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Capello faces moment of truth

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David Bond | 14:18 UK time, Monday, 14 June 2010

World Cup 2010: Rustenburg

Fabio Capello has had a relatively smooth ride since taking over as England manager in early 2008. And rightly so.

He helped England regain their verve after the desperate days of Steve McClaren's reign, which ended in them failing to qualify for the 2008 European Championship, and guided the team to the World Cup in South Africa with an almost unblemished record.

But the last few days have shown that Capello, for all his pedigree as a club manager, is not perfect. Perhaps the unique pressures of managing England are a lot harder than he first realised.

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The case against Capello following England's 1-1 draw against the United States in the Group C opener on Saturday reads as follows:

1. He is putting his players - and his goalkeepers in particular - under unnecessary pressure by sticking to his routine of naming his squad two hours before kick off;

2. The decision to play Ledley King was a mistake given his catalogue of injury problems;

3. James Milner should not have started as he had been suffering with a virus all week and his replacement Shaun Wright-Phillips was not as effective as Joe Cole might have been;

4. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard do not play well together in central midfield and yet, mainly through lack of any alternative, he still persisted with that line-up in Rustenburg.

Add to that the problems since the turn of the year - the John Terry affair, his brief flirtation with the Capello Index, his own contract situation and the fact Wayne Rooney has not scored for his country since last September - and it is easy to see why the gloss has come off Capello's England.

Saturday's lacklustre draw, the critics say, must be seen in that context.

In Capello's defence, the game against the US could easily have ended differently had it not been for Robert Green's goalkeeping mistake - something no manager can legislate for. England had plenty of chances and the team have certainly made worse starts to big tournaments.

And the Italian, who has won nine league titles in Italy and Spain, does not become a bad manager overnight.

What we are seeing, however, is a healthy revision of the relationship between country and coach.

Yes, he has made a massive difference. But this is still essentially the same group of players that played so poorly during the World Cup in Germany four years ago. The only big change is that most of them are four years older.

Although it was reasonable to hope Capello could get more out of England's most talented players, it was always unrealistic to expect him to make all the difference.

Unlike club management, Capello is stuck with the players he has got. The fact that Jamie Carragher is even in the squad, after retiring from international football in 2007 before Capello convinced him to reconsider, let alone the most likely starting partner for Terry on Friday in Cape Town, is revealing.

At Monday's news conference, Carragher explained why the country should keep faith in the manager.

"Because he is Fabio," he said at England's training camp in Rustenburg. "Just look at his record. It's unblemished."

It is important that Saturday's result is kept in perspective. Senior Football Association figures I spoke to on Monday say there is absolutely no doubts over the manager following this first setback.

But another disappointing performance against Algeria on Friday and the FA might come under pressure to explain why it was so hasty to remove a break clause in his £5m-a-year contract before a ball had even been kicked in this tournament.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

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  • Comment number 2.

    Don't you think you're overreacting? Typical media. Picking away on England as per usual.

    Change the record.

  • Comment number 3.

    Exactly right, he cant change the players we have available. There is lots of criticism over his choice of Ledley King, who in their right mind would have chosen Dawson or Upson over King, no-one we would have nearly all chosen King. In the absence of James, Green was the obvious choice as well.

    I watched the match with the volume down on Saturday - because I despise the itv commentary and thought aftwerwards that it was a freak goal that was clearly Green's fault and otherwise we played okay, for a first game. Rooney and Lampard were quiet (Lampard always is for me)Johnson and Gerrard played well as did Heskey (but should have scored)and Wright-Phillips was better than Milner but I would have picked Cole.

    Flicked onto the BBC later and I thought the team had been in a bus crash looking at the sombre and deflated looks on everyones faces. Why have the BBC suddenly become the tele-visual equivalent of the Sun - always over-reacting we're either amazing or terrible, nothing inbetween!!

  • Comment number 4.

    I think the main problem is that Capello is very Rigid in his selection and tactics, like keeping the 442 formation and not experimenting with others , he is trying to put square pegs in round holes, yes he has improved disapline but the formation and players is the same as under sven and mclaren. The team has to be built around our best players; Rooney and Gerrard so why not play a defensive midfielder with lamps... two pacy wingers supporting rooney and with defensive duties and Gerrard in a roaming role... like a Barca system... its as if every Fan an journalist can see it except england managers... the fact is that Heskey can hold the ball up but so could any centre half played up top, none of our strikers except rooney are international pedegree... Crouch, Defoe, Heskey, bent, Cole etc are average at best! Fabio needs to take few risks because we cannot defend 1-0 leads like an itlaian team... we are a quarter final team in the 442 formation but i fear we wont make it that far unless capello has a change of tactics. i only wish Mourinio had taken the job because he knows when things need changing and acts on it!

  • Comment number 5.

    Frankly to be honest with you Mr.Bond its journalists like you that put the 'unneccesary pressure' on England. Articles such as this are just making the job much tougher for Capello and the players. England achieve a draw against a decent USA side and you journalists all jump on Capello tearing every inch of his career to shreds as quickly as possible. You should be ashamed of yourself and maybe should stop being so pessimistic. Can't you write an article praising the performance of certain players? He was right to play ledley King and so what if he was injured at half-time? thats what substituitions are for.

  • Comment number 6.

    Ridiculous article, the difference here is that you're a journalist and he's a world class manager.

  • Comment number 7.

    So let's try and understand this, the point of this blog is to say "Capello isn't perfect"? And this is considered expert opinion?

