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No love lost as Capello takes his leave

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Tom Fordyce | 08:06 UK time, Thursday, 9 February 2012

And so what started with such optimism in December 2007 ends just over four years later in rancour and another unholy mess.

"We wanted a winner with a capital W," barked the FA chief executive Brian Barwick at that unveiling in central London. "That was the template. This is the man. Fabio Capello!"

You could understand Barwick's brio. Capello came to the England job with a CV like few others - nine major league titles and a European Cup in 16 years as club manager, a successful enough itinerant to have won championships in four different big cities.

For a while he appeared to be bringing the same success to international football. Under his stern gaze, England made their best ever start to a World Cup qualifying campaign, winning their first nine matches, including demolishing Croatia 4-1 in Zagreb in exhilarating fashion.

Much like the 5-1 win in Germany pulled off by one of his predecessors, Sven-Goran Eriksson, it proved both a false dawn and an inaccurate reflection of his present-day managerial abilities.

At least Sven made World Cup quarter-finals. Capello's sole World Cup in charge was as chastening a campaign as qualification had been assured, a joyless trudge from disappointment to humiliation, and it left him fatally compromised for the remainder of his stewardship.

For a reported salary of £14,000 a day, English supporters expected a corresponding excellence. Only on rare occasions during Capello's reign did they get it.

Before the tournament even began there was the misjudgement of the ill-fated Capello Index, followed by the strange decision to select an injury-prone Ledley King and out of form Emile Heskey but not Theo Walcott, whose form and goals had done so much to get the team to South Africa.

Capello's helpless fury as a young, energised Germany side destroyed England at the 2010 World Cup became a defining image for his tenure. Photo: AFP

As England subsequently fell apart in South Africa, Capello appeared not to know the identity of his first-choice goalkeeper, that Steven Gerrard might be stymied by playing on the left wing or that his players resented the tactical and social restrictions he placed upon them.

England managers can survive 0-0 draws with Algeria, no matter how dismal. Humiliation at the hands of a patently superior Germany side is a different matter.

Just as Eriksson had been excoriated for sitting quietly in the dug-out as England drifted out of the previous World Cup, so Capello's helpless fury as Joachim Low's young, energised side pulled his labouring superstars apart became a defining image.

On the face of it, the qualifying campaign for this summer's European Championship brought a marked improvement - unbeaten, impressive in winning away in Bulgaria, blooding young players like Jack Wilshire and Phil Jones.

Yet there was an almost complete absence of expectation that England would actually continue that record in Poland and the Ukraine. Capello may have got the team through. But almost no-one believed that he could take them all the way.

The FA had wanted a disciplinarian at the helm - hardly surprising, given that Steve McClaren, the man he succeeded, had so little authority over his players that they reportedly rugby-tackled him in training, or that Sven had given his so much leeway that their wives made a bigger impact at the 2006 World Cup than the team did.

But disciplinarians are also often inflexible and autocratic. Capello was loath to change either his management style or tactics. When he finally did ditch his beloved 4-4-2 for a more expansive 4-3-3, his players still only seldom looked as if they actually enjoyed playing for their country.

Capello will not depart without some sympathy.

His cause was not helped by his and the media's mutual dislike; as PR guru Max Clifford had presciently written in a national newspaper at the time of his appointment, "Dear Fabio, you are going into a war zone."

Despite his claims on his appointment, Capello never mastered English and his relations with the media were characterised by mutual dislike. Photo: AFP

Capello had once said of the press: "Why should I waste my time talking to people who are clearly less intelligent than me?"

Stern in bearing and distant of character, he never cultivated or indulged journalists in the way the favourite to replace him, Harry Redknapp, has always done. As a result he would be afforded less leeway when fortunes on and off the pitch went against him.

Then there is the xenophobia sometimes hurled in his direction. Foreign coaches do not need to be failures by definition. They certainly seem to do well enough in English club football, or in charge of the England cricket team. If the quality and communication are there, the nationality can be irrelevant.

The flaw with Capello was that he seldom seemed to enjoy England or its culture. As a club manager he never bought a single British player, let alone an English one. As an international coach he spent almost as much time on holiday or at home in Italy as at Premier League grounds.

Capello's first sentence at his unveiling was a linguistic car-crash. Asked how he felt to be the new England manager, he haltingly replied: "I am very proud and hon-or-ried."

