Wembley wobbles worry Capello
Updated: 2011-09-08 07:58
LONDON - Fabio Capello struggled to explain England's unconvincing home form after his team inched towards automatic qualification for Euro 2012 with a 1-0 win over Wales.
A first-half goal from Manchester United star Ashley Young secured all three points for England, which now needs only a draw against Montenegro in its final Group G game on Oct 7 to book its place at next year's finals.
But the final home match of a patchy qualifying campaign could have ended differently for England had Wales' substitute Robert Earnshaw not missed a glaring goalscoring opportunity in the 75th minute.
Earnshaw's howler came as a lackluster England struggled to reproduce the kind of assured performance which had given it a comfortable 3-0 victory against Bulgaria in Sofia last Friday.
Capello later blamed England's stuttering form on the pressures of playing at Wembley, saying his players appeared to suffer a crisis of confidence when appearing before a home crowd.
"Playing at Wembley we seem to lose confidence here, some players that usually dribble and go straight at goal don't do it," Capello said.
"We pass across the goal four or five times, I want always three players in front of the goal. Tonight there was one."
England's perceived problems at Wembley are a recent phenomenon. During qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, Capello's men were unstoppable at HQ, scoring 21 times and recording five wins out of five.
Since their ill-fated campaign in South Africa however, Wembley has not been a happy hunting ground for the English, having drawn three and lost one of their previous four home matches before Tuesday.