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Fabio Capello unplugs Wayne Rooney's PlayStation

England football supremo Fabio Capello has decreed that his team will not be allowed to play video games during international training time, in an attempt to put a stop to the famous 'PlayStation culture' within the squad.

The rule is one of several edicts that the Italian boss hopes will instill a sense of discipline among his underachieving, highly paid charges. There will also be bans on visitors, flip-flops and hopeless route-one football. We hope.

Whether it will significantly improve the side's chances of qualifying for the World Cup remains to be seen - sounds like the O'Neal Fallacy if you ask us, not that we'd claim to know what makes a professional footballer tick - but you have to admire the PR nous of the manoeuvre: no one ever lost public sympathy by cracking down on youthful reprobates, which is exactly how the current England squad are perceived. And targets don't get much softer than dissolute, video-game-playing millionaire athletes who (with a couple of exceptions) didn't give a strong impression of caring that they won't be heading to Switzerland and Austria this summer.

But let's take the side of the dissolute, video-game-playing millionaire athletes for a moment. You're a young kid, far from home, trapped in a hotel room with only Steven Gerrard for company. The iPod has run out of batteries. You can't read a newspaper, because people will say you're gay. How do you pass the time? It's obvious: stick on Gears of War. Or, if you're Jonathan Woodgate, Dr Kawashima's Brain Training.

(Sorry, Jonathan. We don't mean it.)

[Via MCV.]

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