Capello keen to cut out long ball
Fabio Capello said farewell to his players for another year with a clear warning that their work is not yet over.
In defeating Sweden 1-0 at Wembley thanks to a Daniel Majstorovic own goal, England ended a 43-year hoodoo against the Scandinavians. They also completed a first unbeaten calendar year since 1994. Both achievements are worth noting, but Capello shrugged off "statistics".
He said: "What we do in the EURO will be important, not what we've done this year."
Of more concern to Capello was the continuing reliance on the long ball from the goalkeeper. "We played without fear," said Capello before delivering the stinging complaint. "But one thing I didn't like during the game was that there were too many passes to our goalkeeper.
"When our opponents pressed our defenders, the defenders need to try something different. Not always to the goalkeeper, which always produces a long ball. I understand it's difficult to find a solution sometimes but in the next games I'd like to see us improve our movement."
Phil Jagielka, Joleon Lescott, Scott Parker, Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones, Jack Rodwell and Kyle Walker have all been singled out for praise since England's back-to-back wins. Walker in particular justified Capello's surprising decision to omit Micah Richards, the most in-form right-back around at present.
"Technically he is very good," said Capello. "He is really fast and always plays with confidence. He takes a risk and he needs to understand when you play against the really important countries for the seniors, you need to be careful sometimes. But he will improve."