Taylor: Capello should learn better English

MANCHESTER - England manager Fabio Capello should speak better English and know when to keep private matters to himself, former national team boss Graham Taylor said on Thursday.

Italian Capello referred publicly last week to a personal meeting with striker Andy Carroll in which he asked the Liverpool player to drink less and also said he needed only 100 English words to communicate with his players.

"By now you would hope that his English was better and it's not," Taylor, who managed England from 1990 to 1993, told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the Soccerex European forum in Manchester.

"Let's take Roy Hodgson, he goes to Sweden (to manage Malmo) and within nine months he is speaking Swedish that you can understand. If you become a manager of an international side... it is beholden of you to actually speak it to a level whereby you are understood.

"He [Capello] probably should be speaking better English than he is... If you are delivering a bit of motivational chat before they go out, you can do it in less than 100 words. If you are going to do a tactical team talk then of course you'll need more than 100."

Taylor, who now works as a media pundit and is chairman of Championship Watford, said it was Capello's command of English that had caused his problems over Carroll.

"It's just his loss of English language again to say 'I've had a private discussion with player A and this is what I've told him' - it's no longer a private discussion is it?" said the 66-year-old.


Another of his former teams that Taylor has been watching with interest is Aston Villa, who have slid to one point above the Premier League relegation zone.

Fans waved a banner calling for Gerard Houllier's dismissal as Villa lost 1-0 at home to Midlands rivals and fellow drop candidates Wolverhampton Wanderers on March 19 but Taylor said with eight matches to go, now was not the time for sackings.

He said fan expectations had been high when the Frenchman took over after Martin O'Neill's departure in August, but that he had not had long enough in the job as a manager needed at least three seasons to create something he can call 'his' team.

"Martin O'Neill had established Aston Villa as a top six side, the object being to break into the top four. Villa supporters generally were waiting for this to happen," said Taylor.

"Whoever came in there was no chance to buy any players, he was inheriting Martin's players and I would challenge anyone to say that a manager coming in takes to every one of the previous manager's players, he has different views.

"The reception to Gerard was a lukewarm reception, it's been difficult for him ... I can only see the change (in manager) being made if they were to be relegated."

At the other end of the table, Taylor was sticking to his pre-season prediction that leaders Manchester United would win the title because of the strength of manager Alex Ferguson's desire to take them to a record 19th English league title.

"He wanted to overcome Liverpool as the club with the most championships in England," he said, adding that it would be a big ask to repeat their 1999 feat of winning the treble of league, FA Cup and Champions League.