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Capello's apology welcome but not enough

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David Bond | 17:40 UK time, Monday, 9 August 2010

It was hardly the fresh start England manager Fabio Capello was hoping for.

Six weeks after the Three Lions were humbled by a young Germany side in the last 16 of the World Cup in South Africa, the Italian was back with his players at Arsenal's training ground on Monday morning. "Say sorry and move on" was his strategy. Not for the first time, he found his tactics did not work.

Instead, Capello found himself dealing with the fall-out from the latest botched team announcement. Why didn't he ring goalkeeper Paul Robinson and defender Wes Brown to ask them if they wanted to be included in his squad for Wednesday's friendly against Hungary before he named it?

Fabio CapelloEngland manager Fabio Capello answers questions from the media on Monday

Capello also found himself answering another round of difficult questions on what had gone wrong at the World Cup. Sadly for those supporters still angry at the supine way Capello's England performed in the tournament, he provided few answers.

He said he had learned from the mistakes he made in South Africa and had returned a better manager. But when pressed on what errors he had made and what lessons he had learned, he said nothing of any substance.

So what explanations did he offer?

Tiredness and the fact that England's physical conditioning going into the World Cup was not at the same level he had witnessed during a hugely successful qualifying campaign was one of them. Nothing new here as we have heard this a few times now.

Capello also suggested England's players lacked a mental toughness. This was a problem he had identified when he first took the job on in 2007. Many may question why he is no nearer to finding an answer. He even admitted on Monday that he did not know how to resolve the problem.

Most worrying of all was his suggestion that the World Cup might have turned out differently for his side had referee Jorge Larrionda awarded Frank Lampard's 'goal' in the 4-1 defeat to Germany.

No doubt many supporters will have welcomed Capello's apology - he had also said sorry on Saturday - but they will feel they have every right to ask why they have still not been given a proper explanation.

Judging Capello's new start on the basis of his first squad since the World Cup and the outcome of Wednesday's game against Hungary is always going to be difficult.

He has not made any dramatic, meaningful omissions from his squad. If he had wanted to make a grand statement, then dropping either Lampard or John Terry would have told the world he really meant business.

Ultimately, though,he knows he still needs many of the senior players who let him down in South Africa to help him steer a painless course to the finals of Euro 2012.

Similarly, none of the young players called into the team are likely to provide instant answers. Capello knows England's revival is a long, slow process and that offering up a quick fix will only increase the pressure if it does not work.

England players attend trainingSeveral internationally inexperienced players will hope to impress for England against Hungary on Wednesday

And yet Wednesday's game still matters. It matters because it is the first chance to gauge the attitude of England's players, both towards Capello but also towards each other and the supporters.

And it matters to the Football Association. Wembley is only likely to be just over half full. In the circumstances, that is some achievement. Attendances for the autumn qualifiers will provide a far better measure of any backlash.

Commercially, crowds are important but there are other considerations. The England team is now without a sponsor following Nationwide's decision to let its long-term partnership lapse.

The FA figured it would be riding high after the World Cup and thus able to name its price in any auction which followed. One source told me today that, while talks were ongoing with prospective sponsors, interest had cooled and the team's form had made it much harder to convince companies to meet the FA's asking price.

Unless there's a marked improvement in the autumn, finding a replacement for Nationwide could prove difficult.

When the FA announced it would be sticking by Capello after the World Cup, it insisted the decision was made for football reasons and that having to pay the Italian £10m to sack him had nothing to do with the decision to keep him.

That may be true and Capello will now be judged on whether he can re-energise the England team at the same time as ensuring qualification for Ukraine and Poland. But with the FA already counting the cost of early elimination in South Africa, it is clear he has lost the invincible aura he enjoyed the last time England played at Wembley.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    What do you call a proper explanation David? Sometimes there is no obvious answer and in the england footballs teams case I think its a little too easy to just keep blaming the manager. Will all the managers of the other countries who did not win the world cup also be apologising and coming up with explanations?
    Maybe its a bit like asking most of the premier league mangers to explain why their team didn't win the league when in fact only 3 or 4 can ever win it. Im not certain england have been one of those 3 or 4 for 20 years.

  • Comment number 2.

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

  • Comment number 3.

    'Tiredness and the fact that England's physical conditioning going into the World Cup was not at the same level he had witnessed during a hugely successful qualifying campaign was one of them. Nothing new here as we have heard this a few times now'.

    Nothing new? Come on, to a layman non-journo, this is blindingly obvious. Capello was used to the fruits of a demanding, yes, but marathon season that places premuim on longevity and consistancy: the requirements of which equate to premier league success. That tiredness kicked in at the end of such a campaign, especially one in which the top teams were increasingly equally matched going into the final few games is hardly revelation.

    One would be foolhardly to forget also that these players are groomed for their roles for their respective clubs all season, and while the brief cameoes for England during qualifying does not require them to bend too far on a tangent, the sustained alien environment of Camp Capello in Rustenburg, with frequent complaints of boredom and unrest was an obvious step into the oblique for which success does not find itself as a breeding ground.

    'No doubt many supporters will have welcomed Capello's apology - he had also said sorry on Saturday - but they will feel they have every right to ask why they have still not been given a proper explanation.'

    A "proper apology" will never be forth coming. To do so would inherently weaken the England manager's position. People would jump on the bandwagon along the lines of these reasons being simplistic and paint a picture of Capello as incompetent. As we all know, everything thinks they can do the job.

    'Similarly, none of the young players called into the team are likely to provide instant answers.'

    Come on, Bond, the entire country effectively knows that after the debacle of 2010, the country is in rebuilding mode. Okay, so the cause and effect might lie at the players or systematic failures, but we all recognise that the solution is long term (especially as witnessed in the long-run success of the England youth teams of recent months).