    And isn't it funny how now you're all saying it was a mistake to pick Ledley King, when prior to the squad being named you were all championing his cause ahead of Ferdinand

    Honestly, when was the last time "the critics" called it right? What makes you lot think you're on the ball all the time?

  • Comment number 8.

    7 league titles as manager with three different clubs.
    A champions league win with a wonderful Milan side.
    13 honours including Euro Super Cups and domestic trophies.
    An almost perfect World Cup qualifying campaign.

    You know what? Even though I didn't understand the Milner decision, or to bring on SWP instead of Joe Cole... I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, particularly as had Green not made that mistake against the USA we would be talking about how hes a manager that can get his teams to grind out results.

    'Cracking under the pressure?'

    Please..

  • Comment number 9.

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  • Comment number 10.

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  • Comment number 11.

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  • Comment number 12.

    England were poorer in the group stages of the last world cup than they were against the USA. The game could have been very different if the dice had rolled in England's favour.

    I don't agree with Cappello's selections but we shouldn't judge him until England's participation in the tournament is over.

  • Comment number 13.

    No, I don't think Capello has lost his lustre. It was one game in which we had some bad luck and played against a team that was better than most "experts" gave it credit for. You've only got to look at what teams and leagues a good number of the USA players ply their daily trade in to see that they were no mugs. And can anyone who was actually watching that game say they were surprised when the USA equalised? I certainly wasn't because they were getting good chances well before the goal.

    As for the pillorying the Green is getting from the media, well it's just completely over the top and ridiculous. Have all the journo's condemning the man forgotten that at the end of the day it is just a game of football! There are far more serious things going on in the world to get distressed about i.e. Afghanistan; the economy; poverty in Africa etc.

    Look again at the replays too: the problem was caused by the ball hitting the side of Green's right hand and skidding away - it was a marginal misalignment of glove and ball, everything else was as it should have been.

  • Comment number 14.

    One below par performance in the world cup against a decent USA team. Let's all just calm down and get some perspective- after Algeria get battered by Rooney and co everyone will be claiming we are winners elect-and Cappello is a genius for keeping his calm and restoring order- how about we wait unti all is said and done before we say how well or badly weve done?

  • Comment number 15.

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  • Comment number 16.

    It's amazing how quickly the media and England supporting public reach for the panic button...

    The main reason for this is the level of expectation, and you reported yourself this is almost the same group of players who didn't do well 4 years ago...so why was expectation so high in the first place?

    In several areas of the pitch England don't have the depth that their counterparts do, but they still have 22 excellent plaers in South Africa (yes I meant 22) and it must be remembered that the USA are ranked 14th in the world these days.

    I'm a Scotsman, but even I can say that the result at the weekend was not the doomsday disaster it is being painted out to be.


  • Comment number 17.

    I don't think he is cracking under the pressure but centre back choices are now looking a bit poor. Ferdinand should have been replaced with a defender with some pace not Dawson. Especially knowing how fragile Ledley King could be. Our centre backs now look stupidly slow whatever pairing we pick. Micah Richards, Jagielka or even Wes Brown would have been better picks.

  • Comment number 18.

    It's articles exactly like this one that create so much pressure for the manager and players in the first place. A week ago everyone was singing his praises, we draw 1-1 in probably our toughest group game and suddenly 'Capello is cracking'. I'm 100% behind him and have faith in him, he is more qualified to do the job than you or me, so why not leave him to it and give him support rather than picking at him after the first game?

  • Comment number 19.

    At the risk of getting panned again...Sol Campbell should have been considered over a half-fit Ledley King and an unpatriotic Jamie Carragher! If David James had no real fitness problems he should have started! And why didn't Joe Cole get a run-out? He still has plenty of talent and would have lent some spice to the midfield!

  • Comment number 20.

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  • Comment number 21.

    Poor article frankly.
    Had we won one nil due to Green not making an error, none of this trite and negative reasoning about Capello would have made it up here. We draw the first game in a major competition and everyone in the media thinks that the manager had been found lacking the abilities to do his job. The four point "case" that you articulate is really only a one point case - that is - why Lampard and Gerrard don't play well together. The others are simply witless criticisms that only someone with the benefit of hindsight can state. Ledley King was fit - that is why he was selected. If we are going to exclude a talented defender (who is deemed fit at the point of team selection) based on the fact that he is injury prone, then we have all gone mad. Capello can only make his decision based upon the facts presented to him at the time of the team selection. Had Carragher started, Capello would have been criticised for leaving King out even though everyone knew he was fit to start. The Milner criticism is much the same - he was deemed to have been fit by the medical staff. In the end, he got booked early on and was ineffective down the wing - so he was taken off which constitutes a fair call by the manager in my book. Finally, regarding the selection methods - the manager is perfectly within his rights to let the squad know who in fact will be starting. Any suggestions that this somehow contributed to Green's error is making a recklessly misinformed statement. To say that professional footballers at this level allow themselves to be reduced to making such howling errors due to not knowing that they were in fact going to start is laughable and just plain wrong. The goalkeeper made a mistake. That is the end of the matter.

  • Comment number 22.

    You do sense, increasingly, that our success or failure at this World Cup is going to depend on whether Capello can find a system that makes the most of Rooney and Gerrard. Whether than means a 4-5-1, or dropping Lampard, or some other formation - if we persist with what we've done we'll be out early.

    Most great World Cup teams evolve through the tournament, so we'll see ...

  • Comment number 23.

    I guess after an uninspiring game like Saturdays against the USA it would be easy to rip England apart and give tell the world what he's doing wrong. Personally, I think that's wrong; the group stages consist of 3 games, if after 3 games we've managed to scrape through then yes I think it would make sense to question what's gone / going wrong. However, after one game I think it would be to rash to challenge Coppello's judgements in the same way it would be nieve to say that Germany are now going to win the World Cup after one, albeit quality performance.

