Paper Round: Wish you were here, Fabio?

Fabio Capello laid his heart bare in Wednesday's papers - and it turns out that it still belongs to England.


"England is part of me now," the Italian tells the Daily Mail in a lengthy exclusive interview. "This is my squad, they qualified under me, and I know them so well. It is difficult to accept (that I'm not there on the bench) but it has happened. England are a part of my heart."

In truth the rest of the interview is long on words but short on insight, with Capello wishing his former boys the best without predicting what will happen. He does however say that he was "surprised" by "razor sharp" Russia and disappointed by Germany ("they are not the same team as they were in 2010. They are slower and not as exciting.")

The Dutch preparations to face Germany on Wednesday night have been derailed by internal conflict, according to Wednesday's papers.

The Sun and The Independent report a number of battles within the squad set-up, with Klaas Jan Huntelaar apparently at loggerheads with Robin van Persie, and Rafael van der Vaart openly criticising coach Bert van Marwijk for consistently overlooking the Spurs man and instead selecting Mark van Bommel - who just so happens to be Van Marwijk's son-in-law.

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"I feel like a young dog that is dying to get out but is caged in," Van der Vaart said.

The Independent claims that it's not only the Dutch who have problems: the Swedish squad is also apparently unsettled, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic reportedly "dismayed" at the nonchalance with which his team-mates accepted defeat at the hands of Ukraine on Monday.

The Daily Telegraph runs a lengthy piece about where England go next following their draw against France on Monday night, quoting Roy Hodgson discussing Wayne Rooney as "our ace in the hole". The paper claims that the same starting XI will take the field against Sweden on Friday, while for the match against Ukraine Rooney will be back in the side and Ashley Young will move out to the left, presumably consigning Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain to the bench.

That won't please the Ox, who insists in the Daily Express that he only showed a "small glimpse" of what he can do in the opening game. And given that several papers report that the ageing Scott Parker and Steven Gerrard will struggle to play three times in nine days, he might yet get to keep his shirt.

Alan Shearer, writing in The Sun, also looks ahead to the games against Sweden and Ukraine, saying that "if we don't beat both of them we deserve to go out... If I was a striker still playing, having seen their defences I'd be rubbing my hands right now".

In The Times Matt Dickinson takes a wider view of Monday's game as he writes an oddly bitter piece about England's pragmatic approach to this tournament, criticising Hodgson as an England manager "in charge of a side who declare themselves very satisfied with grinding out a draw on only 35 per cent of the ball. There seems an obvious disconnect between what the FA is striving for with its next generation and the football those same aspiring youngsters see from the senior England team who are meant to be setting an example".

Dickinson goes on to admit that Hodgson has been trying to do his best in lousy circumstances, "but some coaches would undoubtedly be more adventurous in trying".

England's negative approach - which led to the French likening them to Chelsea - is also analysed in the Daily Mirror, by none other than Kenny Dalglish. The King of the Kop makes what is, when you think about it, a searingly brilliant point.

"What's wrong with playing like Chelsea? Last time I looked they were champions of Europe" is the headline on his piece, which suggests that a solid draw against a good side is hardly a bad way to start a tournament, regardless of the flow of the match.

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Paul Merson in the Daily Star is even more forthright: "We'll bore our way to glory!" is the headline leading the former Arsenal star's thoughts.

Over on the continent, Spain's El Pais has an interesting interview with Cesc Fabregas in which he says the country are "spoilt" for talented players.

Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport runs a big piece about the controversy surrounding Antonio Cassano's homophobic comments, in which he said he hoped there were no gay players in the Italy squad. "Antonio Cassano rarely goes in front of the microphones, but when he does every sentence becomes a headline," the paper laments.

France's l'Equipe runs a piece about the Dutch crisis, saying that their backs are against the wall already as they prepare to face the Germans knowing only a win is enough.

On to other news, and despite his angry denial that he has already resigned, Harry Redknapp is still set to leave White Hart Lane, according to several of Wednesday's papers.

The Times and the Daily Telegraph both report that Redknapp is "prepared to quit" if he is not offered a new, long-term deal. The Daily Mirror goes further, claiming that Redknapp could well leave by the end of Wednesday. Considering that he'll be spending much of Wednesday in the BBC studio, we somehow doubt that.

The Daily Telegraph claims that he will happily walk away should a compensation deal be agreed since he is keen on taking up a lucrative job offer in the UAE.

And finally, it seems appropriate that as Denmark make an impressive start at Euro 2012, one of their most celebrated players, Michael Laudrup, is on the cusp of coming to the Premier League. Laudrup, now 47, is to be unveiled as Swansea's new manager by the end of the week, according to The Sun.

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