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Losing faith in Fabio Capello's England

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Steve Wilson | 15:00 UK time, Thursday, 1 September 2011

Fabio Capello's England team are in Bulgaria, before taking on Wales at Wembley next week with qualification for Euro 2012 still very much in their own hands.

That's the good news; but it's still been an indifferent qualifying campaign which has fallen a long way short of erasing the memories of that pitiful World Cup campaign in South African.

Fabio Capello's performance at the 2010 World Cup would have seen most coaches sacked, except of course that the Football Association had already decided to reward the Italian with a new contract before a ball had been kicked in the finals. This contract has been reported to be worth £6m a year. It is surely so lucrative that only a fool would resign from it, while the FA certainly did not want the expense of terminating it.

So what have England fans got for their money over the last 14 months since the embarrassment of being torn apart by Germany and the disappointment of being so poor even against Algeria, the United States and Slovenia?

England coach Fabio Capello.

England coach Capello has tried to rebuild since the 2010 disaster. Photo: Getty Images

Capello has overseen nine matches since, of which four were friendlies. At Wembley, England have drawn with Montenegro, Ghana and Switzerland and lost to France. Away victories against the Swiss and the Welsh have kept England on course for next year's finals in Poland and Ukraine; but there are still a couple of tricky hurdles to negotiate before England can be confident of finishing above Montenegro and avoiding a nerve-jangling play-off.

That's Montenegro, a country that had just one representative in a 23-man squad for the 2006 World Cup, when they still played alongside Serbia as a merged nation. That sole Montenegrin was the goalkeeper Dragoslav Jevric, who conceded 10 goals in three games at those finals.

Montenegro have improved, and like many international teams, they make up for a shortage of outstanding talent by relying on finely tuned organisation. It earned them at point at Wembley last October from a goalless draw.

Sadly, simple organisation has been enough for opponents to trouble England for far too long. Against England, being organised and talented, like Brazil, Spain and Germany, almost always secures a win. England have a group of players whose abilities range from the moderate to the very good; one or two of them even look world class now and again, but not often when wearing the white of their country.

Of Capello's current squad only eight have South Africa 2010 on their CV. That can only be a good thing; but somehow exciting, fresh faces have so often been dragged down into England's miasma of underachievement once they break into the international fold. None other than Gary Neville recently wrote that he often felt playing for England was a waste of time; watching England has too often been the same.

I would love nothing more than to be surprised at the finals in 2012, and I am sure England will at least qualify for the Euros this time, a step up from 2008. I remember brief, exhilarating moments when supporting England was to be proud and uplifted; but I just cannot picture England winning the trophy next summer.

I remember being asked by a press officer for Turkey's national team how his nation, once one of Europe's whipping boys, could possibly have achieved in the last 10 years the same as England have managed in the 45 since 1966, namely semi-final defeats in a World Cup and a European Championship.

I did not have the answer then and I still don't now - and I'm not sure anyone in an England tracksuit does either.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    First haha. For the record, I think that we are slowly improving after the world cup.

  • Comment number 2.

    "Gary Neville recently wrote that he often felt playing for England was a waste of time" - to be honest, if he felt like that, he should have stayed at home. Bearing in mind that it was his schoolboy error of a backpass aimed at the goal that helped Croatia qualify in 2008, it might have improved us if he had stayed at home.

  • Comment number 3.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 4.

    Wow, a BBC blog which goes a fraction of the way to presenting the actual opinion of the author.

  • Comment number 5.

    The english team falls often short in tournaments, excuse one: the players feel too much pressure from media excuse two: they are tired since they dont have a winterbreak to recoup or excuse 3: not the right tactic and manager

  • Comment number 6.

    Rubbish blog in my opinion.

    International managers should be homegrown.
    I'm sorry to say but England are laughable
    obviously not fit for competition .

    hate it or love... thats the truth

  • Comment number 7.

    I actually had a lot of hope for Capello. I don't particularly care where the coach comes from, so long as he (or she) gets the best they can from the players. Unfortunately I don't think Capello has worked out - but then again I'm not exactly looking forward to his succesor, far too much pressure to appoint an Englishman, and imho there are next to none that would achieve better than Capello out there.
    The faults are mainly because the media over hypes the England team. If they play well then they're incredible and dead certs to win the next big thing. Play badly and they get a public whipping and a witch hunt.
    New faces look good, not afraid to risk things ... until one messes up and the press are on them like jackals ... then they'll close ranks and maybe not try too hard again.
    At best England are maybe fourth or fifth best in the world. We really need to remember that and actually be comfortable with it rather than getting neurotic. I think its called realism.

  • Comment number 8.

    "Gary Neville recently wrote that he often felt playing for England was a waste of time" - to be honest, if he felt like that, he should have stayed at home. Bearing in mind that it was his schoolboy error of a backpass aimed at the goal that helped Croatia qualify in 2008, it might have improved us if he had stayed at home.