For the rest of that morning he lapsed back into his native tongue, an interpreter taking up the slack. "He says that, when he meets up with the squad in a month's time, he will be able to speak English," relayed his assistant.

If that appeared a remarkable claim at the time, it seems even more fanciful now.
Capello not only never mastered English, he seldom sounded as if he wanted to. His compatriot Carlo Ancelotti cracked it in half the time while at Chelsea. Coincidentally or not, Ancelotti also won trophies. As it was, it seems apposite that Capello's last interview as an England manager was also in Italian.

England's failures at international level go far beyond Capello's regime. There are structural problems in the national game, let alone within the dysfunctional committees of the FA, that leave the national side at risk of repeating the same pattern of underachievement for years to come.

Capello was also the unwitting victim of the FA's regular habit of appointing an England manager as knee-jerk contrast to the failings of the one who has gone before.

Back in 1994, Graham Taylor's lumpy playing style and low public stock led directly to the tabloid-friendly and eye-pleasing regime of Terry Venables. When that was ended by questionable business deals and unseemly court cases, the clean-cut Glenn Hoddle was called in - replaced in turn by the crowd-pleasing populism of Kevin Keegan when Hoddle ostracised himself with poor man-management and outre public utterances.

Keegan proved tactically naive. The result? The summoning of Sven, urbane, sophisticated and supposedly a supreme Serie A strategist. When the foreigner was deemed to have failed, the FA switched to a no-nonsense Englishman, who promptly did the same.

After the Wally with the Brolly, Capello was meant to bring class and composure. Yet he was never loved by England fans, never in the way Venables was for a period, not even regarded with the same fond affection as Keegan.

His win-loss record as England boss is better than even Sir Alf Ramsey. By that reckoning he fulfilled Barwick's promise that he would be a winner. But with a capital 'W'? No.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Just read another article on here that says he did a brilliant job! Anyway, I'm glad he's gone, but he should have gone in 2010. The timing is typically farcical of the FA. Fingers crossed that Redknapp will take the job on, but I do fear another Keegan situation where there is a ground swell of support for a manager because he seems like a nice bloke only to be found lacking in the qualities needed to be an international manager.

  • Comment number 2.

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

  • Comment number 3.

    Let Redknapp finish what he started with Spurs. In the summer Bale will go to Barca, Modric to Chelsea, Van der Vaart to United freeing Redknapp to lead England. Until then we need an interim solution to take us to the Euros. Its too late to change things drastically so we need someone aware of the setup under Capello but able to step aside come the summer. Young former international players do well at international management it seems (Klinsmann, Bilic etc). Could John Terry do the job perhaps…?

  • Comment number 4.

    Cappello was right about the media, maybe not in terms of their intelligence...but who in their right minds would want to be open with a conniving horde of hypocrites?
    Re Terry and Ferdinand: it is evident they are so far removed from edyookayshun that neither would be able to define offensive markers in a linguistic discourse.
    Good job we are all baying for a manager who self admittedly has the (written) language skills of a two year old. Awwight, innit? As long as you put the ball in the back o the net, take each game as it comes, take the rough wiv the smooth, pick your Rooneys, your Joneses and your Gerrards in the right positions, you've got a top, top team with a top, top chance of winning.

  • Comment number 5.

    Stokerambo - without wishing to sound arrogant, England should, as a top seed, qualify at a canter for both the World Cup and Euros. The real test is the tournament itself.

    At the last World Cup from a Group that included Algeria, Slovenia and USA we won ONE game and played appallingly. Capello couldn't even make his mind up as to who should go in goal. Then because we only scraped through in second place we had to play Germany who absolutely stuffed us.

    Look at the team that played against Germany - it is almost identical to the team Capello would put out tomorrow. We needed big changes. We needed to get rid of the egos in the dressing room, but he bottled it.

    The next manager should have one target, and that target should be to create a whole new team.

  • Comment number 6.

    Why would he enjoy the media? Do you lot ever listen to yourselves? You all act like you've played and managed at the highest level, the embarrassing way you all talk about football tactic cliches. I think the worst is when it comes to the post-mortem. If there are too many inexperienced players, it's a case of "where has all the experience gone" and if it's the other way round it's "where is our future? Should we go for youth"

    You all have your favourite players like Gerrard, Lampard, who can do no wrong, and then there's the pantomime villains of the squad who are instantly blamed for everything.