    Coppello helped get us to the World Cup and he hasn't suddenly become a bad manager. I'd say lets get behind him, have the foresight to realise we are not a team full of world class players but with a bit of luck are likely to be able to go on a decent run. I'd be surprised if we didn't make the semi finals.

  • Comment number 24.

    Well, we've had one disappointing game that we didn't even lose and the knives are out. Even then England created the most chances and were let down by a truly terrible piece of goalkeeping.

    King was a gamble that didn't pay off. He's a good centre back, unfortunate with injury and I don't blame Capello taking the chance. Milner was more puzzling, since he was unwell all week. Why on earth Wright Phillips came on instead of Cole I have no idea, though one theory is that he was done for pace.

    As for the pressure, I don't think blogs like this one help, yes he's made a couple of mistakes but cracking? I doubt it.

  • Comment number 25.

    What a load of claptrap.
    One bad match after two experimental qualifiers and the media are over reacting as usual.
    Watch them wipe the floor with Slovenia and Algeria and suddenly Capello will be the greatest manager the world has ever seen and England will walk the World Cup!!!

  • Comment number 26.

    Am i the only one who thinks David Bond looks like an 'The Apprentice' candidate?

  • Comment number 27.

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  • Comment number 28.

    With 1 draw against the US and already questioning Capello?. What are you expecting?. This England's squad is far from perfect and can't have a perfect score every time they play. The US is a very decent and well organised team. This draw is dissapointing because of Green's mistake not Capello's formation. He's doing the best with what he have at his disposal.

  • Comment number 29.

    David, all four points you and many others have raised against Capello are certainly valid to a varying degree, but the simple statement you made that the U.S. game may 'have ended differently had it not been for Robert Green's goalkeeping mistake - something no manager can legislate for.' basically exonerates Fabio from all blame, doesn't it?

    With G.Barry back, J. Cole on the left and Gerrard partnering Rooney Uup top we still have a team to be reckoned with - plus options on the bench in Defoe and Crouch. It's up to the players at the end of the day, we can't keep blaming managers - £5m a year salary apart!

    ....'Keep Calm and Carry On!'

  • Comment number 30.

    At the end of the day if England had scored another goal then it would have been 2-1

  • Comment number 31.

    1. Why? We had Carragher saying that it's common practise at Liverpool. And I've not seen any comments from any players saying it's affecting them. Just more journalistic conjecture to try to make yourself look important. Why can't you just let the England team and management do their job without un-needed criticism?

    2. If he's not fit to play, then he shouldn't be there. If he's there, then he's fit to play. And I'm sure that the doctors, management, and the player himself know his fitness situation a damn sight better than some journalist trying to make himself look important.

    3. See point above regarding Milner's fitness. And of course Joe Cole might have been more effective. Or he might not. More conjecture. How about just reporting on the facts??

    4. Well, firstly, I thought that Lampard and Gerrard played as well together as any other players within the team. It wasn't a great England performance I'll agree, but who's to say it would have been any better if they hadn't played together. Having said that, secondly, you said yourself that there's no alternative. And if there's no alternative, why are you even mentioning it in an article saying Capello is cracking up. If he has no alternative, then that's all he can do. Whether he's cracking up or not.

    Personally, I'll agree England could have undoubtably played better. If it wasn't for a basic goalkeeping error though, England would quite likely have won the match, and you'd be writing about how wonderful they are. I understand that you have to write something. How about writing something factual and interesting, that builds up the England team, instead of the usual "journalist" (I use the term advisedly) tactic of trying to knock them down!

    England v USA - 6/10. This article - 2/10. And I think I'm being generous!

  • Comment number 32.

    I think the main problem is the damned British media throwing all their toys out of their prams. One poor performance, albeit with some suspect decisions and Capello is losing his touch? Give me a break, for goodness sake. Why do you have to constantly criticise instead of getting behind the lads and the manager? Are you English and want the team to do well or are you Rest Of World and want us to fail?

    Yours, disgruntled.

  • Comment number 33.

    The biggest problem for the England team is the press and the ridiculous, pessimistic, fear-mongering, articles, such as this one, which are published before and even during the tournament. It infuriates me how everyone seems to think that we have a divine right to win every match that we play. We are not the best team in the world, not by any stretch of the imagination. So what?! Get on with it, get behind the lads like every other country seems to do and just maybe the players and management team will feel relaxed and encouraged enough to give their best for England. The four points mentioned in the article as the main reasons for criticism are highly debatable.
    1) Every player should be ready to start whether they know it or not.
    2) VERY few people would have argued against starting Ledley King after Rio got injured. He was without doubt the obvious choice.
    3) Milner has had an excellent season, why not give the lad a chance.
    4) Imagine the criticism that would have been aimed at him had he not started Lampard or Gerrard!
    I find all this negativity annoying and completely pointless. We don't expect England to win it but at least get behind them and we might be able to enjoy the World Cup a little bit more.

  • Comment number 34.

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  • Comment number 35.

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  • Comment number 36.

    Mr Bond- I feel the overwhelming feeling comming from this blog- is that, you shouldn't have been on the plane to South Africa. How Sad that other more deserving bloggers such as Robbo have been left to go to Benidorm, or to fester in Blog purgitory such as blogspot.

    Don't despare though David, if you provide a half decent blog next time, I shall be elevating you to world beater status.

  • Comment number 37.

