Capello’s Exit Should Be Seen as an Opportunity for English Football

Capello’s Exit Should Be Seen as an Opportunity for English Football

Fabio Capello was  done  an injustice by the English Football Association
Fabio Capello was done an injustice by the English Football Association | Source

The Only Mistake of Capello Was He Persisted With Rooney

The high profile English football team Manager Fabio Capello has quit (or forced to quit) his job after being a part of the English football for the last four years. Capello had received both bouquets and brickbats in his illustrious tenure. People criticised him for being lacklustre and mild, lacking energy and vitality to shape up the English squad. To an extent it was true but I do not go with the criticism fully because behind his back, Capello rejuvenated the English football side from virtual shambles when he took charge in 2007. The only criticism that could be levelled against him was that he persisted with Wayne Rooney in the England squad in 2010 World Cup even though he was not performing. The same criticism could be levelled against the star coach Diego Maradona who persisted with Lionel Messi who never performed anything worth telling in the 2010 World Cup.

England Failed To Make It to 2008 Euro Cup

England failed to qualify for the Euro Cup football in 2008. Its morale was low. A team manager who can resuscitate the England team from a broken one to a high performing one was needed. The England Football Association betted on Capello to do the job. Why was Capello chosen for this high profile post? Capello has the required experience. He was the manager of AC Milan (1991-96), Read Madrid (1996-97), again AC Milan (1997-98), Roma (1999-2004), Juventus (2004-2006) and again Real Madrid (2006-07) before his appointment as England team manager in December 2007. In his previous assignments, he had done his job well without attracting high level of publicity associated with, say, Louis Philippe Scolari.

Match Fixing Scandal Was a Black Mark in Capello’s Career

During his tenure as manager with various celebrity clubs, Capello won several honours. AC Milan won Italian league titles in 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1996. AC Milan won Champions League in 1994. It was Champions League runners-up in 1993 and 1995. AC Milan won the European Super Cup in 1994. Read Madrid won the Spanish league titles in 1997 and 2007 - the year he left for England to take up his new job. Roma won the 2001 Italian league title. Juventus won the Italian league titles in the years 2005 and 2006. Capello was awarded the Italian league coach of the year 2005. The only black mark in Capello’s career was that Juventus was caught in a match fixing scandal and was stripped of the league titles it won in 2005 and 2006.

Capello Raised England’s Standards in His Tenure

After his appointment as England team manager, Capello brought discipline to the England squad, without at the same time being rude to the players. The players also responded to Capello’s instructions with spirit. Capello made England to qualify for the World Cup Football in 2010. Under Capello’s leadership, England played 42 matches, won 28, drew 8 and lost only 6 matches. It was an outstanding record for any manager for any team. England should be very thankful to Capello for shaping up the team to an excellent level.

Referee Decision Cost England in 2010 World Cup

England performed well in the World Cup 2010 held at South Africa. Even though it’s initial performance was not upto the mark with draws coming from matches against USA and Algeria. Its 1-0 win over Slovenia was because of the latter’s lackadaisical showing than any merit in England’s performance. However, in the explosive meeting with Germany, England was truly victimised by the referee’s worst decision. Germany scored the opening goal and England equalised. English players were shaping up well and were intensifying their attack on Germany. At that time Frank Lampard scored England’s second goal. For the millions of viewers in the television and for the audience present in the stadium, it appeared a clear goal and English players started celebrating it rightly. But the referee, for some reason best known to him, disallowed that goal. This upset England’s rhythm and performance and Germany went on to win that vital match by 4-1 – a revenge for its Wembley defeat at the hands of England in 1966. When England exited the World Cup, people had sympathy with Capello’s boys.