    --------------------------------

    He also said he gave his all for England. Did you actually see the backpass, it was softly hit, straight to the keepers feet, just a massive bobble took it into the goal.

    Not that I am excusing any of the poor England performances over the last five years, but considering the media witch hunt for any player that makes a mistake or plays badly, can you blame them for playing with fear and trepidation, no matter how much they earn?

  • Comment number 9.

    7. At 01:14 2nd Sep 2011, Flirtybee wrote:

    At best England are maybe fourth or fifth best in the world. We really need to remember that and actually be comfortable with it rather than getting neurotic. I think its called realism.


    --------------------------------


    Realistically though.

  • Comment number 10.

    remember being asked by a press officer for Turkey's national team how his nation, once one of Europe's whipping boys, could possibly have achieved in the last 10 years the same as England have managed in the 45 since 1966, namely semi-final defeats in a World Cup and a European Championship.

    ===========================================================

    Prob because Turkey's population is 500 mil....... Honestly what do they pay you BBC writers for. With the experience and size of England you actually do quite well. It is not your god given right to win, typical arrogance. You are good, you have world class players. But you have not had a world class team since 1990. Other nations are good at football as well you know. Lets be fair if only 15 other nations are better than you in the world that is not bad. 4th in the ranking? Having a laugh.

  • Comment number 11.

    "but I just cannot picture England winning the trophy next summer."

    I dont think anyone can, or does.

    However around may 20th next year, if we qualify we will be reading blogs and seeing reports in newspapers about how easy our group is, and how we are one of the favorites yadda yadda yada

    The fair weather fans will jump onboard, buying cheap plastic flags and sticking them on their cars, and then, nooooooo how could it happen, we lose to the fist quality side we come up against.

    then comes the sacking of the manager, and this time we need English passion, INGLISH DRIVE, none of this johnny forrin rubbish, what can they teach us about the game!

    then in two / four years time, repeat but replace the clueless tactically naive manager with a foreign super-couch whp will get the best out of this golder generation of underachievers.

    Oh yeah, and recall Beckham, the press love him and that must make him still the best player ever!


    -----

    If more people were realistic about our players and chances, asyou (in fairness) have covered to some degree, then maybe they could start enjoying playing for England, sure we wont win anything major, but if they played with a smile it may not be as painful to watch for a fan.

  • Comment number 12.

    The only reason spain is successful at the moment is because Barcelona is successful. the midfield is the team, all Del Bosque had to do was transplant Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, and Busquets into his core and add the incredibly adaptable Xabi Alonso and Villa and he was good to go. there was a time England played really well, back when Beckham and Scholes were playing for United and Gerrard was at his best for Liverpool, they actually did look like a team sometimes, but

  • Comment number 13.

    #10 - Rory - I think you will find the population of Turkey is about 74million - DOH!

    Capello has been a disaster for England. The only way England will win anything is if we change the whole coaching system in this country.

  • Comment number 14.

    what gets me is certain media outlets who try use english clubs success in the cl to try convince fans the england team is brilliant,

    read carefully, fabregas, rvp, drogba, essien, torres, ronaldo, all none english players and the main reasons arsenal, chelsea, liverpool and united have had succes in europe the last few years. Evan the last few years for united has been more of a team effort in europe than exceptional individual performances.

    truth be told if u were selecting the best 11 that play in england only 2 maybe at a push 3 english players would get in and evan with a few of them u could change for a non english player


    ----------------cech----------------
    sagna-----vidic----kompany----cole(1)
    nani-----de jong----gerrard(2)---silva
    rooney(3)--aguero

  • Comment number 15.

    Too right, England will never win anything under Capello and the reason is very simple, he is trying to set England up to beat the little teams but are then clueless when it come to quality opposition.

    He told Darren Bent to move from Sunderland to Villa because Sunderland were usually under the cosh (despite sitting 6th at that point with Villa in the relegation zone) whereas Villa apparently controlled games more (not that he has ever watched a live Sunderland game against anyone outside the top 4). He states that he wants players who are used to being on the team in control of the match trying to break down the other team. This is all well and good for smaller teams but when we come up against quality teams who won't sit and let England dominate the play they don't have a clue what to do, precisely because they are not used to it. They are left, like Capello clueless!

  • Comment number 16.

    England are now and will always be a disappointment at international level. Judging from the comments on almost every single blog about the national team, a lot of people feel this way. So why then can the media not just run with that instead of insisting we're all certain the team will win everything?

    #10 Rory: Population size obviously makes a difference, but then, look at where China and India are, and then look at Uruguay with their population of 3.5 million, now with a World Cup semi-final and a Copa America title in the past year or so. Population is clearly not all that important. But you are correct that FIFA putting England 4th in the world rankings is a joke. We're not even close to the fourth-best team. Each of the five teams ranked just below us (Uruguay, Brazil, Italy, Portugal, Argentina) would beat us senseless in competition.

