Fabio Capello has given an insight into how he sees the future England as he picks over the ashes of his team's FIFA World Cup™ exit. The England manager, who says he wants to stay in the post, has been told he must wait two weeks before his employers, the Football Association (FA), decide whether he will complete the two remaining years of his current contract, which takes him up to the end of the UEFA EURO 2012 finals.
But the Italian is already discussing ways of refreshing his team for the EURO 2012 qualifiers after seeing the way his experienced side, many of whom have played in two or even three previous major tournaments, failed to deliver.
With typical self confidence the former AC Milan, Juventus, Roma and Real Madrid manager feels he did everything right to prepare his team but was let down by his players, particularly in a 4-1 last-16 exit against Germany which was England's biggest FIFA World Cup finals defeat.
Now, his own future aside, the biggest debate in England is which players should be dropped and who should be brought in to rescue English football from yet another low point. Capello was, as expected, tight-lipped on the former of those two questions but happy to discuss the players who could potentially be drafted in for a new era next season.
"We talked about this with my staff," he said. "I think we will find two or three new players, probably, for the EURO. Adam Johnson, the Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs. Also Michael Dawson, although he is not young. Also Gabriel Agbonlahor and Bobby Zamora, who was injured this time. And another player we will hope will be fit is Owen Hargreaves.
Every game we played in this period, seven games in all including friendlies and at the World Cup, I never saw the players that I can see in the autumn or two months after Christmas.
"The best young players are in the under 21s and are not ready to play here at the World Cup. But I hope in the next year or six months people will come through. I hope Theo Walcott will be back and his shoulder is ok. And Jack Wilshere is another interesting player. I hope some good players will be ready in six months, it's possible."
Capello, who also hinted at a big future for goalkeeper Joe Hart, knows his brave new world with England will be subject to the same restrictions and problems that affected the current squad, however. With only 38 per cent of players in the Premier League eligible to play for England the talent pool remains shallow and the intense, physical nature of the league means injuries and tiredness are par for the course.
"I know a lot of things about the players and what happened," insisted Capello as he made a case for two more years in charge. "I know more now than before because I realised what happened when we arrived at the World Cup. I understand more things. And I understand one thing really important, I understand why England didn't win before. The England players arrive at the end of the season tired.
"Every game we played in this period, seven games in all including friendlies and at the World Cup, I never saw the players that I can see in the autumn or two months after Christmas. They were training well, were focused, but they are not the same players, not as fast or quick, as I know. I want to change something but it's impossible, there are too many games in the season. They play, Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday."
That, if Capello does remain in charge, could prove to be his biggest challenge, but he is adamant he wants a chance to prove he can change England's fortunes. "I prefer to stay," he insisted. "We need time to recover and be fresh."