Capello’s resignation ends an awkward marriage

M_Campbell23 Roar Guru

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    Fabio Capello’s decision to resign, and the FA’s decision to let him, is baffling on a number of levels. Four years of planning, preparation and development has been frittered away over a dispute in which the FA acted rashly, and Capello made valid, if indiscreet, criticisms.

    On another level, it makes perfect sense, as Capello and the English public found themselves failing to gel throughout his reign.

    Capello is renowned as one of the world’s best managers, in an elite group which includes Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola, Sir Alex Ferguson and the like. After successive failures in the FA’s hiring policy culminated in England missing out on Euro 2008, Capello was signed with much fanfare.

    The feeling was that as nice as it was having an Englishman like Steve McClaren managing the national team again, making the group stage of major competitions would be even nicer. They had responded to the Euro calamity by signing one of the absolute cream. Think Wayne Bennett signing at Newcastle – this was a big capture.

    Of course the press were mixed because they always are. Foreigners in the English game are always treated with a little suspicion, especially when they’re coaching the national team. But you could sense there was some bargaining going on: we’ll have a foreigner if that’s what it takes to win another World Cup.

    Trouble is; the World Cup was a fiasco. From the minute Robert Green fumbled Clint Dempsey’s dribbling effort, the rot was evident. The John Terry issue was poorly handled, with Wayne Bridge was allowed to pull out because he was the lesser player.

    Terry had committed the wrong, yet was allowed to represent his country while Bridge stayed home. Then he was stripped of the captaincy, and replaced by the ever-brittle Rio Ferdinand, whose injury in training was freakish, but also showed the gamble Capello had taken.

    Terry should have stayed home, but if management insisted he come, he should have remained captain. Either his sins should have counted in football terms, or they shouldn’t have. The eventual result hesitated halfway in between.

    The divisions in the dressing room which surely existed were a result of the lack of firm leadership from either party. Too often a player’s misdeeds are measured against his ability or value to the team.

    So Wayne Rooney was out of sorts, Terry created tension, Ferdinand was injured and Emile Heskey was in the side, all of which added up to a disaster. The promise of the breezy road to qualification disappeared as quick as you could say “That’s an ambitious effort from Dempsey.”

    But the Euro 2012 qualifiers looked fairly breezy too, so hopes were again high. Terry had even been reinstated as captain. Of course there was the Rooney drama; there always is when a major tournament rolls around. But then there was another Terry clanger: the racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand.

    Now, keep in mind Anton happens to be the brother of Rio, the former England captain and first choice centre-half partner for Terry. Terry’s court case was postponed until after the European Championships, so the FA needed to make a decision on him with their own reasoning and assessment.

    That’s where the trouble started with Capello. The FA decided to axe Terry again as captain. Capello went on Italian TV livid because he wasn’t consulted, and it was all on. Now, he’s gone and resigned, and England need to pull someone out of the ether to manage them at Euro in a few months with only a few warm-up games.

    Somehow it always felt like Capello’s association with England would end in tears. It just never seemed a good match. In speaking out, Capello does not seem to be condoning racism, but merely condemning the FA’s kangaroo court deeming Terry guilty before the proper court had the chance.

    The whole tale raises plenty of issues around England’s football culture. However it also obscures the fact that on the whole, Capello had not been successful when it counted. He had the chance to remedy that in Poland and Ukraine, but instead he has been claimed by political machinations and his own firm convictions.

    Finally, those who blame John Terry for all of this will remember the famous proverb, ‘Never trust a man with two first names.’ I suspect those same people will be squirming in their chairs at the prospect of Steven Gerrard taking over as captain.

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    The Crowd Says (8)

    • February 10th 2012 @ 10:15am
      sheek said | February 10th 2012 @ 10:15am | ! Report

      Non-English managers simply dont’ work for England, no matter how good they might be. I reckon Capello was looking for an ‘out’, & this was it.

      The problem with English is football is it keeps looking in all the wrong places for its magic cure-all.

      The English lack brutal honesty. Firstly, to themselves, secondly, to their game. They are true neither to the values that made them great as a political, military, economic, cultural & sporting nation & neither to their football values.

      Until the English can look at themselves honestly, & their game honestly, they’ll continue to bounce from one disaster to another. Unfortunately, there is a malaise in the country affecting every strata of their society.

      • Roar Pro

        February 10th 2012 @ 11:10am
        Purple Shag said | February 10th 2012 @ 11:10am | ! Report

        I dare say Sven Göran Erikkson’s record stands pretty tall against most other England managers in recent times. 3 Quarter finals of major tournaments – twice losing on penalties in games they could have won and the other QF losing 1-0 to Brasil who would go on to win the world cup.

        Plus he had a few rides along the way. All hail the great Svennis.