    Could we put the performance into context please, the USA are a quality outfit, who we restricted to 1 decent chance (not including the goal) in 90 mins, whilst creating several chance that we possibly should've scored from, on another day we could've quite easily won 3-0.

    Barring Greens slip and Carragher being a bit rusty they wouldn't have had a sniff at goal, we were boring but overall, put in a decent performance. The proof of the pudding will be the second round onwards, when we hopefully have a fully fit squad and will be able to put a team that closely resembles the 1 that walked our qualifying group. If we do badly then maybe we could be critical of Capellos tactics and methods!

    One last thing, not meaning to be pedantic in the slightest, aren't ALL the player 4 years older since the last world cup??

  • Comment number 38.

    Sadly this seems typical of the media building someone (or something) up, then tearing it down at the first hurdle.

    I'd love to see how many pundits have actually managed a football team at any kind of senior level. If you can offer the same knowledge as someone who's been there, done it and won at the highest level, then you've got the smarts to come out and offer what Capello should have done.

    Until thenm it's just another broken record.

  • Comment number 39.

    People of England. Panic!! We didn't win our first game 10-1 and we must therefore assume that the manager has no clue, the players are all rubbish and we won't make it out of the group stages.

    Or.

    First games nerves. An OK performance. A poor piece of goalkeeping. But we didn't lose.

    The Germans (generally, though not this time) start off slowly and build up a head of steam. Lets give the team a chance, and actually get behind them for a change, rather than talking them down, then out.

  • Comment number 40.

    This is a ridculous article quite frankly. Capello is the man for the job it's a simple as that. As far as I'm concerned the majority of people on here would have named the same starting line up. Personally I would have like to see joe cole but clearly capello thought shaun wright Phillips was a better selection given the circumstances. Gerrard and lampard actually played well I don't see how you can argue against that. Gerrard was our best player, England had control of the center midfield. Yes heskey missed that chance, and yes king got injured. However I'm sure capello would rather have didier drogba in place of heskey- that obviously can't be. He's attempting to make the best with what we've got and even if we have a dissapointing world cup he's the only man for the job. Yes we can see he maybe got a minute detail wrong but to criticise a man who has been a winner at the highest level or 20 years is bang out of order.

  • Comment number 41.

    I find the reaction to the USA game depressingly typical. We have drawn with a team who were widely tipped to cause an upset and are the only team to have beaten the current favorites in 36 games.

    4dams point is absolutely bang on, other than Milner, whom i assume trained well, every other selection was predicted, justified and the expected one.

    Lets address your main points;


    1)He hardly has a choice given Englands utter lack of a dominant, sub-40 consistent goalkeeper. Arguably in this regard, his main failing was not using his friendlies to bed in a keeper rather than glorified trial games.

    2)"World class" and "the best centre half in the country" are some of the things said about King. Are you really going to leave him out because he might pick up an injury COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO HIS LONG STANDING KNEE PROBLEMS.

    3)I do agree that Shaun Wright-Phillips should have been no where near that left wing.

    4)Are you seriously suggesting Michael Carrick should have started? A player with no confidence and a history of not performing in a England shirt. That would have been a midfield disaster and Dempsey would have had far more fun than his flukey goal.

    Can we please get behind our national team, help them navigate this group and watch them gel for the knock-out stages???????

  • Comment number 42.

    Did anyone else notice the change in title of this blog? Somewhat removes the Drama!

  • Comment number 43.

    WHY ARE THE ENGLISH MEDIA PUTTING UNNECCESSARY PRESSURE ON HE ENGLAND MANAGER AND PLAYERS? Articles like this are an example.

    This is absolutely outrageous, here are your arguments against Capello:

    1. He is putting his players - and his goalkeepers in particular - under unnecessary pressure by sticking to his routine of naming his squad two hours before kick off


    - THIS IS A NORMAL THING IN FOOTBALL AT ALL LEVELS. WHY DOES THIS INCREASE PRESSURE? PLAYERS SHOULD PREPARE FOR THE GAME AS IF THEY ARE PLAYING.

    2. The decision to play Ledley King was a mistake given his catalogue of injury problems

    - WHAT OTHER OPTIONS DOES HE HAVE GIVEN THAT RIO PULLED OUT AND CARRAGHER DIDN'T LOOK COMFORTABLE? HE OPTED FOR EXPERIENCE.

    3. James Milner should not have started as he had been suffering with a virus all week and his replacement Shaun Wright-Phillips was not as effective as Joe Cole might have been;

    - THIS IS RIDICULOUS, "....THAN JOE COLE MIGHT HAVE BEEN"???
    SERIOUSLY? HE MIGHT HAVE GOT SENT OFF 5 MINS IN, BROKE HIS LEG OR SCORED 4 OWN GOALS. MILNER DIDN'T PLAY WELL AND WAS SUBBED. YOU CAN'T BASE THIS ARGUMENT ON HOW JOE COLE 'MIGHT' HAVE PLAYER.

    4. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard do not play well together in central midfield and yet, mainly through lack of any alternative, he still persisted with that line-up in Rustenburg.

    - "mainly through lack of any alternative" MORE NONSENSE THEN, YOU ADMIT THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE YET SLATE HIS SELECTION?

  • Comment number 44.

    What a predictably negative and obvious article.
    We drew 1-1 with a good side, who are ever improving, contain young, enthusiastic and fast footballers, and who only a year ago beat Spain.
    The arrogance we associate with our national team is embarrassing. We have good players and if we click we can do well. However, there are better teams at this tournament than us. Thats a fact. So to open the tournamnet and create good chances, score a good goal and only concede due a to an individual error, for me bodes well. We will progress through the group and hopefully build momentum, but some perspective from our media is much needed.
    As for Capello, arguably the only bad decision he made was in his attacking approach. Playing 4-4-2 was a risk as it left us outnumbered in midfield, but on the flip side it allowed us to occupy their back four, and in turn we created good opportunites and maintained good width throughout.
    And before we all get too depressed, at least were not the French - who were truly awful.