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Capello’s Exit Should Be Seen as an Opportunity for English Football

Denying Fans Entertainment is Worst Crime

Capello Should Have Been Consulted

Why had Capello resigned his job or forced to resign his job with just five months to go for the Euro Cup? Capello had been enjoying a good time with the England football team and was happy in continuing his job. But the England Football Association dismissed the England captain John Terry from his post because of an alleged racial remark against QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. FA acted without informing or consulting Capello. This caused a sore point in the mind of the 65 years old Capello, who took it as an insult and quit his job. FA could have taken Capello into confidence while announcing its decision. While nobody is questioning the authority of the FA to hand over such a harsh punishment to the England captain, it is sad that the FA did not deem it necessary even for courtesy sake to consult or give prior information to Capello, who had been involved for more than four years in shaping up the fortunes of English football.

FA Is Joking

Capello’s exit is a sad one. FA has appointed the Under-21 team manager Stuart Pearce temporarily for the post. FA says that Stuart Pearce is competent enough to handle the big job because of his good performances with the Under-21 team. FA should be joking even in this sad moment because it should know well that managing an Under-21 junior team is quite different from leading a matured national adult team. If ‘performance’ alone is what it counts to appoint a national team manager, then the FA could have considered the Tamil Nadu football team manager who also would have produced some ‘performances’ for his team! Moreover FA has replaced Capello with a person (Stuart Pearce), who was also allegedly involved in a racial incident in 1994 while he was with Manchester United. This is another joke FA is indulging.

Why Not Appoint Scolari As The Manager?

FA should stop joking and seriously consider how to retrieve the situation. A crisis can also present an opportunity. This is what Capello’s exit has done for England. Why not England explore the possibilities of appointing Louis Philippe Scolari as its national team manager? Or why not England opt for Vincent Del Bosque who led Spain to a miraculous World Cup win in 2010? I do not know whether these high-profile persons are available for coaching England or had been already booked. That is upto FA to assert and find out. FA, it seems, is thinking of appointing an Englishman as England team manager. This policy could lead to a national disaster for English football. An Englishman can never command that kind of respect and regard from the English players as a highly qualified foreign coach or manager. One of the criticisms levelled against FA when it appointed Capello as the team manager in 2007 was that Capello was an Italian. But this nationality problem or language problem never proved to be a handicap for Capello while discharging his duties.

Dunga Was the Worst Coach

Football managers and coaches should be above partisan. They should mould the team, inculcate discipline, instil hard work and act positively under all circumstances. I would rate Vincent Del Bosque and Louise Philippe Scholar in this category. But for the match fixing scandal associated with Juventus, I would have put Capello also in the same category. One coach I hated was Dunga of Brazil. It was Dunga who was responsible for the worst Brazilian performance in 2010 against Portugal. The match was played without any attempt by any Brazil player to score any goal. It all looked like a pre-arranged one. Thousands of fans who would have spent huge sums to enter the stadium and watch the match and millions of TV viewers were seething in fury at the inept display of the Brazilian players. The Brazilian players were pushing the ball among themselves like in a training camp. They were laughing among themselves and sharing jokes with the Portuguese players. There was no fight at all during the match. It reminded me of Sunil Gavaskar’s 36 not out in 174 balls played in the World Cup Cricket tournament in England in 1975 which angered millions of cricket fans.

Fans Should Be Entertained First

I can condone and tolerate any kind of irregularity in football, but I can never put up with deliberate under performance, denying millions of fans entertainment value. It is the fans who have shaped up the game of football to this high extent. Today soccer is the king of sports. It owes this to the millions of fans spread all over the world. You win or you lose, but do not deny entertainment to the fans. That is a worst criminal offence which I can never excuse. Dunga, in my opinion, fell to a very low esteem in 2010. Rightly he was kicked out of the job by the Brazilian Football Association. When Dunga was kicked out, I celebrated with joy. But when Capello leaves England, I only feel sorry for Capello and English football.

Capello’s Exit Should Be Seen as an Opportunity for English Football

Why not consider appointing Scolari as the England Manager?
Why not consider appointing Scolari as the England Manager? | Source

English football in trouble

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