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Capello gives Terry a warning over his conduct

John Terry has been given a warning over his conduct on and off the field by new England boss Fabio Capello after the Italian made Rio Ferdinand captain for tonight's friendly against France.

According to The Guardian Capello wasn't impressed by the reaction of Terry and his Chelsea teammates to Ashley Cole's booking in the 4-4 draw with Spurs last week. The contempt shown to referee Mike Riley came only days after the FA had launched its 'Respect' campaign to try and improve players' behaviour towards match officials.

Capello is quoted as saying, "We need to be role models when we play for England and for our clubs. Part of this involves fair play and respect towards the referee and the public who come to see the games. In that respect, we need to get back something we may be losing a bit."

The Daily Mail claims that it was a picture of Terry's Bentley in a disabled parking spot in Surrey which finally led to the Italian giving Ferdinand the nod as England captain. Capello clearly outlined what he believes are the qualities of an England captain.

"A captain must be an example to follow in training and a leader during the game. And, of course, I would hope he could be an example, a role model outside the game as well in life. That’s very important. Not just for the England captain but for everything that we, as sportsmen, show youngsters. He has to be an example."

Questioned about Ferdinand's history of off field problems Capello replied, "The past is the past. From watching Rio play and in training, I’ve seen a very good professional. He can be a very good England captain."

But the England manager didn't close the book on Terry returning as captain in the future. "I will rotate the captain and I will name a permanent one in August. Until then, John Terry has a chance to become England captain."

Capello's decision comes as little surprise to those familiar with his career. Adjectives such as 'ruthless' and 'authoritarian' are usually lazily bandied about to describe him but what is ruthless about not giving the captaincy to someone who obviously doesn't deserve it.

The Italian doesn't buy into the 'he's a good footballer so forgive him being a total pr**k' philosophy, as illustrated by his treatment of the precocious talent of Cassano at Roma and Real Madrid. Hopefully Capello's warning to Terry is just the start.

Under Capello's management England's footballers might finally be molded into a team that can win something instead of a bunch of overrated and over pampered also-rans.

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