Monday, January 07, 2008

Beckham Reveals His Fabio Fear

David Beckham has described the fearsome presence of Fabio Capello and believes players will enjoy the uncompromising style of the new England boss.

Beckham is relying on Capello to reach 100 international caps and has warned that the Italian will want to reign in his own way as he settles into his first week in the job.

Capello famously dropped Beckham at Real Madrid last season when the midfielder announced his deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy, although the 32-year-old was recalled and played a key role as his team claimed the La Liga title.

Beckham saw enough in Capello last season to compare him to Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

"Apart from Sir Alex Ferguson, I have never seen anyone so dedicated to watching football and learning about it," he said. "He will do it his way and that is a good thing.

"We had the fear factor the year we won La Liga. That is what all great managers have. The fear factor with a manager is important. We had it at Manchester United with Sir Alex Ferguson, and he had so much success and is still having it."

Capello has started work at Soho Square and is assessing players for a squad to face Switzerland at Wembley on February 6.

"He has an aura that players will enjoy," Beckham said on Sky Sports News, "They are going to enjoy playing under him. I enjoyed playing under him, even in the bad times."

Beckham does not blame the Italian, in fact, for the matches he had to spend out of the Real starting XI.

"There were ups and downs - and I said at the time it was higher than him, the things that were going on there," Beckham recalled.

Capello will, however, be much more than simply a strict disciplinarian in his first job as an international manager.

"He has been passionate about every team he has managed," Beckham said, "His knowledge of football is one of the best - and he has the experience."

Beckham was honoured at the Football Writers' Association dinner in London on Sunday evening, where former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson toasted to the midfielder's 100th cap.

Former England captain Bryan Robson also gave a speech about his former team-mate, who polished his boots as a youngster at Old Trafford.

"He was proud to clean my boots and sometimes that goes away from the game now," said Robson. "YTS boys now want to be superstars before they start. That's why David has been the player and person he is - he was proud to clean my boots because I was a hero of his when we were younger."

Robson also spoke about Beckham's trademark free-kicks.

"Practice makes perfect," said the Sheffield United manager. "That's what David did with his free-kicks."

Beckham paid tribute to the figures in football who helped him during his career, including Eriksson.

"For me it was the best time as an England player, a positive time and we played some great football," Beckham said, "He was a manager that looked after the players, he wasn't interested in anything else going on.

"That is why he is so well liked by every England player who played under him. He's a great manager but even more of a great man."

Source: PA

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