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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 March 2008, 07:39 GMT
Capello regime impresses Beckham

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News conference: David Beckham

France v England
Date: Wednesday, 26 March
Kick-off: 2000 GMT
Venue: Stade de France
BBC Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website

David Beckham says new manager Fabio Capello has changed the culture in the England squad by picking players on form rather than reputation.

Beckham was left out of Capello's first squad but is set to win his 100th cap in Wednesday's friendly against France.

"He's started off well. The regime has totally changed round and players have recognised that," said the midfielder.

"If you're not playing well and don't respond, you won't be in the team. We've a manager with strong beliefs."

It's embarrassing when we promise things as a team and don't fulfil that potential

David Beckham

The former England captain, who plays for LA Galaxy, will join a select band of England centurions if he plays at the Stade de France.

Only four other players - Billy Wright (105), Bobby Charlton (106), Bobby Moore (108) and Peter Shilton (125) - have reached three figures for England.

Beckham met Capello for the first time since they were both at Real Madrid on Monday when he joined the rest of the England squad at their London Colney training base.

"We shook hands and it was nice to see him because the last time was when we were celebrating on the field at the Bernabeu," said Beckham.

And the former Real Madrid and Manchester United player said England can flourish under the Italian, insisting: "He is, without doubt, the right man for the England job.

"He's got his own ways, he knows how to get teams playing. That's what our country needs. We need to get the confidence of the nation back."


England have failed to reach the semi-finals of five major tournaments since Beckham, now 32, made his international debut in 1996.

He added: "It's embarrassing to a certain extent when we promise things and say how good we are as a team and don't fulfil that potential.

"But I'll say this again, we do have some of the most talented players in the world and it's really all about fulfilling that potential.

"Now we've got a manager who knows how to get the best out of players."

Goalkeeper David James agrees that Capello will be a hit with England and said the Italian's strengths were his ability to communicate and get his ideas across clearly.

David James
James is a big fan of Capello

"I like what Mr Capello does," said James. "I'm not saying that just so I stay in favour.

"We come in, he tells us what he wants us to do. The instructions are clear, concise and you follow it.

"The language barrier which is often mentioned is pretty much non-existent. He is not the most garrulous of managers, but what he says he means and that instruction is clear."

The 37-year-old Portsmouth star added: "What we have here with Mr Capello is a very, very strong structure. Everybody knows that their roles are.

"With this regime, it just seems everyone knows what's expected of them. It's a good environment."

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07 Feb 08 |  Internationals
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