    The media is a huge problem for football in this country and they won't ever admit it. They pressure clubs into sacking managers after a season, and drive prices up with rumours and alleged salary packages. The media are the biggest joke of them all, and we can't get rid of them

  • Comment number 7.

    The English just dont know a good thing, if he had not have come out and backed Terry im sure some low life news reporter would haver kicked up a strom by writting that Capello doesnt care for his players or something of that nature, he was a great manager for England, I have heard English say they dont have a chance at this years Euros's, im afraid that any hope you guys had has none completely gone. send out a load of kids to gain exp for the next world cup, i feel for harry if he takes the job, because when he fails at the euros the media will kill him.

  • Comment number 8.

    Everyone seems to be clamouring for an English manager to replace Capello. I will offer, though, four words of caution: Taylor, Hoddle, Keegan, McClaren. It's arguably a fact that, apart from the obvious exception of Terry Venables, Sven-Goran Eriksson was the best manager we've had in modern times. We came closer to glory under him than we would ever have come under Capello. Harry Redknapp next? Probably, but if Jose Mourinho comes knocking on the FA's door, they should offer him the job before he's even finished asking, foreigner or not.

  • Comment number 9.

    Regardless of your view of Capello as a manager it is clear that he has an unanswerable claim for unfair dismissal against the FA. Constructive dismissal occurs when an employer acts in such a way as to destroy the bond of trust with an employee and I can think of no better example of this than the FA sacking Terry without consulting Capello. This predates any case the FA may have against Capello for speaking out. I look forward to Capello taking the FA for every penny of his contract. He should do this in public to ensure the message gets across to Bernstein et al - you cannot ride roughshod over the rights of your employees.

  • Comment number 10.

    Let Harry take the job part time.
    We are not looking for an England manager to develop players that is down to the FA set up.
    At best the manager has a few days with the players to impose the shape he wants the team to play and work on set pieces.
    We have one game before the close season, let him have an overview on that, Spurs are challaging for the Champions Leagus, will he not want to stay and give that a go next season?
    Do we really need a full time manager on silly wages?
    I hear on the radio people comparing Rednapp with Keegan and Hoddle, he can run rings around those two and has proved it by winning a cup with an unfancied club like Portsmouth.
    I am sure he would bring more harmony to the dressing room or bomb out any malcontents.
    Dark horse?? Martin O'Neil again proving his worth at Sunderland WITH existing squad and no expensive signings

  • Comment number 11.

    The interesting question for me is; if Harry turns it down then who will we turn to? Lots of high profile people saying that the next manager must be English, but other that Harry who is there? We should be careful not to rule out a foriegner for this reason. There is only one Englishman, other than Harry that I would like to see take over; as the article says:

    "Yet he was never loved by England fans, never in the way Venables was for a period"

    Venables for England!

    Oh, and please, please, please - not Stuart Pearce!

  • Comment number 12.


    It's people like you that give football and its supporters a bad name.

  • Comment number 13.

    And who can blame Capello for not liking or appreciating England when you look at the silly emphasis we put on the captaincy?

    Other more successful nations than us simply give the armband and the job of calling the coin toss and selecting ends to the most capped player. No fuss, job done. No irrelevant pseudo-celebrity-icon-ambassador nonsense attached.

    Whereas in this country, it's big bloody circus akin to the Prime Minister's role.

    No wonder Capello is walking away with a raised eyebrow and shrug of the shoulders.

  • Comment number 14.

    International football is nothing more than a glorified PR exercise. Whoever, is chosen to manage England he(she?) will be expected to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Look at who is expected to be next England captain and the favourites either shouldn't even be playing or are kids.

    England and Redknapp may be perfectly suited to each other but the team will be lucky to get out of the group stages much like the previous tournament.

  • Comment number 15.

    Quite frankly we can judge Capello positively or negatively until the cows come home, but there’s no getting away from the fact that every single England manager is constantly hamstrung by the demand for instant success. This results is that every manage reverts to the players seen as tried and tested on the big stage, at least at club level anyway, such as Gerrard, Rio, Terry and Co. It wasn’t until he knew he was leaving the post and so had a degree of freedom could he experiment a little with the young crop of players. Until the England hierarchy stop being so short sighted and allow a manager to implement a longer term plan, such as the model used in Germany, we will remain years behind the top sides. I would love to see a young hungry England side step out in Ukraine and be used as the foundation for Brazil. A team like...