  • Comment number 17.

    How about the fans cheer and encourage England on through the poor patches of the game given that they tend to do it for their clubs (as per Arsenal).
    As much as I admire Gary Neville, that back pass was straight towards the goal instead of to the side and thus eliminating the chance of what actually happened. But, every player will make a sunday league error now and then.
    Capello should have got more out of the players, no matter how poor they are.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'd like to think it was all about the money, but that's also the case for the likes of Spain, Italy, France & Germany, not to mention Brazil & Argentina. So I would agree that it's the lack of either quality players or quality coaching or both. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. We need to revolutionise the way we play. How long have we been playing the numerous passes across the back three, then back and forth down the wings, juast to lose the ball before we can get it to the strikers? Where are those players that can take on and beat other players and I don't just mean wingers? The game tonight is on Sky which I and many others will not be watching and that probably just about sums up everything that's wrong with the game.

  • Comment number 19.

    "Capello has been a disaster for England. The only way England will win anything is if we change the whole coaching system in this country."

    Totally agree - the FA are the root cause of all our problems.

    Just look at the U21's and we have the same failings - a similar squad of good to excellent talent, but a completely useless manager in Pearce who is stuck in the dark ages of coaching and tactics.

    The whole thing needs a fundemental shake up on the scale of what Klingsman achieved with Germany.

  • Comment number 20.

    When people say, "we want to see England perform like we KNOW they can", hidden in the statement is the barometer by which England are always judged - 1966. Until the population as a whole accept that England are a quarter-final team and nothing more, this whole big England malaise will just keep going round and round.

  • Comment number 21.

    With players such as Cleverley who because he plays for United is totally overated, Jones being vastly inexperienced at this level, and Lescott who is decidedly 'dodgy' England under Capello will never reach the top of the International rankings.
    There are other issues which have been in evidence for some time now where the team spirit is fragile at times because of what goes on in the Premier League in as much as players cheating, goading, and ridiculing their rivals during PL games after scoring a goal or after matches fully utilising their bragging rights etc. These same players then have to meet up at England get togethers and quite frankly I think it creates a bad feeling sometimes.
    The apparent back biting comes from players within Man United in particular where it is common knowledge this goes on, YES this is part of the problem,CERTAINLY!

  • Comment number 22.

    As usual the media vents its wrath in the wrong direction. It hasn't mattered which coach we have had (or would have had) since 1966, the basic problem is there for all who have spent time playing, watching and following football abroad to see, the players aren't good enough - facts acknowledged by Gary Neville (players not comfortable on the ball, SAF wouldn't have made a difference). But even he can't see the wood from the trees having been brought up in the harsh, physical demands of the English leagues dominated by English coaches with the 70s 'football is a game for men, macho' mentality.
    Individual skill is one thing, harnessing that into a collective skill is a completely different technique and one that our media, obsessed with concentrating on promoting individuals into 'world class almost god-like status' as soon as they spray a 40 yd pass or score a hat-trick, can't even hope to comprehend.
    Neville says we need people who can keep the ball - we've had a plethora of individuals who could do that over the years, but it's no good keeping it if you and the rest of the team can't see what you are able to, or are going to do with it. Example : - Barcelona don't keep the ball, they move it quickly and always give the player with the ball 2 or 3 options. Tunisia played basically the same way in the World Cup against England but without the cutting edge and individual skill up front. After that match our hyped-up, xenophobic journalists and 'experts' contented themselves with the same old excuses we'd been hearing for 44 years saying things like 'we should roll over these nations', 'they haven't got one player good enough to get in our side', ' Capello got his team wrong', 'Capello got his tactics wrong', 'Capello didn't tell the players soon enough who was playing' , if Wayne (the God) Rooney had been on song we would have destroyed a team like that' etc etc. Only Chris Waddle, one of our few successes in continental football said the obvious 'Tunisia played better than us', which they did because they knew how to play collectively.

  • Comment number 23.

    English players are second rate and made to think they are good by their obscene wages and by being surrounded by talented foreign players in the Premier League. Time to recruit from the lower divisions and celebrate any kind of success, rather than filling the team with don't care, too scared, multi-millionaires and then bemoaning the lack of success.

  • Comment number 24.

    I have just read Gary Nevilles comments on the England team and while i am not an England supporter I still like to see the home nations do well in tournaments, but Gary i do believe you dont know what you are talking about, England have had the sort of footballers you are talking about in the past but for reasons nobody can understand they refused to play them, the likes of Glenn Hoddle would have had over 100 caps had he been born in another country, also Tony Currie also a very talented player never got the recognition he deserved from the national team, there are lots more that would have earned many caps had they been born in another country but the old England managers didn't like to take a chance on talent they preferred to field a team of work horses instead, things have not changed for the present day, please explain how we can go to a major finals with possibly the best left sided English player left sat at home, Adam Johnson is a game winner, he can make a big difference even coming off the bench but was overlooked at the last tournament for the same old faces, sadly England managers very rarely like to look outside of the so called big four for international players unless they have to through injury and untill that mentality changes England will continue to be a team of also rans.