  • Comment number 45.


    Ridiculous article, the difference here is that you're a journalist and he's a world class manager.
    ------------------
    spot on there

  • Comment number 46.

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  • Comment number 47.

    Typical media & journalism, turning on the England manager after the first game in the tournament . Hasn't the media and journalists not learnt anything from jeopordising England's World Cup 2018 bid recently.

    Is there nothing else to report other than this ridiculous article?

  • Comment number 48.

    it's pretty unbelievable that capello is being questionned after one less than perfect result, the facts are we mostly dominated the game, gerrard and lampard actually worked quite well (people saying lampard was poor are ignoring the problem these 2 have always had, namely both wanted to be in the oppositions half, lampard intelligently held back while gerrard attacked, exactly like he should have done), we were untroubled apart from carragher (4th choice CB) got caught for pace and the keeper who has done well for capello in qualifiers (and he rightly gave him first crack) let him down.

    with barry coming back, johnson's impresive performance, j. cole probably restored to the starting line up, james and hart standing by and hopefully king fit for the last 16 the only thing we need to worry about is getting rooney the ball in positions he can hurt the opposition and a fairly easy run to the last 4 to get it sorted.

    things are pretty rosy at the minute and these knee jerk criticisms will do nothing but harm our cause.

  • Comment number 49.

    The English/British media are terrible.

    You've finally got a decent manager yet you're hell bent on increasing the pressure on him until he decides to leave.

    Articles like this can only make his job more difficult.

    I think the whole country needs a reality check, starting with the media, as it is this nonsense that spreads the feelings that England should win the world cup. Not 'might', 'should'. It's downright arrogance and an unrealistic level of expectation that only adds to the pressure on the manager and team.

  • Comment number 50.

    Capello and England are getting it wrong.... big time.
    Capello is being paid alot, but he is not making the big yet correct decisions. For 2 years, he has not settled on a goalie, and its no surprise that he finds himself in this situation.
    The England defence is another joke.... Rio Ferdinand was never world class (except to English media and Alex Fergusson), yet Capello persisted with an injury prone Rio, and now has an equally injury prone King.
    The other problem is midfield and the strikers. It is obvious to the rest of the world (besides England) that Gerrard and Lampard cant play together.
    Also the English messiah Wayne Rooney will find the big stage to be quite lonely. He needs support in scoring goals. Heskey couldnt score a goal if his life depended on it. Rather just play Crouch up front with Rooney in deeper support.
    And for the future...... get a German coach. This England team has no structure or organisation.

  • Comment number 51.

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  • Comment number 52.

    What a incredible overeaction, the uk media drive me nuts, I expect this sort of thing from the tabloid press but not the bbc!

  • Comment number 53.

    Completely agree with Mr Hyde!!!!

  • Comment number 54.

    Mostof the players are four years older? I think they all are!

  • Comment number 55.

    50. At 4:37pm on 14 Jun 2010, Bok_Supporter wrote:

    Capello and England are getting it wrong.... big time.
    Capello is being paid alot, but he is not making the big yet correct decisions. For 2 years, he has not settled on a goalie, and its no surprise that he finds himself in this situation.
    The England defence is another joke.... Rio Ferdinand was never world class (except to English media and Alex Fergusson), yet Capello persisted with an injury prone Rio, and now has an equally injury prone King.
    The other problem is midfield and the strikers. It is obvious to the rest of the world (besides England) that Gerrard and Lampard cant play together.
    Also the English messiah Wayne Rooney will find the big stage to be quite lonely. He needs support in scoring goals. Heskey couldnt score a goal if his life depended on it. Rather just play Crouch up front with Rooney in deeper support.
    And for the future...... get a German coach. This England team has no structure or organisation.

    **************************************************************************************************************

    Utter garbage !

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    'The only big change is that most of them are four years older.'

    I think all of them are four years older.....

    Stopped reading it after that lazy comment.

  • Comment number 58.

    51. At 4:37pm on 14 Jun 2010, lee fett


    HAMMER - NAIL - HEAD

  • Comment number 59.

    Yet more sensationalist nonsense from the English media, and you still wonder why the rest of Britain has an anybody but England mentality? On Thursday England were set to have a great world cup and at least reach the semi finals under your best manager since Sir Alf Ramsey. One drawn game against a good USA side and Capello is "feeling the strain" and England are doomed. Quite frankly it's a load of utter rubbish, just get behind the team and stop questioning the manager. Naming the team two hours before kick off? So what? He's spent his entire career doing this and been successful, why on earth would he change it now?

    As for Joe Cole, as a Chelsea fan who has watched him week in week out this season I don't understand what all the fuss is about. As much as I like Joe he has been without form for about two seasons now and is nowhere near the player he was. If England think he's the difference betwee their success and failure then they're seriously deluded.

  • Comment number 60.

    I have watched Wayne Rooney in a number of England games and I know my following comments will cause some controversy, but is this player really world class
    He has some nice touches but as a strker where are the goals. Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker were world class and prolific scorers at international level.
    But Rooney disappoints I think we are relying too much on him the best player on Saturday was Gerrard and he is world class but Rooney was absent until the last part of the second half that was not a world class display

  • Comment number 61.