    'And yet Wednesday's game still matters. It matters because it is the first chance to gauge the attitude of England's players, both towards Capello but also towards each other and the supporters.'

    I think we already know this - it is quite obvious. Carrick's snub of Capello on sunday was extremely telling, but regardless of this, the "reaction, as you put it, is pointless. A reaction in a friendly has no standing on England's psyche. The same as England's WC 2010 qualifying campaign had no bearing on our South African progress.

    As much as I hate to say it, this article, and previous posts from david bond have been nothing short of disappointingly weak.

  • Comment number 4.

    Without trying to deny the Germans their well deserved and well earned victory, to be fair to Capello, it really might have turned out differently had Lampard's goal been allowed.

    Football is a psychological game, and coming back from 2-0 down leads to a different attitude and half time team talk. It would also mean England wouldn't have been so ridiculously far up the pitch and susceptible to the counter attack as they were in the second half.

  • Comment number 5.

    There is a distinct difference between the blogs here that I really enjoy reading (Vickery's, most of Dirs, Fordyce and Fletcher's for instance) and those that hammer out the stories "that have to be told". This one is one of the latter unfortunately - it reads as if it was felt to be necessary to get going with some Capello-bashing and strong words and no analysis & balance.

    England did not play very well in the World Cup and Capello didn't everything perfect. But he did oversee an exceptional qualification campaign and got England on their feet after the McLaren-show. Give the man a break - it seemed very soon to expect him to deliver at a World Cup as he had no experience of that, and it proved so. It is exasperating sometimes to see how journalists have such short-term memory & outlook.

  • Comment number 6.

    clearly im not on my own in my opinion of this being a pointless, amateurish, lame blog!

  • Comment number 7.

    #5 unfortunately journalists would point to the sudden changeling nature of the here and now dynamics of modern sports; this is not to say i disagree with you, far from it!

  • Comment number 8.

    Capello has nothing to apologise for, we got to the finals and were then outplayed by teams who were better than us. Ok, we should have beaten the USA, but a win against Slovenia is quite a good result. The problem is the unrealistic expectations created by the press, who built up certain of our players as world-class, which they are not. To produce world-class players we must completely change the structure at the most basic level.

  • Comment number 9.

    Why would Fabio phone Robinson and Brown to see if they were available for selection? Is that normal practice for a national manager? Surely it's the expectation that players see playing for their clubs as an honour?

    Personally I think the decision of both, Robbo in particular, was a poor one. Surely Robinson can look at David James as an example of an England keeper's career not being over til it's over.

  • Comment number 10.

    We continue to plow the same old boring furrow. The abject performance during the WC was one thing but to continue into the new season is just a shame.

    Despite the continual criticism, there is no sign of lessons being learned.

    I mean David Bond of course.

  • Comment number 11.

    I don't blame Capello for the Word Cup, i blame our players for there attitude and application. Capello has won things wherever he has been so that suggests it isn't him that is at fault, where as we have not won anything major since 1966 and nothing at all since that warm up tournament to France 98. This time i think it is very wise of the FA to stick with a man who is as qualified as anyone on the planet. Remember these words carefully as they were first used by the great Hungarian goalkeeper Gyula Grosics when talking about his sides 1954 World Cup Final loss against West Germany, "Victory doesn't need to be explained, Defeat cannot be". Give Fabio Capello the benefit of the doubt, its not like we were a winning team who are now a bunch of losers. We've been a bunch of overpaid losers for over a decade, at least he is acting on it and trying new things now with this young, adventurous squad which i fully support by the way. If Sven was still manager, we'd have the same old faces still, with the same old poor, pathetic and hideously ambitious expectations. Wouldn't it make a nice change for the media to see what distractions they cause and leave the man alone to get on with his job...fat chance!

  • Comment number 12.

    What a pointless blog. Still moaning about the World Cup and then saying the new players in the squad aren't good enough before they've even kicked a ball is hardly going to make them play without fear

  • Comment number 13.

    Another weak blog from you david. Sadly this constant sniping from the media is what I've come to expect, though I had hoped for better from you. This is getting boring. Shame you cant live up to the standards set by the likes of Tim Vickery and Matt Slater

  • Comment number 14.

    Want a better national side = start thinking long term.

    The Germans went into the WC with the expectation of laying a foundation for the Euros in 2012. It was the youngest German squad at a world Cup for 80 years, the success they achieved surprised them to a degree. Unlike our press who create such hype that we are expected to build a gold plated roof every two years and win each tournament without realising the brickwork of building a team where egos are managed for the good of the team. Klinsmann said there are egos in the German side, they manage to produce but our lot, well say no more.

    Use the Euro qualifiers AND the WC qualifiers for Brazil as building blocks (are we or even Spain going to win in South America's backyard ?), as someone pointed the nation has come to realise that with the current crop (mental attitude I ask you, God I would not want them next to me in the trenches), the current crop are a waste, build with youngsters, tell the press to go away, we are building for 2016 with a view to putting in a challenge if we host the 2018 WC

    Want the status quo to stay as it is

    Keep dragging up excuses like they were tired. How many games did the Spaniards play, or the Germans, I think you will find very similiar to ours. Tiredness. Too used to being on the beach in June thats what the problem was, after all they were free in 2007, 2008 (what a great tournament that was by the way) and 2009 so it was a culture shock when they found 2010 was filled up with some little tournament called the WC !!!!

  • Comment number 15.

    Can I humbly suggest we (ie the Media) stop picking at the spot or it will only get worse and go septic ( as my old mam used to tell me). We lost. We were not remotely good enough. The Media is responsible for developing the hype to suggest otherwise and then goes in with both feet, studs up, after the event when the hype proves to have been no more than...well, hype. It might be more interesting to learn about the future: the ashes of the past have been raked over enough.

