These qualifiers have been an exercise in rehabilitation for fans and players alike. They yearn for a fresh start but, so far, decline to get unduly excited. This is a sort of communal repentance for those who had almost assumed there would be impact at the World Cup.
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Capello was not reconciled to his own fall from grace. He was speaking before the first competitive match of last season, against Bulgaria. The Italian, in practice, is sometimes more willing to embody the popular mood than is expected and it might have made sense as well to leave out 10 players who had been to the World Cup, even if some were injured and, in Jamie Carragher's case, retired. Bulgaria were beaten at Wembley with a hat-trick from Jermain Defoe, who is now out of favour.
Adam Johnson claimed his first goal for England. Capello continues to have reservations about him, but Johnson struck again in the away victory over Switzerland, coming off the bench to do so, while Darren Bent got his first international goal, also as a substitute. The opener had been taken by Rooney.
The Manchester United striker has had some disappointing goalless spells, but at least his country are unlikely to forget about him. By contrast, a winger such as Ashley Young, who failed to make the man provisional squad for the World Cup, has endured and is now to the fore.
Capello surely hates the notion that he could ever be at the beck and call of public opinion, but rejuvenation was essential. It was predictable that senior players such as Rio Ferdinand, the intended captain at the World Cup before his knee injury, would be reassessed.
For one reason or another, he has won only three caps since. Some changes have been clear and resounding, with Joe Hart unquestioned as first-choice goalkeeper.
The alterations have been made with little harm done to results. Some individuals, of course, have suffered and Peter Crouch is no longer in the party even though he started the stupefying home match with Montenegro last October.
taferecoorbo.ga Some of the blame for that incident-free draw has evidently fallen upon him. Despite that stalemate, results have been sound enough to give Capello a fairly stable working environment. The manager had no qualms about presenting Jack Wilshere, a teenager who will not return from injury until next year, as a key element in his schemes. He has won five caps already, with his competitive debut in the away win over Wales.
Capello is eager now for those with youth and potential, such as Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck, both in this week's squad. Alterations are not necessarily about newcomers, though, and Bent's goal on Friday night continued to revive an international career that also includes a clincher, following Frank Lampard's opener from the penalty spot, in that victory at the Millennium Stadium.
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A month before Bent had also found the net in a friendly with Denmark. Rooney, too, seems to have come to the end of an indifferent period, having struck twice in the away win over Bulgaria last month. Euro is about to kick off so why not support your team with the sounds of the Ukrainian Vuvuzela — Zozulica — Euro Football Sounds! Blow into your iPhone or tap the screen to make a truly authentic Eastern European folk sound with the help of this crazy instrument.
So turn up the volume as loud as you can and show the rest of Europe who you support with the help of Zozulica! Our first link is therefore to the most intelligent and, frankly, beautiful football blog that we know of — RunOfPlay. Paul McDonald of goal. We got the lowdown from FansFC.
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