headmaster.

“If you are eating and you look over to where he is and he is looking at you, you look down and eat straight away. You’re s*** scared of him, basically.

“He picked players on form and that was it. No sentiment. No friendships. Cold and clinical.

“There was something very stiff and starchy about Mr Capello’s regime before the 2010 World Cup,

“I found it difficult to be myself. Players split up along club lines.” He added.

“There was an Aston Villa group and a Manchester United group and the staff weren’t very relaxed. It all felt a bit tense. Everyone was a bit too serious.” He added.

Most placed a Euro 2012 free bet on Walcott being involved in Poland and Ukraine next summer, although it is unknown how Capello will take the remarks.

Walcott added that there was particular incident at a training camp in Austria that shook his confidence ahead of the tournament and highlighted his authoritarian approach – something that the Italian was widely criticised for in the fall out following their exit against Germany.

“We headed out to a training camp in the Austrian Alps before we left for South Africa. Something happened out there that shook my confidence. It was the second day, and I made a run inside from my position out wide on the right.” He wrote.

“Suddenly Mr Capello started screaming at me at the top of his voice. Training stopped and everyone stared at their feet and looked embarrassed.

“’Theo,’ he was yelling, ‘I will kill you if you come inside like that again!’ Despite Mr Capello’s outburst, I never quite knew what was required of me. I was confused.

“I had been injured so much that season that my confidence was fragile, but no one ever helped me.”

“If you are the boss, surely you want everyone playing well and you want to encourage everyone. It killed me and I felt it wasn’t fair.”

But the former Southampton winger did have some words of encouragement for Capello, who will step down from his role with England after Euro 2012 next year, saying the former Real Madrid manager had changed his approach since last year.

“Things have gone well since then,” he wrote. “I came straight back into the first team after the World Cup and have been selected for Euro 2012 qualifiers when I’ve been fit.

“The atmosphere with England is much more relaxed now. There are more smiles around the camp these days. Mr Capello has changed, lots of things have changed. He is more approachable.” He added.

Capello is likely to take a dim view of Walcott’s comments when it comes to selecting him for the qualifiers next month – matches against Bulgaria and Wales which should see the England Euro 2012 odds shorten as the game’s approach.

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