    Agree with RockingTheJoint (3.45) and others here. This, apart from one silly mistake, was a steady performance and was virtually nothing to do with Capello. He picks the team; he's not in control of their individual performances. They were ok and he has not panicked, nor should he. Please don't anticipate or mention a poor performance against Algeria four days ahead!

  • Comment number 62.

    it's a gross over exageration, you can't manage or take responsibilty for a goalkeeper's or for that manner any other player's snap decisions and mistakes, if Robert Green had never let that howler in you would be writing a widely different and perhaps less critical article. I think Capello is doing a much finer job than any other coach that comes to mind, and i'd like to show my support for previous comments. A year ago USA beat Spain who i'd like to remind everyone tore us to shreds when we last played them. we're still very much in this competition.

  • Comment number 63.

    One other point, Capello is currently employed by England, has been employed by top clubs around Europe and when he decides to leave the England post will probably be able to pick whichever job he wants in the world. Not even my local pub team would want you as their manager yet you feel qualified to question some of his choices after we nearly won the hardest game in our group?

    I am enjoying the comments section of this article though. It's goos to see that all the England fans are behind the team and Capello. It really does show how wrong the journos have got it and that people are refusing to believe all the rubbish they're writing.

  • Comment number 64.

    What a refreshing series of comments. Yet again the man with the megaphone has a completely contrating opinion to the whole population.

    Come on England!

  • Comment number 65.

    "James Milner should not have started as he had been suffering with a virus all week and his replacement Shaun Wright-Phillips was not as effective as Joe Cole might have been"

    Might have been??? Is Capello coming under so much criticism from this journalist on the basis that a different substitute 'might' have been better and therefore it was the wrong decision?

    A complete non-statement. This really is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    Rediculous article. No one in their right mind would suggest it was a brilliant performance, nor did I think it THAT bad, not compared to say that of France. Save the post-mortem to after the tournament

  • Comment number 68.

    Woah! What an overreaction! Yes, it was a disappointing result (but we have had much worse in previous years, remember the abysmal 1-1 draws with Republic of Ireland at Italia 90 and with Switzerland at Euro 96, and have subsequently gone on to have good tournaments) but to suddenly say the wheels are falling off is ridiculous! I am particularly irritated by everyone talking about Ledley King. He has a chronic KNEE complaint which is why people were saying he was a risk and yet he is out because he has pulled his GROIN. They are different parts of the body! By your logic we would say it was always wrong to pick Rio because his season has been dogged by injury, despite the fact that his knee injury was totally unrelated.

    And yes, Green made a howler. But if he had picked James or Hart and they had done likewise then we would all be saying "Why on earth didn't he pick Green?"

    When all is said and done the players chosen were more than good enough to beat the USA, they simply didn't perform well enough. They know that and I am sure they will fix it. But please let's not all get on the "bash England" bandwagon, and let's not bag a manager who has got us to a major tournament more convincingly than any other in living memory just because we started slowly. Remember Italy in Germany in 2006? Why, because they won the World Cup or because they drew 1-1 with the USA in the group stages.......

  • Comment number 69.

    Fed up with reading such rubbish about a second rate England team who will be coming home after the group stages. What on earth was Wright-Philips doing on the pitch; he contributed nothing and is mediocre at best. Great ploy by Capello to lull our apponents into a false sense of superiority- Just as I have done with my opening statement- Come on England, we can win the World Cup

  • Comment number 70.

    1. He is putting his players - and his goalkeepers in particular - under unnecessary pressure by sticking to his routine of naming his squad two hours before kick off

    How? Justify your statements.

    Based on this article you'd be better off working for a red-top.

  • Comment number 71.

    "But this is still essentially the same group of players that played so poorly during the World Cup in Germany four years ago. The only big change is that most of them are four years older."

    Most of them are four years older than they were at the last World Cup? Have the others found some miracle age-defying elixir?

  • Comment number 72.

    As a Scottish fan who's backing England, it truly is refreshing to see that the majority of England fans don't have the mentality that the media portrays and have shot this nonsense excuse for journalism to the ground - and rightly so.

  • Comment number 73.

    #26. Ed Milliband.

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 75.

    The definition of MADNESS Is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a diferent outcome. The England maneger is doing nothing different then 3 previous managers have done and all faild
    LAMPARD Playing for Chelsea is most likely one of the best players in the world
    But for what ever reason playing for England at best he is only fair At worst he is out of it. Remember I think it was a previous world cup On his return to England he was booded by his own Chelsea fans
    Englands middle line should be LENNON, GERRARD BARY J,COLE. Cole is the most creative English footballer. Up front ROONEY SHOULD PLAY BEHIND the upfront player first try DEFOE. Rooney is good at foraging all over the field And he will still score goals If he acts as the trailer And does not play a heavely marked stagnant role up front. Also playing Wright Philips on the left is crazy he can not kick with his left foot

  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.

    "You can take a horse to water but you cant make him drink"

    The horse in question is a group of players who have failed before, not once but twice, three times over in the 21st century.

    Would you build a club side overnight ? No

    Its even more difficult to build an outstanding international side. How long has it taken for Spain to blossom ? Perennial underachievers, worse than England.

    The problem in this country, as with every facet of life, we want it now without pain, the new car, the new house, football mirrors our impatience and also underlines our pomposity and arrogance. Why should we win the WC ? What gives us the divine right ?

    Euro Cups and world Cups are not won overnight, they are not won over 2 years, they are 4/6/8 years in the making, nurturing players into a group who are all committed to the cause. Yes, there are disappointments along the way, losses, even non qualification for tournaments but if you have a long term view, you have a far better chance but in this country everything is short term, its no wonder we are in the mess we are as a nation let alone as a footballing country.