  • Comment number 25.

    We have talented individuals in this country and have had for many years and yes I'm including the so called 'golden generation'. The problem has been the management in charge and the teams togetherness.
    Under Robson(great man manger & inspiration) and Venables(the christmas tree) we had in my opionion, less talented players but we played as a team and got through to the semis in major competitions. I applaud the FA for trying a different route under Erikson but for some reason factions in the camp occurred, would this have happened under Bobby or Tel?
    Hoddle was going the right way, he had the guts to leave out players who were past it or not right. What my point is its not always about the players, for England to be half decent again the FA should have got rid of capello ages ago and got an English manager.

  • Comment number 26.

    Another sports journalist choosing the easy option of jumping on the England bashing bandwagon and reiterating what we already know. At least make an attempt to be more original and perhaps a little more optimistic since we have a whole host of young talent coming through that might just surprise us all. The press have been guilty of piling on unwanted pressure since our glowing World Cup performance at Italia 90. Ironically, when there were vertually no expectations (among the press at least) for England to succeed, they did us proud and were the closest we've been to winning it since 66. Why can't we just enjoy international football tournaments and feel delighted if our boys do well instead of all the unrealistic expectancies? I don't think getting on their backs like a bunch of babies who can't have what they want will help the cause.

    Gary Neville's comments should be restricted to his little biography and treated with the contempt they deserve. The analogy he describes of dating a girl 85 times without scoring makes a complete mockery of his own generation. It also offers a totally misconceived interpretation of how most professional footballers look back on their own careers. Neville's ego is far bigger than his international trophy cabinet but perhaps that is a true reflection on his own abilities in an England shirt. A bigger man would've been honest about how he felt at the time and passed it on to someone proud enough to have the chance to perform in it instead!

  • Comment number 27.

    One could argue that player quality has little to do with it.

    Greece won '04 and they had very few that could be considered anywhere near world class, or could keep the ball.

    In world football there is only the odd shock result in the euros '04 and '92. But the world cup is won by the best teams at the time. Even, dare I say, Italy in '06.

    We'll win if we get on a good confident roll and beat a big team early on.

  • Comment number 28.

    What England need is a Scottish manager.

    They seem very good at making players play together with passion and doing it on smaller resources.

    Their players may not be very cracking at the moment but the managers are pretty decent. SAF, Moyes, Coyle...

  • Comment number 29.

    This article is misleading and in places factually incorrect (Turkey's and England's records are not the same for example as England have reached 2 Euro semis since 1966). I have to say I'm pretty disapointed with the general standard of BBC sports journalism - in these times of austerity might I suggest the BBC get rid of some of the dead wood who spout the same, dull, monotonous, uncritical, sensationalist nonsense

  • Comment number 30.

    Another Capello-bashing article from the same press that (when when he was appointed) said that if England do not win anything under him, then they cannot win under anyone. His track record (like Sven's) before his appointment is impeccable.

    Still I am sure Redknapp will win us everything...

  • Comment number 31.

    I'm more convinced that Capello is a great manager than that England are a great football team. If anyone is to organise them properly, he should be the man.

    For me there is more to it - psychological / pressure and fitness issues definitely play a part IMO, but the main problem is a general lack of flair. That should surely be obvious given the difficulties faced against well-organised or top sides. It's not surprising given the number of foreigners and style of football in the domestic league, and there is no overnight remedy unfortunately.

  • Comment number 32.

    For the benefit of accuracy, England have been in three semi-finals since 1966, not two. They came third in the European Championships in 1968 beating the Soviet Union 2-0.

    ...I take your point though...

  • Comment number 33.

    29. At 13:05 2nd Sep 2011, mrollydavis wrote:

    "This article is misleading and in places factually incorrect (Turkey's and England's records are not the same for example as England have reached 2 Euro semis since 1966)"

    It may be incorrect but by trying to be smart you've essentially proved his point.

  • Comment number 34.

    Re: Comment 2 (Sciatika)

    Say what you like about Gary Neville, he was a winner, and most will accept that he was a genuine professional. The point is that he felt this winning mentality was wasted on England duty. This does not mean Neville didn't try to win every time he got on the pitch, even if sometimes he didn't have the talent of his team mates. In fact, it is precisely because he had to scrap to play for first United, then England, that his perspective is valuable in this debate.

    England has not been run like a professional outfit since Glenn Hoddle, [which incidentally was the last time we had a nucleus of quality young players]. Too many watercarriers with bloated reputations and egos and above all too little genuine competition for places. Too much fake stardust. Too many non-football stories. Frankly I agree with him.

