Football

Capello ready for Wembley jeers

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Fabio Capello will put England's World Cup flops in the firing line against Hungary at Wembley on Wednesday fully prepared for the crowd to jeer their disapproval at the team's performance in South Africa this summer.

Having had their lofty expectations, which Capello fuelled rather than quashed, about the World Cup crushed mercilessly by Germany, those that do bother to turn up are expected to vent their frustrations. So, rather than send the younger members of his squad out to face the force of that anger, Capello is set to select only players who were present in South Africa in his starting outfield line-up.

"The first XI will be players who were at the World Cup," he said. "This is sure because, like me, they have to take the booing."

Capello added: "I expect boos. Why not? We win together, we lose together. Always, I respect the crowd but I am the boss. They have to boo me like the players."

In confronting the possibility in quite such a straightforward manner, Capello has almost certainly ensured England will have the drone of vuvuzelas replaced by the shrill jeers of their own fans ringing in their ears at kick-off.

Eventually, he hopes the atmosphere will settle down though, enough to allow the introduction of Arsenal duo Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere, who form the central component of the new era on which he is embarked. Capello has pledged to hand both men their first caps, which in Wilshere's case would make him the 10th-youngest England international of all time.

In addition, Bobby Zamora will get some involvement to become a third debutant on a night when the Football Association are optimistic about beating the 57,897 that turned up for the World Cup qualifier against Andorra in June 2009, the lowest gate for an England game at the new Wembley since it was opened in 2007.

A first start will be handed to Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, who is now in a straight battle with Ben Foster for the number one shirt as Paul Robinson's retirement came immediately after the decision to axe both David James and Robert Green. As Hart's position at City is unclear and Foster is prone to injury, Capello may yet rue Robinson's decision, although, despite not appearing to handle the Green situation too well, is ready to usher the West Ham goalkeeper back into the fold for the Euro 2012 qualification double-header against Bulgaria and Switzerland next month.

"This time we preferred to select Robinson, next time it will be Green," said Capello, who claims to be unconcerned about the legacy of that woeful mistake against the United States that cost England victory in their opening game and set them on a downward spiral from which they were unable to escape.

"Everyone makes mistakes. I do, you do," Capello told the journalists present at his briefing in the plush surroundings of the Grove Hotel in Watford. "If I select him it is because I respect him."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Arsenal
Ben Foster
Internationals
David James
Joe Hart
Kieran Gibbs
Watford
Bobby Zamora
Football
Manchester City
Paul Robinson
Premier League
Robert Green
Jack Wilshere
Paul Robinson
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