    Take one example.

    Joe Hart. Is he the best golakeeper of the 3, has he had a better season than the other 2 - YES.

    Are England currently good enough to compete for the World Cup ? No

    Could they be on 4 years time ? If they could be, Joe Hart would have played from day 1, if you want a short term view, Joe Hart will not play for England in South Africa, no experience. Tell me, how close has the so called "Golden Generation" got to winning the last 2 World Cups. NOWHERE NEAR. If anything the quality of player now is poorer than 2002/2006 so we aint going to win the WC so dont pillory the manager when it goes wrong, you reap what you sow

    Cut the short term thinking, accept we are not good enough, AT THE MINUTE.

    Take a long term view, Brazil 2014 - in contention ? no but France 2016 ? Maybe a chance, and then 2018 ? Home soil ? well if we always take the short term view, no chance but if we aim for 2018 and nurture people like Joe Hart, well maybe. Only problem then is finding speedy centre backs, an attacker that scores, oh and a left footed player !!!!

  • Comment number 78.

    England will go out to win the next game

  • Comment number 79.

    I'm sorry for Mr Capello. He is a good manager with a proud record.
    But the problems of managing English players are unique. Most international teams play "above the sum of the parts". Like the USA did.
    Like the Republic of Ireland regularly do. They turn in results and performances that are above expectation, because they are proud to wear their international shirt, and because they play together as a team.
    For more years than I can remember, England have never played as a team (one exception, the 5-1 defeat of Germany). Maybe premiership club hatred is too ingrained (just why won't Gerard and Lampard pass to each other....). And then, don't we as a nation "expect" to play in all these glitzy finals. So do these overpaid players. Even though (let it be whispered only), Mr Terry is a couple of yards slower than he was two years ago, Gerard has lost his vision and hunger, and are we really pretending that our wingers/wingbacks give regular quality crosses, or that we have a keeper to deal with these. .......

    Poor Mr Capello. You are going to get an unpleasant ride. Despite the unavialing efforts of Mr Rooney - the one player who DOES wear his shirt with pride, your side will be beaten by a real team with pride in their shirts, and pride in their country. Mr Capello, it will be your fault.

  • Comment number 80.

    Yes, he has made a massive difference. But this is still essentially the same group of players that played so poorly during the World Cup in Germany four years ago. The only big change is that most of them are four years older.


    Call me foolish, surely they are ALL four years older than they were four years ago

  • Comment number 81.

    Majority of above can only be a provacation for debate as opposed to a genuine view. Otherwise reporter is more poorely informed than feared. Lampard and Gerrard proved they can play together, and were broadly effective. It is clear Barry will play when fit so this is clearly Plan B as it is.

    Above article is contradictory, lacking a clear point and so premature its bordering on insulting. If England had won 2-0 then the title would be, 'Capello keeps getting it right'. Why so short sighted. Its one game. Pathetic.

    Almost every pundit/expert agreed King is next best and would have played him. As for the keepers, I would tend to trust his ability to make a hard decision given his pedigree. He understands what it takes much more than any of us. I didn't hear once, anyone critique his picking policy BEFORE KO.

    Thoughts David? Did you say so in any previous article? Doubt it.

  • Comment number 82.

    This article is typical of English media building the England team just to knock them down. As for your four points:
    1. Naming the squad earlier, publicly or privately also causes problems. Each coach has his own way of doing things and this is one of Capello’s. When you hire a coach you are trusting him to do things his way, he should be judged at the end of the tournament not now.
    2. On League form Ledley King was the best choice to play, as far as has been reported his injury was in no way related to his ongoing problems and could have happened to anyone. 20:20 hindsight is a wonderful thing.
    3. Yes, Milner was a risk, it didn’t work and he changed it, that’s what substitutions are for. “Shaun Wright-Phillips was not as effective as Joe Cole might have been” true, but it would equally as valid to say that Joe Cole may have been less effective.
    4. Good point but in the absence of Gareth Barry the Gerrard/Lampard combination was the best option.
    The reason England didn’t win the game is not because of the little points you made, it wasn’t even because of greens unfortunate error (if he hadn’t made the error but had not save USA’s one good chance the result would have been the same but we wouldn’t be talking about it), the reason we didn’t win was because we didn’t score enough goals, simple as that! We can debate for the rest of the year if that was because we didn’t create enough chances or because we didn’t put away the ones we created but it boils down to we didn’t score enough goals.
    If Barry slots into the team and is fit his holding play and more accurate distribution should held the other midfielders and the strikers and we should get more chances and more goals and win our last two games qualifying for the next phase. It is also worth remembering that USA are the best of our three opponents, Had we had a better team in the group and got a draw against them we would be in the same position but happy with it.
    That said we are not good enough to win the world cup and therefore won’t without the help of a huge slice of luck but that was true before a ball was kicked on Saturday.

  • Comment number 83.

    Robert Green is a championship keep at best. Arsenal are after a new keeper I don’t recall them being linked with him. That says it all, the best English keeper is Paul Robinson, he kept the most clean sheets and better still he has previous world cup experience!

  • Comment number 84.

    The management may change, the team selection may change, the opposition may change, and the ground may change, but we still have the same lousy negative press.

    The editor's drive to get a fresh angle seems to drive the writers down one consistent avenue - undermine the team.

    Wouldn't we love to play football against the Ozzies and cricket against the Germans ;-)

  • Comment number 85.

    I agree we should sack Capello right now and save ourselves more embarrassment, I will just finish sharpening these knives and then fire of an email to the FA.