  • Comment number 35.

    I think Capello gets a bit too much stick when it comes to the managing side. (own opinion) I also believe he is a very good manager and he has done a good job so far when comparing to some of the previous managers such as mclaren. Its hard for him to find a team out there which will gel together because the top english players are scattered around all over the place in England whereas the most successful teams such as Spain the majority of their players are playing for Barcelona which means they train and interact with each other week in week out.
    However the team he should play is this.

    Hart

    Smalling Jones Terry A.Cole

    Downing Barry Lampard A.Young

    Rooney Bent

  • Comment number 36.

    I took a look at the Neville articles and first thing to say is I am disappointed with how his remarks are being presented by the BBC. In the articles I have seen the headlines and in some cases the majority of the text as well are written in a way that leads the reader to believe that he felt this at the time he was playing. This is the quote that is being used to beat him with
    "There have been times when I reflected on my international career and just thought: ‘Well, that was a massive waste of time.’ "
    So far from thinking it at the time this is looking back at it and even then only sometimes does he think that
    Another word of defence for him is about the back pass - it was an unlucky bobble for him, the goalie and england. To those saying it was a rookie/schoolboy error to pass it so it goes in if the goalie misses - take a look at this weekends matches and see how many (and what %) of back passes are done like this. If it was that much of a mistake there won't be any.

  • Comment number 37.

    #10 The population of Turkey at the last 2010 census was estimated at 73 million, not half a billion (!)

  • Comment number 38.

    No manager in the world could do better than Capello for England. He's certainly made a number of mistakes, but there are so many contributing factors to the national side's shortfalls at tournaments that to blame the manager is misguided.

    The main point is that we are simply exhausted by the end of May. Every tournament with the exception of Italia '90 when we were desperately lucky not to be knocked out by either Belgium or Cameroon, we have simply run out of steam. In 2006 we were unlucky to be knocked out by Portugal, but it did not disguise the fact that everyone was knackered.. Therefore unless the FA make a 2 or 3 week break in January compulsory (hell, everyone's skint then and the weather's awful so no-one can get to matches) we will always fail. The fact that Capello arranged our most difficult matches in qualifying to be in September or October tells you everything. We won 4-1 in Croatia where no other side had ever won.

    Capello naturally looked to experience for his side like any manager would do, but I don't think he came to terms with the sheer lack of professionalism in English football. John Terry is one of the least professional players to "grace" the game and the fact that he's captain (an understandable choice but perhaps Capello didn't understand the culture) means that the rot is there from the bottom. Other English players respect Terry hugely because he's the quintessential "lad" and that's where the problems are - this is distilled to players at a lower level. If you look at players from different countries, they do not act this way. They have fun, but the Anglo-Saxon attitude of football players towards booze, going out and the like disrupts their qualities as players. They're paid far too much and simply do not give the same level of respect to playing for their country.

  • Comment number 39.

    To Bobbysleg (#24),

    Neither of the players you mention was available during Neville's time so it's a bit rich to use them as examples. Besides you need far more than 2 players who can keep the ball. You need 5 or 6 minimum other wise the ball ends up back with the opposition.
    For me a good example of this was Barcelona vs Manchester United in May.
    At the very start of the game we were able to cope with the attacks from Barcelona but the problem was we couldn't keep hold of the ball for very long so we spent more and more time chasing the ball and you could see early on that if we were going to win it would be with a good slice of luck to keep Barcelona out (if we keep giving the ball back to them they will create chances - some of the United defeats in Europe I could see coming as we just couldn't hold on to possession) and to somehow score a winner against the run of play.

    The only major English player that I would rate as very comfortable on the ball over the past 10-15 years would be Scholes at his peak. He would always seem to be able to turn into space. I think more are starting to come through ut it is too early to judge if they will be able to compete against the skills shown by the best in the world.

  • Comment number 40.

    Sorry Peckham Steve (#34), as much as I sort of agree with Gary Neville's comments, I can't agree with yours about the man. There's no denying Neville was a passionate footballer, but as for genuine? He would get try to get away with as much as he possibly could including verbally abusing the ref on many occasions and some very questionable tackles. Not sure that I would call that genuine.

  • Comment number 41.

    Yes, England will qualify and then they face some teams a bit tougher than Montenegro and will be found wanting. It will not stop the hype.

  • Comment number 42.

    I don't think Capello care's any more if he ever did.I certainly don't . He would have taken a negotiated settlement after the WCI Sven and Capello with their meaningless friendlies, constantly using the same underachievers just ground the life out of it. When your last decent game was Croatia 2008 it's time to go.

  • Comment number 43.

    First of all it seems the argument that all too often comes up over England's failings centres around the old "pressure from THE MEDIA" point of view. The media though is pretty varied in this country so the question to all England fans is: What sort of media are YOU supporting with your hard-earned cash each day? If you are buying the daily dirt then you might have to suffer some quite frankly rubbish "journalism". What about reading and supporting the media that rings true to you?