    Richards or Kelly, Jones, Cahill, Cole or Gibbs
    A.Johnson, Cleverly (if fit), Wilshire (if fit), Oxade Chamberlain
    Sturridge, Rooney

  • Comment number 16.

    I have enjoyed watching football for over 30 years, but have lost my passion for the game. What has been highlighted so prominantly over the last decade is that England is so far behind other countries in the way they play and manage the game, but nothing ever seems to change. I feel there is a lot of blame to go around which has culminated in this current mess, of losing a manager so close to a major championship.
    Undoubtedly Capello made mistakes, but pre World Cup 2010 everyone, including the mdia, was toasting this guy and applauding his disciplined approach and style of play. I think he was the right man for the job. His record and experience was exemplary. Capello was not the problem.
    There is no direction at the FA, there is no togetherness or unity in the clubs approach to the England team (look at Germany for the example), footballers are movie stars and our coaching at youth development is poor compared to the likes of Spain. The media put you on a pedastal only to knock you down the next day, following whims to sell papers.
    A bit depressing, sorry. But it is so frustrating.

  • Comment number 17.

    "Capello was also the unwitting victim of the FA's regular habit of appointing an England manager as knee-jerk contrast to the failings of the one who has gone before. "

    Don't worry, they won't be making that mistake again *hollow laugh*

  • Comment number 18.

    #6 has the idea. Media madness ... the fickle finger of fate. It's always the Manager's fault, especially if he has just resigned or been sacked. Prima donna players seldom have a case to answer. The media have already installed Redknapp yet the same crowd in three years' time will be demolishng his reputation.

    The circus goes on. Boring.

  • Comment number 19.

    Capello was wrong to want to keep Terry as captain and wrong to moan about it but he is still a great coach. I think he learnt from how rubbish we were at the last World Cup and i think under him we would have done surprisingly well at the Euros.

    I'm not sure about Redknapp, he is a decent enough manager but even he admitted the other day that he's no better a coach than someone like Martinez, it's just that he has been able to buy and work with top players. Redknapp is known for not getting technically involved in training or tactics, so he'll need a decent backroom team. He's not a thinking man's coach; if England are 1-0 down to Germany with 20 minutes to go i wouldn't fancy us to turn it around under Redknapp, whereas i would under a Mancini or a Mourinho. If you think about it, England has rarely produced a young, intelligent, tactically aware coach like those two or like Joachim Löw. The only one that springs to mind at the moment is Eddie Howe the Burnley manager, who pretty much saved Bournemouth from going under and then got them promoted. He is now putting together a young and exciting Burnley side, and has been given time do it. This is only young decent English coach i can think of right now.

  • Comment number 20.

    I`ll start by saying that Capello should never have been made Manager of England in the first place, however considering that he was dealing with what are basically a bunch of ill disciplined children,he did a magnificent job, and as facts now show,he is the only senior man in football who has any degree of honour whatsoever, he supported the British principle that," a man is innocent until proven guilty",which even our Prime Minister does`nt agree with. Harry don`t accept the poison chalice otherwise the hyper hypocritical and dishonest Media will blame you for every disaster for the last ten years including the financial meltdown.

  • Comment number 21.

    #13 spot on with the captaincy, it is one of Phil's favourite blogs talking about England captain. There never used to be this much fuss in the 90's, I doubt anyone could name who the captains were in that decade

  • Comment number 22.

    Fabion Capello had the best record of wins of any England manager since and including Sir Alf Ramsey. All that apparently achieved with less than perfect command of English. It must have been his command of Football that got the results. FA got themselves and excellent manager. The FA's incompetance in communication left Fabio Capello no choice but to resign. Fabio Capello's unwillingness to humour the media is part of his attraction. You have to wonder which media outlet will sign him up as an EC 2012 expert....too smart to be a pundit!!

  • Comment number 23.

    I can't get my head around WHY the next manager must be English.

    Admittedly, it's a kind of dogma the English excel at, but when you have a situation where the last Englishman to win his own club's national title was 20 years ago, and only two English managers have won the FA Cup in that time, there's a strong argument in pointing out Englishmen don't exactly make great managers at present.

    And but for Harry, how many international class English managers are there? In fact, I'll include Harry in that...

