Capello Doubts Beckham's Fitness

Fabio Capello is set to start his tenure as new head coach of the England squad by continuing his frigid relationship with David Beckham in much the same way it ended when the two were at Real Madrid together.Beckham, 33, has been training with Arsenal over the past few weeks in an effort to keep up his fitness in the MLS offseason. Currently sitting on 99 caps, he has made no attempt to conceal how important it is to him to reach the 100-appearance milestone for his country. It was thought that England's upcoming friendly against Switzerland on February 6th would be a fine occasion for the footballing legend to reach that plateau, and it was even reported that Beckham would again be named captain of the squad in honor of his achievements.

But word is leaking out that Capello is unsure of Beckham's match fitness, seeing as how the midfielder has not played in a competitive match with the Los Angeles Galaxy since the end of October. So concerned is Capello that he recently had a talk with Arsenal fitness coach Tony Colbert and his own fitness coach, Massimo Neri, about whether Beckham warrants a place in the first lineup produced by the Italian.

Capello is said to be keen on Blackburn's right-sided midfielder David Bentley, who some say is the new David Beckham.

"Hopefully he will get his 100th cap and then I will come on for him as a sub," Bentley said. "I really respect him, and it is nice to hear people sometimes describe me as the next David Beckham, but it is a dog eat dog world. I am there to take his place, which will hopefully make England a better team."

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has come to Beckham's defense.

"David deserves to play in the team, and not just because it will be his 100th cap," the former England coach said. "Even if he is in America I think he can still fight for his place in the team, certainly his right foot is no worse than it used to be."

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