    Secondly, just an opinion - I don't think the next England manager should be English. He should be Scottish. David Moyes. I have my reasoning (and note I am an England supporter) but I am interested in what others think. Just sowing seeds...

  • Comment number 44.

    The English team, fans and in particular the media need to stop deluding themselves. Being ranked 4th in the FIFA rankings just fuels the delusion. Fabio Capello is an experienced, top class manager and a proven winner (which is more than can be said for his players). Unfortunately he can only field English players. Look at Capello’s body language, he is resigned to the fact that the only thing he can count on is his players letting him down and the subsequent abuse from an unrealistic media. There are (at least) two reasons why England have won nothing in 45 years. 1. With the exception of Lineker and Scholes, English players are not as good as their European and South American counterparts and haven’t been since the 70’s - that includes Beckham, Gascoigne and Rooney - above average players but not top players. 2. England as a country has lost its identity and as a result players have no pride in playing for their country. Smaller nations often punch above their weight in internationals because their players have pride.

  • Comment number 45.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 46.

    @35. simmo, you'd pick gareth barry?! the biggest waste of space to ever grace an England shirt.
    that midfield lacks invention and penetration.
    Downing is a good player, but atm i don't think he's proved he has enough to justify a starting place for England, hope to be proved wrong this season, but atm no.
    try this for a team, maybe for the future?
    Hart
    Smalling Jones Terry Cole
    A. Young Cleverly Wilshere A. Johnson
    Rooney Welbeck
    that would be an England side with pace, technical skill, and invention.
    why Adam Johnson has been left out of the England squad is beyond me, the guy has showed genuine class every time he's turned out for England. as for Welbeck, maybe not proved himself to earn a starting place, but having watched him for the U21's, he shows a killer instinct that has been sadly lacking in the poor excuse for a frontline we've had recently.
    I agree with the comments about Glenn Hoddle, the last England manager to have the guts to lay aside the older generation.
    some of the England old guard need to realise they've had their chance and failed miserably, its time to let the young lads have a go.
    Lampard has never been able to emulate the fantastic form he showed for Chelski and it eludes me why we keep playing him if he doesn't perform. Some players are fantastic for their clubs but just don't fire for the international team, so you have to look elsewhere.
    P.S i'm surprised Adam Johnson didn't look for at least a loan move away from City, as it doesnt look like he'll get the gametime he deserves, which can only hurt his international career.

  • Comment number 47.

    As an American, I am surprised why Fabio is still England's coach. Does he have dirt on some of the British Football people? Why doesn't Sir Alex coach this team? As an outsider, one can see that he lost the team in South Africa and most of the players don't listen to him sort of what happened here in the US. England needs a shot in the arm. Plus, he plays so conservative that even with the youth and new talent, England will never live up to its potential. It is sad.

  • Comment number 48.

    It would be very difficult for me to lose faith in Capello's England as I never really had any to begin with.

    Most of the players are so over rated it's beyond ridiculous. It's not really their faults though, the media over hype them by telling us that they are "world class" and some of them move for transfer fees that are astrominically inflated. e.g 35mill for one cap Carroll.

    I don't wish to come over as Xnaphobic or racist, but I believe the England team manager should be English. It should be an honour and a priviledge to manage your country, if you do not hail from the nation you manage then it's just a job. I could never be really passionate about Italy, no matter how much dosh was on offer as I have no tangible link to the place, so how can I expect the same from Mr Capello?

    Once again the FA got a major decision wrong and it's the national team and the nation who gets to pay for it. We are no longer a world power in football (and please don't quote that joke of a Fifa list) Other nations no longer fear us, somethings gotta change soon (also at grass roots level) or we will find ourselves being the whipping boys.

  • Comment number 49.

    lol@Reddavey, Man Utd supporter are we?

    Those youngsters might earn their place eventually, but are not first eleven currently.

  • Comment number 50.

    The biggest problem is the Golden Disappointments. When John Terry steps up and talks about how hard JT had to work to get that shirt, and how much JT feels the pressure of the youngsters, but how JT will never willingly give up the shirt, how they are going to have to tear the shirt out of JTs cold, dead hands...

    I hope Gary's next move it to tell the remaining Golden Disappointments to retire and not wait for Capello to finally decide they are hurting the team... Starting with JT...

  • Comment number 51.

    All very well bashing Capello but try to remember it is the 11 players that ultimately decide who wins or looses.
    Truth is,our players are second rate and NO manager could do better with them.

  • Comment number 52.

    38. At 15:49 2nd Sep 2011, Herzog73 wrote:

    "No manager in the world could do better than Capello for England. He's certainly made a number of mistakes..."

    Every manager makes mistakes, including SAF, and he will as long as he's a manager. The key is not to make the same ones, repeatedly, in a short period of time, like a certain bespectled Italian coach...

