Capello opens up on England’s 2010 World Cup embarrassment and ‘calamity’ player

Fabio Capello has identified one player who was a “calamity” at the 2010 World Cup but defended his approach to the tournament, claiming England’s “preparation was perfect”.

The 2010 competition hosted in South Africa was a low ebb for the Three Lions, remembered chiefly for Rob Green’s howler against the United States and Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal in the last 16 tie with Germany.

Capello’s side finished second to the US in the group stages after Green allowed Clint Dempsey’s weak effort through his guard and into the back of the net, before old rivals Germany ended England’s hopes.

But it was not Green that Capello singled out as a “calamity”, but fellow goalkeeper David James, who took replaced the dropped former West Ham United goalkeeper.

“You can’t say anything. Everyone makes mistakes, Capello told The Guardian. “He [Green] made one, so I changed. I put in Calamity James.

“I had Green and I had [Joe] Hart, just a kid. I asked the players. Hart or Calamity? ‘Calamity.’ I put Calamity in because of the players’ trust.

“John Terry and the defenders had more faith in James. Hart had played only once.”

Despite Capello’s criticism of James, England kept clean sheets in their remaining group stage games to reach the knock-out rounds, but their shortcomings were laid bare against Germany in the last 16.

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