        • February 10th 2012 @ 11:48am
          HardcorePrawn said | February 10th 2012 @ 11:48am | ! Report

          Cheating on the cougar-esque Nancy Dell’Olio with a glamorous TV presenter and an FA secretary (who was no slouch herself in the looks department), receiving huge pay-offs from club owners and national FAs upon leaving each unsuccessful job, an unerring ability to get himself high-profile, well-paid jobs despite not having achieved much of note for over a decade: it’s no wonder he did pretty well in the England job, most of the players were probably in awe of him!

    • February 10th 2012 @ 10:23am
      WoobliesFan said | February 10th 2012 @ 10:23am | ! Report

      “Never trust a man with two first names.”


    • February 10th 2012 @ 11:22am
      HardcorePrawn said | February 10th 2012 @ 11:22am | ! Report

      “Foreigners in the English game are always treated with a little suspicion”
      Take a look at the Premier League table and you’ll see that the majority of managers are ‘foreigners’, from Mancini (Italian) at the top to Martinez (Spanish) at the bottom, with a collection of Scots, Irish (both NI & ROI), Welsh, Portuguese, French, & Dutch managers filling the hotseats in between. In fact, the only Englishmen managing PL teams are Harry Redknapp, Alan Pardew, and Roy Hodgson (who made his name overseas, and was widely treated with suspicion when he took over at Blackburn in the 1990s).
      Thanks to Capello’s resignation, of which it is currently being said in the Italian media that he used the John Terry debacle as an excuse to quit rather than from any sense of loyalty to his captain*, we’re now faced with the very real prospect of Harry Redknapp taking the reigns purely because his team is currently the most successful of the 3 English PL managers. Ouyt of interest, what do Spurs fans feel about this I wonder?
      Personally, and speaking as an Englishman, I’d rather we didn’t take this jingo-ist attitude and appoint Redknapp. It smacks of a knee-jerk response to Capello’s stuttering reign, similar to Steve McClaren’s appointment following Sven Goran Eriksson’s departure.
      My preferred choice would also be a foreigner, one that understands the English style of play but has successfully moulded a team to play varied styles with far less resources than some of his peers, and who has proven himself in both local and European competitions. One who has also potentially done all that he can with his current club, and may need a new challenge: Arsene Wenger.
      Failing that, I just hope that the FA keeps its greedy paws away from attempting to prise Martin O’Neill away from my beloved Sunderland.

      • February 10th 2012 @ 11:50am
        HardcorePrawn said | February 10th 2012 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        “taking the reigns”?? That should be “reins”. My bad.

    • February 10th 2012 @ 12:01pm
      Johnno said | February 10th 2012 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

      Some facts about Fabio capello.
      An ex Italian soccer international
      won titles with real madrid, ac milan, and juventus as head coach.
      Has the best winning percentage record of any England manager ever, number 1.
      But like Grahame Henry before 2011, was judged on his 2007 world cup, capello was only judged on his 2010 world cup and euro 2012 was redemption time.
      But in defence of capello. He had a team of spoiled brats eg wayne rooney, lampard, and the teams natural leader and captain john terry cheated on his team mates partner, and he lost buckram and rio ferdinand etc and more,.

      And some players had issues with him being a strong willed man and a disciplinarian,i felt sorry for him, a man trying to do his job like i fell sorry for john mitchell at times too who was a tough task master. Spoilt brats some of these players in soccer and rugby.

      But in terms of bad luck in a world cup Fabio capello got the ultimate. England 2-1 down just before half time Lampard gets a goal, and amazingly it is disallowed has any one ever seen a more disgraceful design in referring history in any sport.

      Changed the whole complexity of the match. England 2-2 at half time would of been so much different than england down 1-2 and having to change there formation and act desperate which in reality is what happened, so he can coach his england statistic record proves it, has won titles in champions league and division titles so he is a proven coach ,just had the most disgraceful ref descion ever in the history of sport just about dealt on him ,makes the lucas neil decsion look lame, how the ref could never see that Lampard goal well I will never know.

    • February 10th 2012 @ 10:30pm
      Colin N said | February 10th 2012 @ 10:30pm | ! Report

      If Capello had never reinstated Terry in the first place then this would have never happened. If Terry was confident the Ferdinand case would return a positive outcome for himself then why did he have it suspended until after the Euros? It sounds pretty unprecedented in the legal circles, particularly with a trial that wouldn’t take that long.

      I thought the FA took a strong stance and the only thing they did wrong, some will say crucially, was not involving Capello in the decision of stripping Terry of the captaincy. Capello should have gone after the World Cup disaster and he didn’t understand the English game or culture.

      He never properly learnt the language which after four years in the job and already having a basic understand of the language is poor.

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