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Chelsea Bad Blood Over Fa Sackings

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The FA have upset a number of high profile England players by sacking two popular members of the backroom staff just over a week before the squad gather for new manager Fabio Capello's first game against Switzerland in 12 days.

Chelsea's Billy McCulloch is one of two masseurs shown the door as part of the planned root and branch investigation into national team operations following the failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

billyDM2401_228x389.jpgOut of favour: Chelsea masseur Billy McCulloch

McCulloch, known as Bill Blood by the players, is so well liked by England's Chelsea contingent that they persuaded former coach Steve McClaren to make him part of his back-up team following the appointment of John Terry as captain.

Frank Lampard credits McCulloch with keeping him fit during his record breaking run of 119 consecutive Premier League appearances.

McCulloch, as well as being an expert masseur, is also the comedian who keeps the players amused with his madcap antics.

The other masseur who has lost his job has been a member of the England camp since before the World Cup in 2002.

Other changes in England personnel are expected soon.

McCulloch's popularity with the Chelsea England set of Terry, Lampard, Joe Cole, Wayne Bridge, Ashley Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips is unlikely to bother the hardline Capello, who intends to keep his distance from the players.

Indeed, Capello gave England skipper Terry no indication over whether he would keep the armband when they had a brief chat about the central defender's foot injury after Chelsea's Carling Cup semifinal win at Everton on Wednesday.

Nor would Capello even think about consulting Terry or anyone else over the removal of McCulloch, which was more the work of FA staff than the England manager.

source here

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