David Beckham, speaking on the eve of what he hopes will be his 100th game for his country, believes new manager Fabio Capello is the person to help England realise their potential.
Beckham was omitted from Capello’s first squad but he has been recalled for Wednesday’s friendly against France – an indication, according to the LA Galaxy midfielder, that Capello will pick players on form rather than reputation.
“He’s started off well. The regime has totally changed round and players have recognised that,” said the midfielder.
“If you’re not playing well and don’t respond, you won’t be in the team. We’ve a manager with strong beliefs.”
If selected to play against France, the former England captain will join a select band of players who have achieved a century of caps for England.
Only four other players – Billy Wright (105), Bobby Charlton (106), Bobby Moore (108) and Peter Shilton (125) – have reached three figures for England.
Beckham met Capello for the first time since they were both at Real Madrid on Monday when he joined up with the rest of the England squad at their London Colney training base.
“We shook hands and it was nice to see him because the last time was when we were celebrating on the field at the Bernabeu,” said Beckham.
“He is, without doubt, the right man for the England job.
“He’s got his own ways, he knows how to get teams playing. That’s what our country needs. We need to get the confidence of the nation back.”
England have not won a major trophy since their World Cup triumph in 1966 and have failed to reach the semi-finals of a major tournament since Euro 96.
Beckham continued: “It’s embarrassing to a certain extent when we promise things and say how good we are as a team and don’t fulfil that potential.
“But I’ll say this again, we do have some of the most talented players in the world and it’s really all about fulfilling that potential.
“Now we’ve got a manager who knows how to get the best out of players.”
Goalkeeper David James concurred with Beckham and noted that the Italian’s strengths were his ability to communicate and his creation of a structure, within which the players knew what was expected of them.
“I like what Mr Capello does,” said James. “I’m not saying that just so I stay in favour.
“We come in, he tells us what he wants us to do. The instructions are clear, concise and you follow it.
“The language barrier which is often mentioned is pretty much non-existent. He is not the most garrulous of managers, but what he says he means and that instruction is clear.
“What we have here with Mr Capello is a very, very strong structure. Everybody knows that their roles are.
“With this regime, it just seems everyone knows what’s expected of them. It’s a good environment.”