  • Comment number 16.

    ps
    Trade Descriptions Act....this blog gave me NO insight

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    making a grand statement by dropping one of Terry, Lampard, Gerrard or Rooney, would just set himself up for a Mclaren style climb down when he recalled Beckham.

    The journalists are the main problem and I include the like of David Bond and Dan Roan in that group. The journalists are the first to stick the knife in when somebody isn't bold, yet they also stuck it into Mclaren for ditching Beckham prematurely.

    There is no better manager available and no better players available. Just get used to it and accept it, with out trying to turn it into some sort of tabloid drama.

  • Comment number 19.

    As for saying that the apology is not enough, what more do you want? Blood?

    He didn't make Terry go awol, he didn't make Upson so flimsy he could be brushed aside so easily, he didn't make Barry run as slow as a glacier.

    Eriksson was deemed to be a failure, as was Mclaren, as is Capello. The common constant? The players. They just aren't good enough and this so called Golden generation is just a myth, built by the media.

  • Comment number 20.

    no doubt in 4 years time we can look forward to the BBC and its 'pundits' claiming that England can win the world cup, only for the same pundits to express their astonishment when they don't and then start portioning out the blame when.

    Of course they will blame media hype for creating pressure on the team through too much expectation, forgetting that the BBC is the biggest media participant, particularly with regard to the world cup, and it is the BBC and its pundits who are more guilty than anyone for creating the hype.


    For a change, lets have the BBC being honest enough to admit that England are not expected to win...

  • Comment number 21.

    Add me to the list of people who have long since grown bored of this pathetic whining from journalists. Can we please just knock it off?

  • Comment number 22.

    Put simply no England fan can resign himself with the fact that we pay higher match fees than any other country in Europe and English players are amongst the highest paid players in the world. If England players were paid according to their true value (about a fifth of what they actually get) then expectations would not be so great and neither would the disappointment.

  • Comment number 23.

    Another fine example of the Hard Hitting, Insightful, and Thought Provoking blogs that BBC Sport decided were required rather than those provided by Robbo and Charles.
    Good Grief

  • Comment number 24.

    Wow, David. You really dropped the ball with this article. Peeeee-uuuuwwww!

    Were you hoping you would get a nationwide consensus with your crackpot views? You're no better than the 12/13 year olds that post utter tripe on 606 that use text language to express their opinions.

    Good luck with your manager's review of your performance. As Alan Partridge would testify, the Beeb is a cut-hroat business.

    Here's some advice.....listen to the license payers. Your career will benefit

  • Comment number 25.

    #14
    John, I think you've cracked it!
    You referring to the World Cup as the WC is obviously the same mistake that our Glorious Boys made in South Africa.

    They thought they were going to the WC an so provided us with (all together now....)

  • Comment number 26.

    Sorry worst ever world cup as some of the media keep telling us , erm what about 74, 78, 94 ect they didn't even qualify for those. Yes Capello made mistakes but contrary to our media belief we are not the best team in the world.
    Players have to take a great deal of that blame along with the media who created the hype some believed.

  • Comment number 27.

    Anyone else noticed that Svens last squad, Mcclarens last squad and Capellos squad have, bar a few minor alterations, been exactly same.

    3 'failures' 3 different managers. The same players.




    Yeah it must be the managers fault!

  • Comment number 28.

    I'm delighted to see that the consensus is near-universal: this is reactionary sensationalism at its worst. I certainly preferred the irreverent charm of Messrs Charles and Robson to this pointless provocation.

    Why anyone seems to think England have a divine right to win anything is beyond me. Okay it is thought of as the "birthplace" of football, and has a competitive league, but our players are limited technically at international level.

    Young players come up through the ranks and think once they can acquire themselves some ridiculous bling / pimped up car / wag they have made it as a professional footballer and in life. Guys like Wes Brown and Paul Robinson should have phoned Capello instead of embarrassing him publicly - it's common courtesy, and common sense. At least Brown said it was so young kids might break through, but Robinson effectively said unless he could be first choice he wouldn't play. That sounds like a spoilt child to me. Isn't being available for your country to turn to when required something to take pride in?

  • Comment number 29.

    This is the problem with much of the reaction from the media. they demand new blood, and when they prove no better than the previous lot the media complains about a lack of experience. When England has foreign manger they want someone who understands the English mentality, and when they get one and they don't succeed they demand someone with a proven record at the highest level.
    No one in the media is prepared to admit that the football system in England is geared entirely to generating big money for clubs and certain broadcasters, International football and the England team doesn't even enter into the equation.

  • Comment number 30.

    I haven't read all of this blog to comment fully as I got tired of reading it, but there's got to be a point when realisation dawns that a large contingent of readers of the BBC sports blogs want a little more than the same drivel designed to whip up angry emotions that you can read on the back of the tabloids. Please, please, give us something better.

  • Comment number 31.

    I like to see Capello try out this team for the early qualifiers - England, the new generation?:

    ----------------Hart
    Johnson---Shawcross---Jagielka---Gibbs
    -----------Parker-----
    ----------------------Milner
    Lennon--------------------------Johnson
    ----------------Rooney
    -----------------Cole

    Use a fluid formation and ditch the outdated 4-4-2

  • Comment number 32.

    This has been pleasing to read... that is to say that the other posters on this page appear to have drawn similar conclusions about yet another sub standard article. In particular I agree with #5 regarding the articles that I enjoy reading, the others (like this) tend to just make me angry.

    Yes Capello made mistakes, but nobody is perfect, hopefully he will learn from his mistakes (and for the love of god not play Frank and Steve in the same team!) A more pressing point for me though is whether someone like Mr Bond can learn from his, as this blog certainly has been one.

  • Comment number 33.

    The overriding weakness of English football does not lie with the Manager - Capello like all other managers will make mistakes, but I believe he makes less than many others. But I digress, we have to face up to the fact that the players just aren't good enough. Forget the tabloids and other media hype, we have possibly one "World Class" player, Ashley Cole amongst a plethora of decent, workmanlike players. To win a World Cup a side needs three or four "World Class" players who can perform beyond that of all other players and affect a game by their almost unique ability.

