The softer side of Don Fabio revealed

So England live to fight another day and I'm delighted for them, but especially for the man who has come under even more pressure this week than Robert Green did after his flappy hands against the US - Fabio Capello.

I'm a big Capello fan myself. People forget it is his first tournament ever as a national coach. He's never been away with a team like this before and it looks like he is learning as he goes along that his strict "Headmaster" routine won't get the best out of the players when away with them for such a long time and that a more "6th form tutor"-like approach (the players drank beer last night!!??) will work far better.

He seems to be getting good performances and a good attitude out of Stevie G., his captain/Head Boy and today diligent left midfielder. All the body language I see when the 2 of them are together speaks volumes of the respect Gerrard has for Don Fabio, the desire he has to please him and the fatherly mentoring that Capello is giving Stevie - a real father-son relationship. See the moment in the Algeria game when all is going pear-shaped 2nd half, Stevie is on the touchline and is bristling with helpless anxiety. Capello puts a hand on his shoulder and squeezes it as they exchange a few phrases. But the gesture spoke far louder I imagine than the words, as did Capello calmness.

His demeanour after the final whistle tonight also showed how he seems to be softening into a slightly more touchy-feely manager when he feels that approach is needed - the back-slapping, the hugs, the bravado... indeed the team's group hug showed the world that France we most certainly ain't and that from adversity has been born a deeper, stronger team spirit.

However, we'll need more than group hugs to beat the newly-cosmopolitan German side. But it's a start... Oh and more of the same please, James Milner!

P.S. Glad the US + Ghana made it through too. Tough on the Aussies who gave it a good shot tonight.
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