    "but there are so many contributing factors to the national side's shortfalls at tournaments that to blame the manager is misguided."

    Puerile, the manager get's the plaudits for success and the stick for failure, you don't make excuses for success, so a good manager doesn't make them for failure, and his fans don't feel the need to either.

    "The main point is that we are simply exhausted by the end of May. "

    No, the point is he selected almost exclusively players who were exhausted by the end of May, and then imposed a fairly serious training regime on them, exhausting them further. After the first time he made this mistake (in club football) he should have learned from it.

    "Every tournament with the exception of Italia '90 when we were desperately lucky not to be knocked out by either Belgium or Cameroon, we have simply run out of steam. In 2006 we were unlucky to be knocked out by Portugal, but it did not disguise the fact that everyone was knackered.."

    First, luck is just an excuse, and good managers build teams that make their own luck. Second, so, even with a history of having over-tired players going into major tournaments, Capello decides on a heavy training regime going into WC2010. So, you've proven he can't learn from his own mistakes, or the mistakes of others. Are you defending him, or heading up the lynch mob?

    "Therefore unless the FA make a 2 or 3 week break in January compulsory (hell, everyone's skint then and the weather's awful so no-one can get to matches) we will always fail. "

    Isn't that Capello's excuse too? How long was the Christmas break in 1966?

    "The fact that Capello arranged our most difficult matches in qualifying to be in September or October tells you everything. We won 4-1 in Croatia where no other side had ever won."

    Mr. Capello directly decided or affected none of that, all he did was take advantage of it. Yes, you've finally found a point that defends Mr. Capello, not why you thought it did, but baby steps...

    "Capello naturally looked to experience for his side like any manager would do,"

    No, he took almost exclusively experience to start with, like some sort of Anti-Wenger... The fact is a good manager builds a balanced team, that means balancing youth with experience, attack with defense, technical flair with work ethic, etc.

    " but I don't think he came to terms with the sheer lack of professionalism in English football. John Terry is one of the least professional players to "grace" the game"

    No argument from me, but again, hardly a glowing reference for Mr. Capello.

    "and the fact that he's captain (an understandable choice but perhaps Capello didn't understand the culture) means that the rot is there from the bottom. Other English players respect Terry hugely because he's the quintessential "lad" and that's where the problems are - this is distilled to players at a lower level."

    If he represents something that isn't needed in the national team (and I agree with you on this, just not your assessment of Mr. Capello) a position which Mr. Capello seems to profess, when he's not talking about JT, then why was JT kept as captain in the first place, and then re-instated after being stripped?

    "If you look at players from different countries, they do not act this way. They have fun, but the Anglo-Saxon attitude of football players towards booze, going out and the like disrupts their qualities as players. They're paid far too much and simply do not give the same level of respect to playing for their country."

    Bah, Mario Balotelli, maybe he isn't out taking the piss and trying to shag anything that moves, and shaking anything that doesn't move, but he's certainly got his own share of baggage. That's the point though, if as a manager, a national team manager, you can't manage the players baggage, don't select the player.

    Capello has been truly awful for England. His attempt to force some discipline blew up in his face, and probably set the national team back a decade until someone grows a pair and pensions of the remaining Golden Disappointments.

    Capello is not that man.

  • Comment number 53.

    If you think England and Capello are bad now, then what will happen when he goes? Who will be the next manager of England? There are no feasible candidates. Forget Redknapp, Big Sam, or any of the other english managers presently plying their trade. This is not said as an insult to them, but they are just not up to the job. Maybe someone like Tony Pullis would fit the England job well. Low profile person, good at getting small team to punch above its weight. I think he would be the best of the english managers, or maybe for continuity Stuart Pearce. But who else would want it, even some foreign coach would not be that attracted to the job. We will see...

  • Comment number 54.

    "Fabio Capello's England team"?? thought it was England's Fabio Capello team! Since when does the manager get to be bigger than his(?) country? Maybe that's why they pay him such an insane amount of money to waste everyone's time? Actually, it's probably not such a "waste of time" to be watching England for many of those blokes. What else would the yobs be doing otherwise? Trainspotting?!

  • Comment number 55.

    So Joe Cole joins Lille and Ashley Young joins - and has started sensationally - at Man Utd.

    These tranfers and the start to this season say something to me about England and Capello.

    Lets have a look at last summer's (yes one year ago) three lions squad:

    England's 23-man squad for the World Cup finals:
    Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham).
    Defenders: Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ledley King (Tottenham), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa).
    Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), James Milner (Aston Villa), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City).
    Forwards: Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).

    Choice of keepers. Well apart from the first choice the other 2 are now playing in the championship.

    Defenders: Apart from JT and Ashley Cole who actually is any good of these players anymore? Who is Stephen Warnock??! NO Jones, Smalling or Baines?!

