England coach Fabio Capello has criticized John Terry for not speaking to him first about the team's poor World Cup performances before talking to the media.
Terry, a former captain, told reporters about team meetings and a proposed discussion with Capello after England's abysmal form in a 0-0 draw with underdog Algeria, a result which threatens to put the team out in the first round for the first time since 1958.
His comments have been viewed as a challenge to Capello's leadership of a team that has not won the title since 1966 but is considered to have its strongest lineup for three decades.
"This is the big mistake, this is the very big mistake," Capello said Monday in an interview with British TV channel ITV1. "My door is always open. If people want to speak with me, they can speak with me.
"Every time we have a meeting, I ask the captain: 'Problems? You want to say something?' Never. Then I read yesterday that John Terry said this. I don't understand why he doesn't speak with me. When you speak you have to speak privately, not with the media."
Capello took the captaincy from Terry after newspaper revelations about his private life. He made Rio Ferdinand his captain but then appointed Steven Gerrard after Ferdinand was ruled out with a left knee injury.
With only two points from two games, England will go out if it fails to beat Slovenia at Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.
Slovenia tops Group C with four points, the United States and England have two and Algeria has one. The Americans and Algerians meet in the other group game at the same time.
The latest problem to hit England is the fallout from Terry's claim that some players had their own meeting to discuss grievances with team management. There were reports in the British media on Monday that Terry's teammates had told him to keep quiet.
"I think he is more disappointed. I know sometimes players want to speak more with you [the media] than with the other players," Capello said. "But the mistake is that you have to speak with the players, with me, with the dressing room." Earlier Monday, midfielder Frank Lampard tried to divert attention back toward the Slovenia match.
Lampard said Terry's comments on the team meeting with Capello was his way of hitting problems "head-on." But Lampard denied it was a heated meeting, and stressed that all the players were behind the Italian coach.
"I understand what John is saying because he's passionate," Lampard said. "He's like that as a player. All 23 players deal with things differently. Some people don't want to say too much, some people want to hit things head-on. Everyone appreciates that.
"The messages I got yesterday from people was that John was saying some positive things. I think we will try and hit things head-on on the training ground."
But Terry also said that, after the game in Cape Town, some of the players talked over the match between themselves.
Although he did not reveal exactly what they said, some media reported they decided to tell Capello the team needed to play with a 4-5-1 formation instead of 4-4-2, with Wayne Rooney up front on his own and Joe Cole added to the midfield.
The reports said that the rest of the players were furious with Terry for revealing details of the meeting, which appeared to undermine Capello's running of the team.
After the match against Algeria, England players were booed by their own fans.
Because heavy rain has left the playing surface at Nelson Mandela Stadium in poor condition, England and Slovenia will not be able to train on it on Tuesday. England said it will stay behind at its training camp in Rustenburg to hold its training session there and fly to Port Elizabeth later in the day.