  • Comment number 24.

    Cappello was looking for a way out and an early summer holiday before picking up another big contract somewhere else.

    Gareth Southgate and Pearce would look good as temporary replacements!

    Don't do it Harry, the job is poison.

  • Comment number 25.

    @ 8,

    I would argue that Hoddle was actually a decent England manager, we played some lovely football under him and were unlucky to go out at France '98. He also wasn't afraid to throw young players like Beckham and Owen straight into the mix.

    It was just his mouth that got him into trouble, spouting his ridiculous views on his 'beliefs' .

  • Comment number 26.

    You have some guts to say that he never liked England. For reasons only he knows, Capello came with love for England. You made him fell out of love. And that's the same thing that happens to many foreigners who come here with love and admiration for England and the English people but become disillusioned after living here for a couple of years. And by the way, from the harsh and sarcastic sentences on him and his English or his manners issued since day one, the feeling is that England never seemed to like Capello.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm sorry but this is not a balanced article. Even when you suggest some "sympathy" with Capello you still use that as a means to have another pop at him. Some things just were not his fault. His apparent lack of English was there for all to see at the FA before they appointed him and the small fact that his natural tongue is Italian. Not exactly his fault. You can also not blame him for the Robert Green howler, Wayne Rooney's apparent lack of brains, the inability for England to produce a left sided attacker or the simple fact that English players seem to have their head somewhere around their bottom.

    No, he wasn't brilliant. Yes, he was paid too much. No, the players didn't play FOR him.

    As seems to be the case with all ex-England managers we spit at them as they walk out the door and then a few years later say how wonderfully well they've done since they left.

    Has the penny dropped yet that our so-called wonderful players are the problem and not the people we put in charge?

  • Comment number 28.

    For me the highlight of Capello's tenure was the 4-1 win in Zagreb, against a Croatia team who had proved to be our nemesis in the previous European championship qualifiers. It should be remembered though that the World Cup campaign was the first time he had taken a team to an international tournament. His choice of base was entirely what he liked - a secluded hotel in the middle of nowhere. The players were bored out of their heads and similarly unstimulated on the pitch.

    I support him for taking a stand on principle about stripping Terry of the captaincy - innocent until proven otherwise. That the FA apparently did not include him in the decision making is totally wrong. It's quite conceivable that he knew exactly what he was doing when he spoke out to the Italian media, inviting the FA to dispense with his services.

    His body language and facial expressions support the idea that he was not happy in England. London is far cry from the Adriatic sunshine and mountains in north east Italy where he grew up. And we do things differently in this country compared to Italy - I don't think he felt comfortable with this.

    It seems a simple task to appoint Harry as his successor, but let's see if the FA can make a farce out of that.

  • Comment number 29.

    I admire his stand over this, but Capello should have gone after the World Cup in which all his failings came to the fore.

    He couldn't relate to the players and his strategies were all rooted in 1990's Italian football.

    4-4-2 is totally unsuited to 21st century international football at the top level.

    Ok for beating lower level teams to qualify but not at a major tournament, which is why his much touted win percentage doesn't mean much.

    With the exception of exceptional teams such as Holland in the 70's, Brazil in 1970 and 1982 and the current Spanish team, all the European nations with big domestic leagues have similarly competent players so its the manager that makes all the difference.

    Capello didn't do nearly enough to justify is salary. You can always get a highly developed coaching staff with tactical nous but in modern football (or any other kind of) management, the top job is all about man-management, and Capello fell well short on that.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think that a great point has been made in this blog- I always found it ridiculous and embarrassing that Capello could barely speak the language. I know that sounds rather fanciful of me, and would I be the same with Italian etc, but I can wager that the majority of averagely educated people could learn a different language to an acceptable standard if they were living in this country, particularly as he wasn't exactly rushed off his feet. Besides, as Tom Fordyce has already said, Ancelotti learnt the language in next to no time whilst being a lot busier as a club manager, and look at people like Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Mancini. They have obviously realised the importance of learning English and how fans take kindly to it.

    But of course, this isn't the real matter when it comes down to Capello. The football was appalling- hardly better than Steve McClaren or Sven. It's all very well getting friendly victories over Germany, Spain etc, but if you perform like you've never met one another in tournaments then you will always struggle. His disciplinarian attitude didn't sit well with the majority of the players, and he handled the whole captaincy issue so badly. Furthermore, he put so much emphasis on the nature of captaincy that it became ridiculous. Who cares about the captaincy really? It means hardly anything especially when compared to other sports.

