Cracks appear as James takes issue with Capello

Fabio Capello looks dejected at the end of the match England vs. Algeria on June 18, 2010 at Green Point stadium in Cape Town. AFP
Fabio Capello looks dejected at the end of the match England vs. Algeria on June 18, 2010 at Green Point stadium in Cape Town. AFP

RUSTENBURG, South Africa, June 20, 2010 (AFP) - England goalkeeper David James has fuelled speculation of mounting discontent in the Three Lions' World Cup camp by publicly disputing Fabio Capello's assertion that the squad played with fear in their goalless draw with Algeria.

Instead, James said Algeria had successfully employed tactics specifically designed to frustrate their opponents.

"You are usually playing matches when the opposition wants to win," James argued. It is very difficult when you are up against a side who seem not to want to lose."

With criticism of Capello's authoritarian regime mounting back home, James also made it clear he was not a fan of the Italian's policy of not letting players know if they are in the starting line-up until two hours before games.

The Portsmouth veteran was the beneficiary of that policy on Friday, when he was restored to the side at the expense of Robert Green, who is unlikely to feature again after the mistake that gifted the United States their equaliser in England's first Group C match.

But despite keeping a clean sheet, James does not know if he will be in goal when England take on Slovenia in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday in a match they must win to be sure of reaching the knockout phase of the tournament.

"I have been happy with it (Capello's system) as a starting player and I have to accept it when I haven't started," James said.

"Now the whole process goes on again for Wednesday. The fact I've played one game doesn't mean I'm guaranteed to play the next."

Former England boss Graham Taylor said James' comments indicated that all was not well at the squad's luxurious base at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus.

"I know David very well because we signed him as a young player at Watford many years ago," Taylor said. "He is very articulate and he was giving us a message there make no mistake. That was a message that all is not right in the England camp."

Taylor said Capello had made a mistake in attempting to introduce an Italian-style system of strict rules for the players on everything from the use of mobile phones to what they wear at breakfast.

"Each nation has its own culture in its sport and its art. Our culture is not, rightly or wrongly, to be so disciplined that you can't have a drink or you can't use your mobile," Taylor said.

"To be told you must do that, you report at this time - we need to have a smile back on the faces.

"Yes we can criticise our players for not being able to accept this, but it is not our culture to be able to do it.

"As far as I'm concerned it is about relaxation. Have yourself a drink, let's get out and enjoy the next game.

"It's getting a balance right about it all. If you become too strict and too severe once you don't get the results that will show and this is what is happening in the England camp in my opinion."

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