Fab laments lack of time with players

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Fabio Capello has just one tip for his successor as England manager - do not expect the job to be anything like that of a club boss.

Capello is adamant this will be his last season as a boss, ending two decades at the highest level of the game.

The 65-year-old insists he is not concerned about his own legacy, and whether he will be viewed as a success or failure on the international scene, and remains focused on fashioning a winning team. Yet one small observation about the normally fastidious Capello’s less-than-perfect preparations for Wednesday night’s Wembley friendly with Holland emphasise what a frustrating role it can be.

“There are a lot of good managers and it will be the FA’s job to decide who comes next,” he said.

“I only say one thing. This job is not like the manager of a club where you can train and speak with the players every day. We select the players but we don’t have time to do anything. Of the ones I choose for Holland, I will only have seen seven or eight of them play during pre-season.

“Those who play on Sunday will arrive tired, so we will be able to speak a little bit and study Holland’s previous games, plus the last one that we played against Switzerland to understand what really happened, the mistakes, the things we did well. We will be able to do nothing more. It makes it a completely different job.”

According to Capello, it is not, as some have claimed, the impossible job.

There is a rather tricky aspect to it, though - one to which there is no obvious solution given how condensed the English fixture calendar is and the unique nature of the game in this country.

“To win, you need good players who arrive at the most important tournament at the top of their form,” he said.

“But you play a lot in England. All the countries in Europe have a winter break. You also have one more competition than the other countries. Another different thing is the spirit that the players play here.

Even when they are losing, they are running and fighting to the end. The other countries don’t do this.”

All these things mean Capello will have to give a great deal of thought to his plans for Euro 2012 - if England get there, of course.

With three matches of their qualification pool remaining, they remained locked on 11 points with Montenegro, whom they face in Podgorica on October 7.

Fail to secure the right result in that one - it is England’s last game but their opponents will still have a match left - and they will be pitched into a play-off in order to reach Poland and Ukraine, and the chance to avenge a dismal World Cup.