    How are World Cup players "made"? Well, first get away from the win at all costs mentality in youth football by banning league divisions (rather seed the teams on results and then arrange their fixtures with other like seeded teams, but don't publish the seedings. No overall winners, losers, promotions or relegations). Concentrate on player development no matter how big or small the player is, encourage players to develop and use skill, vision and perception at all times. And most importantly get it into players that the team that has the ball is the only team that can score - so concentrate on keeping the ball at all costs.

    Finally, get the young professional English players experience of playing top class football on a regular basis.

    Enough said.

  • Comment number 34.

    Looks to me that a movement to bring back Robbo is getting under way. And I would be one fo the first to support it. His blogs were always entertaining, if not downright hilarious, and he has a wonderful turn of phrase. Good on you Robbo, wherever you are!

  • Comment number 35.

    I think from this blog, and many others on the BBC this week, it is clear that the media are out for Capello's head. In the last year the media in England have undermined the 2018 bid, caught in a case of entrapment with an England players father and are now continuing their campaign to get Capello sacked.

    Nothing Capello could have said would have been acceptable in present circumstances. It is also worth noting that we have now had in the last decade an Englishman, a liberal and now a disciplinarian, all of whom have failed, even using a variety of formations. The only constant has been the players.

    Capello has dramatically changed his squad but he has not dropped the star players. Would any sensible manager drop such players if he has little to fall back on. One of the main problems is how nervous the players become and one reason for that is the media.

    Capello will have learnt and being a highly decorated manager, success will not sit well with him and he will be hungry to prove the doubters wrong. So lets give him a chance, after all replacing him will put us back at square one. Remember Ferguson's record at United in his first few years, in the present climate of happy sacking chairman and media he would have been gone long before he managed all of his achievements.

  • Comment number 36.

    David, I'd be interested to see what your responses are to some the reactions to your post. I have to say it mirrors my own in that you've offered nothing new of any insight here which, from the BBC Sports Editor, is frankly not up to an acceptable standard. Yes we were all disappointed and frustrated, but we all have to accept that there is no simple answer to what went wrong. Were a full explanation give I have to wonder whether you would have found this satisfactory. Can we have some insight please next time?

  • Comment number 37.

    sorry should read: Capello will have learnt and being a highly decorated manager, failings will not sit well with him and he will be hungry to prove the doubters wrong.

  • Comment number 38.

    I think Capello did the best job he could. I think an apology wasn't really needed, no matter how much the media seems to think otherwise. It seems if he wants to move forward, someone seems to say 'NO! You have to talk about the World Cup!' We didn't have a great World Cup. So what? I can accept that the national side isn't going to win it anytime soon, and I won't demand some sort of self-flagellation from Capello just because our players weren't that good.
    It's a shame the press seems to praise England one moment, then go into some bloodlust frenzy as soon as they make mistakes.

  • Comment number 39.

    34. At 8:58pm on 09 Aug 2010, BLRBrazil wrote:

    Good on you Robbo, wherever you are!

    He's here;

    http://robborobson.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 40.

    Capello has allready given an explanation, why do you want a new one? The fact you didn't like the old one because it wasn't "I Capello am 100% to blame" is your issue, not his.

    Are you going to keep asking for new reasons or let the guy get on with his job?

    It's not his fault the team didn't live up to your expectations! You and your colleagues need to get over yourselfs!

  • Comment number 41.

    Prediction: We will win this friendly by a land slide (because its meaningless and there is no pressure, the only way we can win a game at that level, cos we certainly dont do it under pressure when it means something), and after breezing past this game easily and a couple more besides, the media, the pundits and even a large part of the fans will forget all about how poor we are, and the 4 yearly cycle of talking ourselves up with no real substance to go on, begins again.

    Capello should have been sacked and a fair few of our England players should be dropped. So I ask the question, who has learned what? DO we just let this same group of failures go again? And keep going? Does failure mean nothing? What kind of message do we send out to not only this current group, but future players if we're saying "fail badly and its okay, you still get to keep your place, you still get to keep your job". Great message we're sending out. Really glad we have a strong FA.

    Happens every 4 years and its both boring and sickening.

  • Comment number 42.

    Do you think that David Bond should now apologise and explain to us, the readers, exactly why his blog was not popular today?

  • Comment number 43.

    The people who should be offering England fans the biggest apology of all are the Media, including you David, who built up the hype and expectation prior to the finals. Most of us were lulled into the belief that it was a mere formality for the team to get to the semi-final without meeting any formidable opposition.
    Capello has stated today that he thought fear played a big part in the failure and he was spot on - the players were so frightened of being known as failures that they completely froze in SA and consequently only performed to 50% of their true ability.
    Look at the difference yesterday the Man U and Chelsea players were under minimal pressure and played with a new found freedom accordingly.

  • Comment number 44.

    I cant believe I have wasted a few minutes of my life reading this useless piece of writing.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    42. At 9:22pm on 09 Aug 2010, OddRiverOakWizards wrote:

    Do you think that David Bond should now apologise and explain to us, the readers, exactly why his blog was not popular today?

    =========================================================================
    Yes, but he won't. As far as I can tell it is not his policy to suffer such an indignity as engaging with likes of us. I've never read a Bond blog where he has replied to any of the points raised by posters.

  • Comment number 47.

    Why the hell should he ring these jumped up prima donnas and ask them "if they want to play"? Your article is as much the issue as anything else. These players should be *banned* from playing International football (despite their retirement) to make a point. What on earth is wrong with the world when you think the manager of the English team should ring each individual and ASK if they want to play? They should have retired LONG before. They knew what they were doing. And I bet its linked to more spondoolies from media contracts. I have heard some nonsense before but this really takes the biscuit. Every player creaming in the money from the English league should be available for representing their country : the country which supports and pays for the league which keeps these players in the Bentleys, Rolls and women they so seem to enjoy. Bah.