  • Comment number 86.

    Its about time somebody woke up this England 'boss' charade. No matter who does it, they are saddled with the same old rusting, relic 'golden genearation' players who seem to run it to suit themselves aided by 'Beckham Enterprizes plc'. Its the salary only that gets people interested in that job as no top boss worth his salt would even consider working for the clowns who make up the FA who are then systematically ripped off for their own gullibilty, as each successive failure rides off into the sunset until the next goof arrives to pick the same old relics all over again.

    As to the 'gloss'. How did that gather? All Capello has done has got through an easy group that wouldnt have challenged most half decent intenational teams.

  • Comment number 87.

    Spot on, DB, Capello's shortcomings were shown up alarmingly clearly against the USA, and if he doesn't sharpen up his act dramatically on Friday he could doom England to an unacceptably early exit from this World Cup.

  • Comment number 88.

    I actually thought we played alright, better finishing and/or no goalkeeping error and it was 3 points. Johnson and Lennon were promising, and Gerrard actually contributed in an England shirt. We've made far worse starts to tournaments, and how many teams are on fire from start to finish? I seem to remember the Italians getting the same result against the USA.

    The big question for me is what he does with Heskey. I know he did alright, but he still fluffed his big moment. Barry will come back in midfield and hopefully he'll push Gerrard further forward with Rooney.

    Carragher and Terry's lack of pace is terrifying though.

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    Sports Editor? More like chief stir up the masses...well we are not fooled and you can see the reaction.
    Is there a bet between the journos over there to see who can get the award for who starts the capello out bandwagon?

    I am appalled my license fee pays your wages

  • Comment number 91.

    To be honest, I am completely shocked to be reading an article of this nature by a BBC Editor.

    I can not believe that this type of article is what the BBC believe its followers want to read.

    This is simply something slightly more articulated than the tripe to be read in the Star or the Sun. Bullet points doesn't equate to class and quality, content does. And the content of this article is so misguided, inaccurate and unbelievably poor and sensationalist that I can't believe it has 'BBC' at the top of the screen never mind the Sports Editor.

    Based on one game Capello's record is nothing. Based on one game, his tried and tested methods are completely flawed. Based on one game the FA should be getting ready to sack him.

    What on earth are you thinking David Bond?

  • Comment number 92.

    Oh Dear. Terrible Piece, and the writer has been rightly panned by the above comments.

    England, while not particularly impressive were in total control until the mother of all cock-ups.

    They had numerous chances to win it in the second half.

    For you, Mr Bond, The World Cup is over…

  • Comment number 93.

    "4. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard do not play well together in central midfield and yet, mainly through lack of any alternative, he still persisted with that line-up in Rustenburg."

    Wrong. Both were excellent during the USA game. Lampard had to do a lot of donkey work for Gerrard, who went forward more often (captains perogative). When Lampard went foward, Gerrard sat and it worked well. What did you expect - them both to play samba football one twos right through the middle till one of them scored? Oh wait, one of them did score.

  • Comment number 94.

    A criticism of Cappello? Please. He is not an alchemist, he is one of the best managers in the world but he cannot turn lead into gold.

  • Comment number 95.

    It's also worth noting that the best player over a season does not necessarily turn it on at the finals. Look at the Polish strike partnership that opened up Germany's account last night. They had scored was it 6 goals between them all season.

    The World Cup gives players one last chance to shine in a season. If you are spent and knackered after a season in England maybe you have nothing left in the tank by the summer. The flip-side could be that if you didn't perform during the season, but have the ability, now is your chance.

  • Comment number 96.

    Capello said that only players who were fully fit and doing well for their clubs would make the team. In fact he has several players who do not fit that description. I agree with the comment about Lampard and Gerard playing together - it doesn't work, and how many games does Capello need to see to act on that?

  • Comment number 97.

    I agree - it is far too early to write the type of article. I saw a poor match in the first half, and a better England performance in the second half. Despite Green's mistake, we should have won the match in the second half.

    Lets be English and lets be positive.

  • Comment number 98.

    you really need to rethink what you are saying. his selection is not the mistake, its you and your pressurising comments. just because you would pick a player who he didn't doesn't make you right because you are not the manager! stop preaching assumptions like you know everything, because capello is the one who does all the hard work. he got us to the world cup with ease, so stop being so ungrateful. talk about not supporting your own country! you may aswell go support another country. it was a draw! not a defeat! if you showed that negative mentality in training, capello would kick you right up the backside. rise yourself as graham taylor say, who for me did a good job even though he failed in the mission he enthusaistically tried to achieve.

  • Comment number 99.

    Same old England no matter who is the manager. Players simply put are playing out of position, not fit and to be quite honest simply not good enough. The main stay of the England team over the last 3 or 4 major tournaments has been the same set of players who have not produced anything and they will continue not to not produce. The media has never helped as they always want to attack some individual, the back pages are a disgrace blaming individuals once again – why do we buy these! The se didotic reporters and editirs rasie the hopes by calimg Engalnd are a good side and have a greta chance (they are not and have no chance of winning) then they jump all over them with nasty headlines when mistakes are made – what kind of message does that send to any player or supporter.
    Every manager continues to play Gerrard & Lampard and it simply does not work – even my Granny can see that!!!
    Capello has gone against his own mantra of only picking players who are playing for their clubs and performing well – not many of the squad meets this!! For those who say, where are the alternatives then that may be a good call but a fully fit player is a lower risk than a player carrying an injury.
    This current squad must have the largest number of sick notes ever assembled for a major tournament.

  • Comment number 100.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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