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Last Updated: Monday, 7 January 2008, 13:38 GMT
Capello gets going
Fabio Capello officially took over as England manager on Monday, becoming the country's most expensive national appointment.

Fabio Capello
Capello is greeted by the media on his first day at Soho Square

Against a backdrop of flashing lights and whirring video cameras, the 61-year-old Italian breezed into Soho Square early in the morning, stopping only momentarily to allow the media to get the shots that will be seen by millions.

However, with less than a month until his first international match against Switzerland, what now for Capello? What will his first working week involve? And just how will he go about turning England's fortunes on the pitch around thereafter?

BBC Sport spoke to former England manager Graham Taylor to find out what Capello might be getting up to now his feet are under the desk.

Graham Taylor
By Graham Taylor
Former England manager (1990-1993)

This is going to be a very, very busy period for Capello as he gets to grips with the task at hand on and off the pitch.

First and foremost, Monday will largely be about meeting and greeting the day-to-day staff at Soho Square that will play a big role in how successful he might be as England manager.

For all his success at club level, this is the first international appointment Capello has undertaken and things work very differently at that level.

Jan 7: Begins job at FA
Jan 31: Names first squad
Feb 6: Friendly v Switzerland
Mar 26: Friendly v France
Sep & Oct: World Cup qualifiers

For all the talk, sometimes, of the FA's incompetency, its staff on the inside are excellent and Capello will be relying on them a lot, especially early on in his regime.

Two of the most important people for him inside Soho Square, both in the short and long-term, will be media relations manager Adrian Bevington and the FA's international secretary Michelle Farrah.

Michelle, for example, has seen seven different England managers come and go in her time at the FA, as well as two caretaker managers, so she is very experienced; she's seen it all.

She will be responsible for ensuring everything is in place and runs smoothly for Capello and the team when they play matches at home and abroad, with things such as hotels, training camps etc.

And she will also play a big role in helping Capello in his various trips around the country looking at and checking on players.

Fabio Capello and Stuart Pearce
Meetings with under-21 manager Stuart Pearce, club managers and his own staff will ensure he will soon know all about players at the top and bottom of the pile

Graham Taylor

For all the responsibilities he may have away from the ins and outs of the job - media opportunities for example - I'm sure he will want to hit the ground running and that means getting out to matches and to clubs as soon as possible.

Any minutiae - organising his office, familiarising himself with the building and the area - will come over time but it can wait for now. They are longer-term things.

One thing I'm sure he will want to do is to get around to visit players at their clubs, in their own environment, so he can meet them and discuss what he wants and expects before he gets them all together as a squad for the first time.

What I don't expect is that he will be finding out about players for the first time.

My opinion is that Mr Capello is a shrewd man and knows far more about the English game, players and even language than we think he does.

He will have been watching our games and our players since he got the job, I'm sure, and meetings with under-21 manager Stuart Pearce, club managers and his own staff and scouts will ensure he will soon know all about our players at the top and bottom of the pile.


I know he is meeting David Beckham - whom he coached at Real Madrid of course - on Wednesday, for example, and collecting as much information from as many different people as possible, as well as letting them all know what he is about, will be one of his top priorities early on.

As well as that I'm sure he has a lot to look at as far as training arrangements are concerned, about where England stay at home and abroad for matches, what the hotel is like and what it provides and such like.

Finding out about these things will be important.

And, against the backdrop of all this, of course he will have the media on his tail. The demand from them for his views and observations will be intense and Bevington has a big role to play to ensure it does not impinge on him to the detriment of the task at hand.

That said, I think Capello is starting with an advantage. He has already sent media outlets a letter detailing requests about their conduct and involvement in his private life, for example, and it would appear he has a grace period.

I honestly think a lot of the press are in awe of him - as a foreigner who has achieved so much in the game - and that is something that might benefit him.

If Capello and his staff get England winning and, ultimately, lead them to a major trophy, I'm sure few people will complain

Graham Taylor

As for his staff - he has brought four Italians with him - I'll be honest, I'm not sure what they will be doing or whether it will be any different to an English staff.

Will his goalkeeping coach be going around the country? Will he be meeting players at their clubs and in training? I have no idea.

Will his second in command be looking at games? Are they visiting Championship clubs and are they going to meet managers? Will they tell them how they plan to do things and how they plan to improve the English game? Again, I have no idea.

But, if they get England winning and, ultimately, lead them to a major trophy, I'm sure few people will complain about how they got there.

  • Graham Taylor was talking to BBC Sport's Sam Lyon

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