Capello - JT won't captain again

Italian insists shamed defender still has important role to play

Capello: Terry captaincy blow

Chelsea defender John Terry will never captain England again, according to Three Lions boss Fabio Capello.

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Capello sacked Terry as captain of the national team after allegations of an extra-martial affair emerged involving the former partner of Wayne Bridge, Terry's former team-mate at Chelsea.

Terry was snubbed by Bridge in the pre-match handshakes before Manchester City's 4-2 win over Carlo Ancelotti's side at Stamford Bridge, with Capello watching the game from the stands.

And the Italian landed a devastating blow to the 29-year-old's hopes of making a return to the role in future by insisting he will never skipper the team under his reign.

Capello said in the News of the World: "As long as I am England manager, I don't think John Terry will be captain again.

Responsible

"The problem between John Terry and Wayne Bridge was not good and that is the only reason he is no longer captain.

"I expect my captain to be responsible to children and for the fans. I told him all of this."

Despite the bleak outlook for Terry's attempts to regain the armband, Capello explained the Chelsea captain still had an important role in leading England on the field.

Terry looks set to be Capello's only fully fit member of his preferred back four going into the finals, with Ashley Cole, Glenn Johnson and Rio Ferdinand all struggling with injury problems.

And even though he will not skipper the side, Capello told Terry to continue his role as the team's commander-in-chief at the heart of the defence - and insisted spirit amongst the England players had not been affected despite the saga.

Capello added: "I have asked Terry to be the same as before because he is a leader, but the situation with Bridge was not good. When I spoke with Terry, he understood everything. I know exactly what happened.

"Terry is a leader of men, even without the armband. I hope this is the end of the problem because it is not good for the fans or the players.

"The spirit of the group remains the same. I'm not interested in this problem any more and my only concern now is that the best players are fit."

Best interests

The controversy led to Bridge withdrawing from the summer's World Cup finals in South Africa, putting a severe dent in Capello's plans.

The 63-year-old was expecting to use Bridge as cover for the left-back role vacated by the injured Ashley Cole, but the defender's withdrawal leaves the England manager with a selection headache.

Stephen Warnock and Leighton Baines have been earmarked to fill in for Cole, although Capello admitted it was a decision he could do without making, saying that Bridge's decision was not in the best interests of the team.

Capello did leave the door open for Bridge to return if chose, however, and with three months left till the start of the tournament insisted that any dispute with Terry could be resolved.

He went on: "I have opened the door for other players and the door is open in the future for Wayne. He knows he can change his mind. He has a different vision to me, but it's Wayne Bridge's life.

"He thinks it's better for him to stay out of the team and he has given us his reasons. It's the decision of the player, not mine. It's the opinion of the player that we are better off without him, but he could have been in the squad without a problem.

"In my opinion the decision was not in the best interests of the squad, but he could be with us next time. I only played in one World Cup and it's not easy to do that."

Capello's comments looked to underline the end of the Bridge-Terry issue following Saturday's meeting between the two sides, but the Italian conceded he had other concerns with team selection.

Chelsea's Joe Cole is struggling to rediscover the form that earned him the left-wing position under Steve McClaren following a long injury lay-off, while Arsenal midfielder Theo Walcott is also being hampered by fitness issues.

Capello delivered a warning to the duo, reiterating his long-held belief that hopefuls of making the 23-man squad must be playing regularly for their clubs.

"I saw the last game Theo played, he was on for 72 minutes and did very well, but he is not in a fantastic moment," said Capello. "He needs to regain confidence because he has lost a lot of balls. He is getting better and better but he needs to play more.

"Cole did not play against Inter (Milan) and it's not a good moment for him. Chelsea prefer Daniel Sturridge at the moment. Cole has problems and he's not the same player I remember."