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    Just HAD to register to say thanks David Bond, again, SO insightful.

  • Comment number 50.

    Why does your blog always read like an amateur 606 article?

  • Comment number 51.

    Regarding Sponsorship, I heard they had three new sponsors :-

    1. TOTAL
    2. FC(uk)
    3. UPS

  • Comment number 52.

    I thought Capello was the wrong man within five minutes of his appointment and time has only strengthened my lack of faith in his ability.

    He may have done well when at big clubs who have had lots of good players plus lots of cash to "fix" any weak areas, but he did not/will not have this luxury when it comes to international football and his inability to motivate/get the best out of his players has been laid bare for all to see.

    Yes some of the players underperformed, but Capello has to take the majority of the blame as it was he who picked the players, he who decided where/how to play them and it was his job to make the neccessary changes when things were going wrong and he was found wanting, which he himself has admitted with his comments about not knowing how to "improve the minds of the players", which on its own was/is a good enough reason to sack him, though he survives through a combination of a spineless FA and the ludicrous contract they gave him.

    He made numerous mistakes during the world cup such as playing players out of position (Notably Gerrard), favouring certain failing players over those who should have been played more (Rooney, Lampard, Heskey Rather than say Cole or Crouch), naming the team close to kick off and the like and because he is one of these "stubborn" managers (just look at the Joe Cole debacle) nothing will change and anything good that England may do will likely be despite Capello and not because of him.

    Maybe one day the FA will learn from their mistakes in terms of such things as who they appoint as the England manager and what contract they give him, however I won't be holding my breath.

  • Comment number 53.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 54.

    Who actually cares about the England team at the moment, the game should be boycotted by fans on principle for their pathetic performances at world cup. Lets just look forward to club football once again.

  • Comment number 55.

    What puzzles me is how many Editors the BBC seems to have and how modest their skills in their chosen craft seem to be. Perhaps the license payees should demand that the management of the BBC drop some of these over the hill types and give youth and vigour a chance.

    I had never heard of this chap before I started reading his vitriolic blogs during the summer. Now I wish I hadn't wasted the minutes of my life that I did.

  • Comment number 56.

    42. At 9:22pm on 09 Aug 2010, OddRiverOakWizards wrote:

    Do you think that David Bond should now apologise and explain to us, the readers, exactly why his blog was not popular today?

    =============================================================
    His apology would be welcome, but it wouldn't be enough!

  • Comment number 57.

    To #54 - I care mate. But I don't blame Capello for England's just below performance at the World Cup (ranking in FIFA of 8th/9th about right imho).

    The fair weather England fans that pop up in the pub with face paint on every 2 years can run back to their club sides. You never see them away in Split or Berlin or Moscow. England doesn't need them imho.

    You never see the media either. They're cozy'd up in their 5 Stars on expenses with tickets to the game to watch a team they are just waiting to slaughter. England definitely doesn't need them imho.

    It must be painful to have to 'care' about England and not having the chance to lend 'support' to any team they choose (usually one that's just won the Premiership/CL/FA Cup and is located 100's of miles away with no personal tie to the 'fan').

    Totally agree with the criticism of the blog by the readers.

    And those that said "Who the hell are these prima-donnas if they expect a phonecall ASKING if they want to be called up for England??".

  • Comment number 58.

    Ask the players if they want to turn out for England? I have never heard such nonsense. Capello is as good a coach as there is. Let the man get on with it.

    England were tired (and Rooney injured & out of form), the Jubalani ball sucked big time, and they were somewhat unlucky with how the Germany game went. As David James said over the weekend; the players got angry at halftime, and were unable to control their emotions for the second half. Football at this level can be decided by one or two fortuitous moments - unfortunately for Capello's England those moments went against them!

  • Comment number 59.

    It annoys me greatly how everyone lays into Capello. He does not owe anybody an apology, the media infact owe him an apology. He saw the people doing best in the league and he picked them and had a lot of success in the qualifying stages. Then suddenly when he did the same things in an even poorer world cup group the players choke. People say we failed because Gerrard wasnt played in the middle of the midfield behind Rooney, rubbish! If u look at the the German team, they are the most ordinary looking bunch of players ever, yet they always get to semis and finals of major tournaments. That is because they have a passion for their country it doesnt matter what position u put them boys in, they will deliver when they are needed by their country and they love performing under the world's scrutiny. That the key thing, they love the big stage, they have that arrogance that they should win world cup, England play like they need to win the world cup. If u dont enjoy performing on the big stage, no manager will succeed, not Capello, not Scolari, not Fergie, not Roy Hodgson nobody can.

    As for Robinson and Brown retiring and players blanking Capello i dont see how that in any way is Capellos fault. Playing for ur country should be the ultimate, we should be slating Robo and Brown for turning their back on their country when they needed them most not Capello for failing to entice them. I think its a very fair assumption to make that if u select a player to play for their country theyd gladly take the opportunity. Why should Capello have to phone them? If they have to enticed to play for their country then they simply dont deserve to put on the white shirt!!

    When you have players say that they are 'bored' in the middle of the w/c and say that their biggest thrill in the middle of a premier international world tournament was playing darts, that speaks wonders about the attitude of the players.

    Capello should have been given a building up period. The world cup should have been an experimental one to build a new crop of talent: Lampard, Terry, Ashley Cole, Heskey all of them have failed on the big stage time and time again, but because we have to win the world cup, Capello was forced to pick the same useless sods who only perform in low key matches!

  • Comment number 60.

    Just resign. To replace your blog the BBC can just copy and paste any old report from the newspapers. actually, that would probably offer some more insight.

