Learning a new language can be tough – and it must be even more difficult if it’s your job to communicate effectively with a group of native speakers.

Apparently this is what the manager of England’s football team is finding out. Fabio Capello, a native Italian speaker, mastered Spanish whilst working at Real Madrid but his English is not yet fluent. With a nation desperate for football success, this is becoming an issue:

England’s players have privately expressed their frustration at struggling to understand the Italian. His difficulty in expressing himself and, when the situation demands it, explaining himself to the media is actually damaging.

Even when he does know what he’s doing, he sounds like he doesn’t. (Source: Daily Mail)

And what does the journalist recommend?

…he needs to work harder with his teacher and with those he does encounter – be it when he is in the office at Wembley or on his travels around the country.

We can all probably take that advice – learning a language is hard work and learners need to put in the effort to get results. But maybe it’s unfair to blame Mr Capello’s language skills – as the commenters on the article point out, perhaps our lack of success is just down to England’s players being rubbish…