Fabio Capello has refused to guarantee either that David Beckham will collect his 100th cap or that John Terry will retain the captaincy.
The recently-apppointed England coach did however offer some encouragement to Beckham.
“I have not met him,” he said. “Beckham is important for England and can still give a lot but I consider all [the players] on the same level. A manager has feelings but first and foremost he has to take decisions.”
Terry, meanwhile, who is currently recovering from a foot injury, will have to wait to discover if he has been reappointed as the England captain.
“I am evaluating whether to decide on a definitive captain,” said Capello, “or to appoint a provisional captain. I have first to know the candidates well. Please don’t take this as indecision. The captaincy issue is a very important one for England. I must come up with the right choice. A captain must be a leader, someone who carries the team, somebody that in every moment is important for the team.”
Capello was speaking in Zagreb where he attended the fixture draw for England’s 2010 World Cup qualifiers. However, he acknowledged that his immediate concern was to get to know his players.
“There are,” he noted, “two main things I want from the five friendlies: first to try to create a team and second to try to discover [new] players who can be integrated into the group.”
Watching Premier League games in person has made an impression Capello.
“The total movement of the team escapes you when you watch on TV,” he said. “That is something that impressed me. The [England] team I want is in my head but to have an idea of what I can achieve I first need to know the players well – not only their characteristics with the ball but their tactical sense on and off the ball.”