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Chips off the menu for England

Fish, chips and tomato ketchup
The chips are down for England's players
England players appear to have had their chips after coach Fabio Capello revealed he had taken the traditional British favourite off the menu.

The Italian has also slapped a ban on tomato ketchup after impressing on his squad the importance of healthy eating in their quest to qualify for the next World Cup.

Speaking to the latest edition of Fifa Magazine, Capello spoke of the sweeping changes he has made since taking over from Steve McClaren as England manager last December.

He said: "I have, for example, impressed upon (the players) the advantages of a Mediterranean diet over ketchup and chips.

"I have also put some rules of conduct in place for when the national team meets up, from eating breakfast together to the use of mobile phones, which must be switched off from time to time."

The new regime is a world away from the McClaren era, where players were referred to by nicknames and the atmosphere was altogether more casual. Capello, it has been reported, prefers the use of surnames.

But while his methods may seem a little austere, results speak for themselves, with England currently sitting pretty at the top of their World Cup qualifying group after taking maximum points from four games.

Fabio Capello
'I hope that's not salt and vinegar, I can smell...'
Capello confirmed there had been no dissension in the ranks, explaining: "The players have been very co-operative, and that is a clear indication of the high level of professionalism at their clubs.

"Arsenal's academy, for example, is the perfect example of how young players should be brought along at all European clubs."

But not all Premier League managers share Capello's views on eating habits.

When Harry Redknapp, who has won five out of his six games since taking charge at White Hart Lane, was asked whether a change in diet had contributed to Tottenham's amazing turnaround, he replied: "If you can't pass the ball properly, a bowl of pasta's not going to make that much difference!"

And in his column for The Sun this week, he wrote: "I know the odd indulgence doesn't hurt players from time to time...besides, what can you do? Can you follow a player home to check if his missus is giving him steak and kidney pie for tea instead of pasta?"

Food for thought, perhaps, for the England coach.

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see also
Capello admits 2012 Olympic dream
12 Nov 08 |  Football
Who is Fabio Capello?
14 Dec 07 |  Internationals

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