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    No 57 - you are clearly one of these patriotic fans who enjoys following them no matter what, so awful performances are ok? acceptable by now? and for the record I don't blame Capello one bit, he has been successful at every top club in Europe, it's the players they are simply not good enough. It's the patriotic fans like yourself that keep building them up, only for them to consistently let you down, when will you ever learn.

    Tip - Expect nothing from England and one day you may be pleasantly surprised.

  • Comment number 63.

    Come on David leave him alone. 90% of fans realise what you have obviously not grasped yet, the reason we failed at the world cup is because our players are not good enough and do not possess the technical ability to string 10 passes together at the highest level.

    Why don't you start by asking the players, why the failed and leave the manager alone?

  • Comment number 64.

    Really, why is the media so determined to see the back of Capello, or if that's not what you're after, you seem pretty determined to make his job as difficult as possible.
    This is a backlash because before the world cup, everyone...including the media (for once) believed Capello was going to lead us to glory, he was the man. We had a good team, and a good manager, and you all got sucked in and believed it as much as all us fans did.
    ...you were wrong...and gutted as much as we were...now you seem determined to make Capello pay for making you let your guard down and causing you to have a little faith.
    There are many reasons this most recent campaign didn't go to plan; I don't need to reiterate them, we've heard it all in the last month.
    Maybe though, the media has played a part in some of England's meltdowns as much as any player or manager?
    Berating Capello for every decision from now until he's gone, is not going to bring us the world cup. He's still in the job, the FA have made their decision, now let him get on with it.

  • Comment number 65.

    It gladdens my heart to read the sensible posts on this blog. Why is it always the managers fault and never the players?

  • Comment number 66.

    #62 Mate, I don't build them up, and I don't big up the players (check post history), like I said that you missed; ranking of 8th/9th about right...

    ....so if the World Cup were the Premier Leage we'd be...say 8th/9th ish....call us Everton!! :-) Going to win it?? No, probably not.

    But what can I do?? I'm a big, big fan.

    So First Knockout stage when our ranking suggested a Qtr Final would be about right is below performance, but "awful perfomance"?? Hardly.

    Euro 08 was awful, WC 94, Euro 88, WC78, WC74 were awful.

  • Comment number 67.

    This is the first time I have ever commented merely to complain about a BBC blog rather than add to the debate but this piece has moved me to do so.

    Unbelievable reactionary nonsense that some of the previous comments have suitably pulled apart. I have never seen a comment board so unanimous in its condemnation of a blog author. I am not sure you read your blog responses Mr Bond but the general gist of this is must do better!!

  • Comment number 68.

    No 66, I take your points about comparisons of premier league, etc, though awful and far worse words I could use barely describes England at this world cup, our group was by far the easiest of the higher ranked nations, and we just scraped through, then Germany embarrassed us, it's that simple.

    World cup over, pride lost, last time I got excited about England was Euro 96, apart from the 5-1 in Munich, I ust can't get excited or motivated about watching England anymore.

  • Comment number 69.

    This is utterly pathetic. Is there a substantial buy-out clause in your BBC contract? Is that why they keep you on?

    You should apologise for this offering (and some previous blogs) and give the readers the opportunity to tell you that your apology is welcome but not enough.

  • Comment number 70.

    Don't bother apologising mate, this lot are just plain useless. They're overpaid, oversex and neither here and not all there. In others words, they don't have footballing brain. Wipe them off your list and start again with totally young talents and mould them in to a smooth unit like old Italia used to be, like the one you used to play in with Dino Zoff, remember?? There's a good chap, we'll give you an extra million, hows about that then??? Don't worry if you lose again to Hungary, just as long as the kids learn and experience the international atmosphere, that's ok by me !!

  • Comment number 71.

    Fabio is in dire need of some clarity pills. How on earth can a manager say he doesn't know how to change things?? I can tell him for free. Lampard.................Barry..........And Gerrard......Do not blend well together. How difficult is that? Were you watching the recent games Fabio? Or just pretending?

    Please FA. Employ Martin O Neil immediately. He will rectify things immediately. Solely because he HAS NO TIME FOR PRIMADONNAS. The England team will start to play again

  • Comment number 72.

    Really enjoyed these comments. Reminiscent of the Mihir Bose blogs. Congratulations once again to the BBC in their choice of sports editor.

  • Comment number 73.

    I think the first five posts say most of what needs to be said.

    I know you can do better than this, David, and I believe you probably want to. I enjoy and encourage some of your articles that delve into the 'financial-management' side of the game.

    But the main merit of this blog is that is not as bad as the one written by one of your colleagues on August 7th, titled "Mixed signals as Capello plots England revival". That was the worst piece of sports journalism I have yet read on the BBC website.

  • Comment number 74.

    Everything about England is unsatisfactory.

  • Comment number 75.

    Mr Bond and the BBC,

    Can you please change the record. Every report or blog that is made by the media relating to the England team is repetitive. This is starting to bore me, and by the look of it, many other fellow England supporters. In fact in terms of this blog, I read the first few paragraphs and stopped as it was so negative.

    You seem to suggest that Capello has not given an explanation of how he is going to change the mindset of players. And I couldn't help notice the section relating to how important this match is.

    IMPORTANT MATCH - it isn't though. Just like this blog. Useless. All this neagtive reoporting just causes more tensions amongst fans. Why not try putting a positive spin on a news article instead. Also, is it just me, but I thought the BBC had a responsability to provide a balanced argument and analysis. This is just meaningless opinion and regurgertated thoughts on England's performance.

    The thing is I'm starting to think some of these blogs are slightly pointless. Their supposed to challenge, oppose, offer alternative opinions, put news into perspective, make sense of, etc. However, this blog and many others (football and F1 blogs come to mind) seem to jump on the bandwaggon of one side and provide information as though it is truth.