    Midfielders: Are any of these players considered vital in the middle of their respective clubs line ups anymore? Who is Shaun Wright Philips? Barry, Carrick, Lennon, Milner - not exactly first choice at their clubs. Gerrard who? Lamps who Chelsea want to replace with Modric and Joe Cole who has joined european giants Lille. NO Adam Johnson, Cleverley or Henderson or player of last season Scott Parker?!

    Forwards: Bunch of rubbish apart from Rooney. NO Carroll, Wellbeck, or Sturridge??!

    Capello on £6million a year is not a good/value for money manager. The players were to blame for our dismal performance at the world cup - Capello just took ones that were the obvious - and out of date - choice. I may have pointed out the stars of this season that didnt go to the world cup last summer and maybe they're all a bit too young (isnt youth a good thing in football these days - no egos, no long injuries, still have fire in their bellies to achieve something, havent made their riches yet so England is worth playing for) but surely some of the players Ive mentioned should have featured in Capello's world cup squad. Why did he leave behind the players who are now doing so well.

    So, is Baldini actually watching the games when he goes to watch these matches or is he just showing off his amazing hair?

  • Comment number 56.

    I'm with most of the people here, Capello came with promise but has massively failed to deliver, but I don't think it's mainly his fault. No manager in their right mind would of continued picking Gerrard after his last few seasons (face it, he's past his best), Barry is useless, Milner not much better, Glen Johnson, Terry (to some extent but getting there again). The whole team and FA needs a massive shake up and let the manager pick the team. Jones I think is still to young to be first choice but should definitely be included in the squad

    Personally, I'd go with,
    Hart (Can't see anyone else unless Foster end's his 'Retirement')
    Smalling, Cahil, Terry, Cole (You've got Rio (Still good as a sub player), Jones, Upson, Jagielka, and several others who can come in)
    Young, Wilshire, Parker, Johnson (With Henderson, Cleverley, Lampard, Albrighton, Downing and I'm sure there are one or 2 others that can be used)
    Rooney, Bent (with Welbeck, Defoe, Carroll)

    What needs to be done is, not pick the name but pick the tactic and then the players to fit it as best we can, Rooney as the holding striker and work with that, he plays best in the free role so why he gets stuck in random positions sometimes I have no idea (Don't care what you can say, he is without doubt the best english player around at the moment). I've often been asked who Man U should get to replace Scholes, most of the time, I say use Rooney, he virtually does it already!

    I'd also love it if De Gea is never picked for Spain and becomes eligable for England, we'd have 2 great goalies who by that point would be mid-to late twenties, but I doubt that will happen...

    Oh, and the media can shut up as well, waaaaaay to much hype.

  • Comment number 57.

    @dogeared
    No actually, surprisingly i'm a Liverpool fan,
    however, i'm also an England supporter, and when an England player plays well and has an obvious talent, then just because i detest the team they play for, i am not going to hold back from wanting them in the England side.
    i was watching Jones when he was at Blackburn and i said he would be an England player, his composure on the ball is excellent.
    Yeah they do have to earn their place, and maybe they look better for being in a good side, but looking at the players who have been given the opportunities to shine in an England shirt, would you really say they've earnt their right to be picked? i would not.
    Gareth Barry, James Milner, Michael Carrick, Frank Lampard, Theo Walcott and Aaron Lennon. these are the deadweght players that need to go. Also Ferdinand is looking shaky, and JT is really only around to provide experience for players who actually are playing better than him, he has looked abysmal for Chelski so far this season, people are getting behind him far to easily!
    the only class players we've really had for the last couple of years are A Cole, Gerrard and Rooney.
    And onto Capello, the guy has to go, now i know a lot of people are talking about not bashing him, and yeah i agree the guy is a really good manager. but as a Liverpool fan, i can tell you that a good manager doesn't always fit with the team (e.g Roy Hodgson) His english is terrible, how can he expect to communicate effectively with the players when his most used word is 'errrr'
    there is also the cultural divide, yes the players need discipline on and off the pitch, but discipline they can respect and understand, which unfortunately for capello, is just not him.
    Its been said before but the only reason he is still in that job is the ridiculous amount of money he is being paid, and that the F.A won't pay the amount that it would cost to fire him.
    He'll be gone after the Euro's and maybe then we can start to rebuild from this shambolic mess, nurture the talent that england does have, accept that we won't win anything for a long time, and just try and restore some pride to the Three Lions on our shirts!

  • Comment number 58.

    .........................Hart.........................
    Richards......Lesott ......Terry..........Cole
    .................Parker.......Barry................
    .....Walcott..........Rooney........Young....
    ........................Bent..........................

    Play the players in there best positions...

    He will play!

    .........................Hart........................
    Smalling....... Cahill......Terry........Cole
    Young.....Lampard..... Barry....Downing
    ...................Rooney....Bent................

    and it will be the same as always, rubbish!

  • Comment number 59.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

 

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