    I for one am not unhappy to see him go and hope for the best under Redknapp but i'm not holding my breath...

  • Comment number 31.

    think I remember Harry saying he wouldn't want to do England job Part Time. As a Spurs fan I want him to stay, obviously.

    Yes Capello had a good win ratio, but we were awful in the world cup when he had to play good teams. Even when we beat poor teams in qualifying, it was rarely comfortable.

  • Comment number 32.

    @27 - I'm not and have never been a particular supporter of Capello, but your comment is a very reasonable one.

  • Comment number 33.

    When the FA appoint the next man, let it be for 2 or 6 years, Capello (rightly so for him) wasn't bothered about the next world cup, the euros was his last assignment.
    Appointments should be made on a world cup to world cup basis, let the euros be a learing curve for the world cup, not the other way round

  • Comment number 34.

    Post 2. If you're going to cite innocent until proved guilty in the case of John Terry, then why doesn't innocent because found not guilty hold in the case of Harry Redknapp?

  • Comment number 35.

    Here we go again. Capello was rubbish. Sven was Rubbish. Keegan was Rubbish. McClaren was rubbish. When every manager you ever had was rubbish, despite in many cases excellent records, what does that mean? It means the expectation outweighs the reality of the situation. The Sky Sports generation need to accept where English football really is, rather than taking the whipped up excitement of expectation as fact. Sven has particularly taken a pounding, despite taking English coaching out of the dark ages and reaching World Cup quarter finals - a place they deserved as one of the 8 best sides in the World. They weren't any better than that . . . .

    Rednapp may well take the job, have lots of positive comments from the media and fans, until an exit from a major tournament before the Final and the media and fans will rubbish him, abuse him and call for the next manager.

  • Comment number 36.

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

  • Comment number 37.

  • Comment number 38.

    25 Zidanepirouette

    Sorry I just heard Andy Gray spouting this too, have we such short memories? Hoddle bombed out Gascoinge when he really needed to play promised Le Tiss a run in the team if he played well in a B game (he scored 3) and was still bombed out
    He didn't bring Beckham in immediately sat him in a press conference like a naughty child and then fed him to the wolves when he stupidly got sent off.
    I don't remember us playing well under Hoddle and seemed to go backwards from the organised and motivated team we had under Venable.
    I won't even go into the fact he put 'Mystic Meg' on the payroll. Read the feedback from the squad at the time, it was not a happy set up and a lot of the team thought him at best distant at worst a nut!!

  • Comment number 39.

    Terry should retire from international football, he's done enough damage without even kicking a ball. im not english, but god am i sick of the media tripe that comes with the team, Terry was the one in the wrong, i dont think he will escape punishment, when they show him mouthing off on tv replays they have to blank out his mouth as its so obvious what he is saying.

    Rednapp will take over, England will have a terrible Euro's comp, Harry will be hung out to dry!!!

    Stay at Spurs Harry, the England job is footballs poisoned chalice

  • Comment number 40.

    the england managers job is complex but not on the pitch. any player capable of playing for his country should be able to carry out a tactical plan and respond to changes and problems during a game. and lets face it, there are nt that many options.
    where is gets complicated, and is very different from club management is
    1.getting players who are rivals or dont know each other to work together
    2. managing expectation, flattery and contempt from the media, many of whom are ambivalent to the team
    3.making the players confident that they can compete without the sense that "we deserve to be there" English players arent very subtle about that.

    and where it gets really complicated is in the fact that English players are not good enough to be going to championships expecting to win. they are on a par with Portugal, if lucky. We should be going there saying "lets try and play some football to make the country proud." and thats all

  • Comment number 41.

    At a time when we are asking questions about executive pay, where is the political denunciation of a man drawing £6m a year for managing fewer staff than the average middle manager? Capello's lack of effort is was palpable throughout his reign. Perhaps he understood very early on that he could never, ever deliver what was expected of him by the FA and the public, with the players at his disposal and the whole tottering system of English football.

    Who would want to be England manager other than for a really nice pension...which is what Capello seems to have done. What is on offer....