    At the end of the day England underperformed and personally I believe there is no longer the hunger to play for the team. Time to move on! And that's aimed at the media as well!

  • Comment number 76.

    Can I join the chorus of those who have found the comments on this blog both refreshing and realistic.
    The point is David Bond not everything conforms to the news media's preferred narrative. And all too often the media's preferred narrative is simply ridiculous. Like the ridiculous idea that Mr Capello owes journalists an apology. Or that he should give you a list of easy answers.

    Footballers aren't exactly famous for being the brightest and most articulate of the species, but they are elevated to intellectual excellence when compared to this particularly pointless blog post.

  • Comment number 77.

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

  • Comment number 78.

    So the England team underperformed again - but they dont owe us. Why do we have this preoccupation with expecting apologies when things go wrong? We pays our money and takes our chances the same as all the rest - its just that all the rest are better than we are - well, many of them anyway. You can argue whether Capello underperformed - but he did his best - and stuff didnt work out on the day - players didnt play, team didnt gel, opponents tactics worked, but no need to apologise for heavens sake. And no reason for us to gripe either - we've seen it before - great players / questionable mental attitude / poor team / unattainable expectations. Outcome equals failure.
    What to do? Mr C, DONT, DONT, DONT stick with the old guard - keep experimenting - take risks - get the young and hungry in - mix and match - and dont believe that because it worked today, it will work tomorrow - have the courage of your convictions - take advice from your peers - and learn every day - as we should too, including the professional pundits - especially to manage our expectations.


  • Comment number 79.

    I don't understand the point of this blog. I've read it all before. Nothing else to say.

  • Comment number 80.

    This David Bond has shown time and again that he is not fit for this job. The content of this blog was utter tripe. I won't go into too much as enough has been said by now about Mr Bond's capacity to deliver a dignified and respectable analysis in his blogs, but I would just like to touch on one point.

    'He said he had learned from the mistakes he made in South Africa and had returned a better manager. But when pressed on what errors he had made and what lessons he had learned, he said nothing of any substance.'

    Please remind us, David, what it is you were expecting - or rather demanding - Capello explain to us after he gave us a clear indication of what his plans for the short-term future are at the moment. At face-value his words aren't going to provide anything of value to a simpleton who doesn't think to read between the lines, but had you effectively broke down what Capello was saying and interpreted it to us we may not be here criticising your inability to write anywhere near the level of your colleagues such as Tim Vickery or Matt Slater.

    Fabio Capello doesn't need to sit with the media and provide comprehensive details of his plans for the future and exactly how he's going to go about it. His job at the press conference is to briefly answer any questions journalists want to ask him a couple of days before a game; he's basically supposed to give you an update. And what he had said is very positive as Fabio has outlined key areas he feels need to be addressed and which he will address one way or another.

    You should be satisfied with that, he doesn't need to tell you inch by inch how he's going to go about it because that's not your job to do; you're just supposed to sit back and criticise the ACTIONS and not the intent (sarcasm intended).

    Also for the Chief Editor of the BBC to call for players to be sacked from England duty does nothing for his reputation. Please step it up or move along, you have been a disgrace so far.

  • Comment number 81.

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

  • Comment number 82.

    Modded. Sigh-oh.
    I retract and apologise for the last sentence in my excised post. Mr Bond clearly does think before he writes. But I'm still glad I junked my telly, so I'm not forced to fund said drivel. Bring back Robbo.

  • Comment number 83.

    re to andy unwin .no they did not try as hard as they could.did you watch the algeria game it looked like nobody cared.thats what everybody was pissed off about. look at the u.s.a. team that was in the same group.go 2-0 down but yet keep fighting ttill the last minute and still could have won. three lions,don't make me laugh.

  • Comment number 84.

    I think Fabio Capello should be applauded. Admitting things didn't go to plan is a breath of fresh air and David's criticsm of it is exactly what's wrong with our country.

    I currently live in a country where the customer is always right. Unlike in the UK, if the product is not up to scratch the provider feels accountable. Fabio has said he has to do better. I'm willing to let him have another go. On the contrary, David hides behind the aggressive disrespect for the consumer spawned by Thatcher's privatisation which she falsely assured us would see the regulator bringing rogue traders to task. In Japan, if my satellite tv/internet connection is playing up my provider will politely answer the phone in seconds and the problem is addressed immediately. David's blog mirrors my UK provider when I was home last,i.e. no-one would answer the phone, or ,if you did get through, you got an automated reply, or, on the lucky occasion where you did get through to a real person, sometimes having waited for 20 minutes or more, you were promptly sent around the houses before being conveniently cut off at some point.

    One provider commands respect, the other doesn't.

  • Comment number 85.

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

  • Comment number 86.

    David Bond and English players are the same, over-payed without any talent. If he had been playing football, he would have been another Aaron Lennon or Shuan Wright-Pilips

  • Comment number 87.

    I agree with almost every word written here. In the 85 previous comments, that is.

    I cannot believe that the media are not laying into Paul Robinson and Wes Brown for their pathetic and petulant withdrawals. Until a player has retired from international football, there is no reason why a manager should not expect them to be available for selection. Paul Robinson must surely have realised before sunday morning that he was not the number one goalkeeper any more, so its a little odd to wait till he was called up to decide he didnt want to be number 2 or 3 in the pecking order.

    Tiredness of the players is, in my view, a legitimate concern. If you look at all the Premier League player in the World Cup, there aren't many from any country that actually performed well in the tournament. Fabregas possibly, but then he only had to do about 20 minutes per game. I don't think its a coincidence that most of the players that went through the English season underperformed.

    As for Capello admitting to making mistakes, it isn't the first time he has done this. I seem to recall a certain Real Madrid manager dropping David Beckham when he announced that he was heading for the LA dollar. Later in the season Capello recalled Beckham after recognising that he was still important and necessary to the team. The man isnt half as stubborn and inflexible as the media has suddenly decided to paint him.

  • Comment number 88.

    Would you kindly do us and yourself a favour and stop writing the following "Why didn't he ring goalkeeper Paul Robinson and defender Wes Brown to ask them if they wanted to be included in his squad for Wednesday's friendly against Hungary before he named it?"
    What you are suggesting is that every professional footballer needs to be rang in order to find out if he wants to play for his country? Brilliant! Did your boss ring you to see if you wanted to come to work today?
    You know so little about football and it's machinations I am surprised you are still writing.

  • Comment number 89.

    In fact to be taken seriously, you could have perhaps outlined the careers of the new boys to the England squand and given us some insight as to what they might bring! Oh Wait! Insight.........yeah forget it.

  • Comment number 90.

    An apology isn't enough? What else do you want him to do? Come round and personally dab the tears from your eyes?

  • Comment number 91.

    One has to ask oneself what agenda is on the cards with a Blog like this. Is there some conspiracy to have an English only manager because despite the evidence staring you in the face, those driving the agenda believe British is best. Pity there is no analysis in English football anymore.

  • Comment number 92.

    Personally I do think an apology was in order, if only to recognise the disappointment felt by those who paid thousand travelling to South Africa, only to see the biggest pile of dross ever produced by this country in a major competition (and yes, I do remember Graham Taylor's England). It must have felt like paying good money to see Led Zeppelin perform and getting Chas and Dave instead.

    Nobody realistically expects England to be winning World Cup's or European Championships, but come on, outplayed by Algeria, a none too convincing 1-0 against a country with a population of 2 million. All this from a bunch of players who didn't seem to have the heart or desire to do anything about it.

    You can debate whether our players have the necessary technical skills, if team formations were right or even if some players were not 100% fit. But none of this can excuse the schoolboy errors, dropped heads and slouched shoulders we saw during this campaign. If this is the best we can produce then we supporters have a right to demand change and explanations.

    If certain players, no matter how much they light up the Premiership, feel that wearing their country's shirt is a chore, then lets bring in those maybe less gifted players who still view playing for their country as the ultimate honour. They may not do any better than the current crop, even though that bar is set very low. But at least they will go down with a fight and I won't feel so short changed.

  • Comment number 93.

    The tiredness argument hold no merit what so ever.
    The team whos players coming into the world cup that collectively had played the most games this season was Spain. They won the World Cup. So its a non starter as an excuse.

    A winter break is not needed, it would not give players any more rest and would only condense the rest of the season.

    The reasons for Englands lack of success go far deeper than these well worn excuses.

  • Comment number 94.

    Despite my desire to refrain from any sort of bashing, whether it be Capello bashing, England national team bashing or any other bashing, the quality of this blog is simply open to it. Bond Bashing. Must try harder 3 out of 10.

  • Comment number 95.

    28. At 8:20pm on 09 Aug 2010, mozartface wrote:

    Young players come up through the ranks and think once they can acquire themselves some ridiculous bling / pimped up car / wag they have made it as a professional footballer and in life. Guys like Wes Brown and Paul Robinson should have phoned Capello instead of embarrassing him publicly - it's common courtesy, and common sense. At least Brown said it was so young kids might break through, but Robinson effectively said unless he could be first choice he wouldn't play. That sounds like a spoilt child to me. Isn't being available for your country to turn to when required something to take pride in?

    Whilst I agree with you in principal, in fairness to Wes Brown he actually went down to the training camp in person to say we didn't want to be considered and to retire. So it wasn't a case of him not phoning in.
    I still think he shouldn't have done it, if only because he is a far better player than Glen Johnson.

  • Comment number 96.

    I find it remarkable how so many journo's are going on about how the fans want this, and the fans want that... and yet you read the comments to all these blogs and articles, and mostly the fans completely disagree. It doesn't seem all that many blame Capello, most want(ed) him to stay in the job, and most would not want a complete dismantling of the squad, but a steady evolution.

    The journo's are just living in their own world, trotting out the agenda they want. Its pretty sad really.

  • Comment number 97.

    If I have to read a story like this in one of tabloids, then I probably found the paper on the train so it's a fair trade off. The worst bit about this drivel, is that there is no avoiding the fact that I have actually paid for this claptrap to have been written........

    I think somebody needs to take the role of editor a little more literally and give up on the actual writing.

  • Comment number 98.

    Wonder if David Bond will reply to the many posts that seem to disagree with him more than they disagree with what happened in the summer?

  • Comment number 99.

    England's mainstream interest in football is over. the 20 year golden period since italia 90 is over. the performance vs expectations is too much to take. the foreign-dominated Premiership has squeezed too many England players out of regular top flight football and this drastically needs to change if we are ever going to get to a semi-final again. Capello is NOT the man to do this. He does not understand the English psyche, English players' strengths. he should have been fired.

  • Comment number 100.

    29. At 8:30pm on 09 Aug 2010, Mike Mullen wrote:

    This is the problem with much of the reaction from the media. they demand new blood, and when they prove no better than the previous lot the media complains about a lack of experience. When England has foreign manger they want someone who understands the English mentality, and when they get one and they don't succeed they demand someone with a proven record at the highest level.

    No one in the media is prepared to admit that the football system in England is geared entirely to generating big money for clubs and certain broadcasters, International football and the England team doesn't even enter into the equation.

    --

    Nail, head.

    That in a nutshell is the fundamental problem with football in this country, it's primary purpose is getting big money Primiership audiences, and it is very good at doing that. Not so good at breeding a successful England team. As Trevor Brooking was saying recently, it would take only a very tiny amount of the PLs money to implement all the coaching changes the FA would like to see, but the FA must go cap in hand and beg for this money from the PL.

    Until the football governing bodies are united and given the express aim of building a successful England team, that's unlikely to change in my opinion.

 

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