    1. A public who believe that England should win big competitions or no other reason that we are "England" and we invented the game...despite decades of evidence to the contrary!
    2. A press corp that quite probably sets the global benchmark for treachery and hypocrisy in its daily search for an "angle"! It makes phone-hacking look like a church outing.
    3. An elite football division that sees no purpose or value in developing a broad base of England qualified talent. In fact it is almost quite the reverse when the CEO of the Premier League states that it would be "improper" of him to influence clubs towards making choices that benefit the the English system.
    4. Just a tenth the number of properly qualified coaches in England than there are in Germany!
    5. Players who regard representing their country as a distraction from their day-job rather than the pinnacle of their career.
    6. Players whose egos have been pumped so high by the "inner circle" of sychophants and whores that they regard themselves as bigger than the team.
    7. Players whose lack of hunger is palpable...when you can get £3,000 a week as a journeyman defender at Colchester United, where's the incentive?
    8. Players and fans who's supposed pride in the country and the national shirt is just a noisy and disorderly disguise to cover deep unease and inadequacy.
    9. Fans who put the interests of the commercial interests of the corporations (formerly known as football clubs) who are fleecing them, above the national team!

    Who'd want it...unless you were looking for nice little earner before putting your feet up?

  • Comment number 42.

    #27 John. Disagree. You can blame him for Robert Green's howler - he should never have been selected as first choice. Joe Hart after a fantastic full season in the Premiership with Birmingham was ready and waiting but he didn't have the courage to select a younger man. One of his big mistakes.

  • Comment number 43.

    27.At 10:26 9th Feb 2012, John wrote:
    I dont think anyone would say venables, keegan, sven or Mclaren have done well since they vacated the the england post.

  • Comment number 44.

    The timing is ridiculous but I am of the opinion that he should not have been appointed anyway. If you have to have English players then surely you must have to have an English manager, after all, he is the most integral part.

    The W/L record is misleading as he has failed utterly in the most important games (i.e. 2010 World Cup) the friendlies and qualifiers count for so little compared to these.

    I think we have a real opportunity now to lay some foundations for the future of the England football team. There are a good crop of youngsters coming through and I think we should take them all to the Euro's whilst there is no expectation and also seen as it is nothing compared to the World Cup. By the time 2014 comes around then we will have players who are not only comfortable on the big stage, but also comfortable playing with each other as a team. Whilst I don't doubt a lot of our older players are still capable of producing, I don't think many of them will be at that level when the next World Cup comes around.

  • Comment number 45.

    Capello had good stats for sure - but all these wins were against sub standard teams or in friendlies. The reality is that England have not beaten a top 10 nation in a competitive game since 2002 when we beat Argentina 1-0 in the group stage.......... since then we have played the likes of Germany, France, italy, Spain, brazil, Portugal, Holland etc and not beaten any of them.

    Furthermore he has not improved the football or the ethos of teh national team, watching England is quite frankly dull.


    Redknapp - has to take it, his teams play with energy and spark. He does not sit 10 men behind the ball and all the players he works with admire him as he gets the best out of them. Look what he has done at Spurs (the club I support so this hurts me to say)

    Mourinho - Great manager if he has tons of money and world class players at his disposal. What he has achiebved is very good indeed but the style of football is boring and he never nurtures youth talent which is exactly the stage where England are at right now.

    Lets go to the Euros and play........ Hart, Cole, Smalling, Jones, Walker, Wilshere, Parker, Cleverley, AOC, Sturridge, Rooney.

    We can acknowledge we wont win it but it will give some young players great experience and if they are told to go out tehre and play with no pressure of having to wein then this will give them freedom to Express.

  • Comment number 46.

    I would like to see Psycho Stuart Pearce given a chance at the Euros as he knows most of the senior and youth players and has managed england in international tournaments with the youngsters and knows what they are about and will know how to use them and will be able to lay the foundations for a sucessful 2014 world cup.also i think the FA should look at other managers for the job such as Guus Hiddink who has a proven internationnal record with mid ranked nations and countrys with massivie football history (russia holland ). an other manager who i would like to see is former chile and argentina manager Marcelo Bielsa who will make england into a very attack minded side

  • Comment number 47.

    If you look at the responses to articles like this, and responses to media types on Twitter it's is plainly visible that the majority (not overwhelming majority, but sizeable) view is that the main guilty party in this whole ongoing debacle is the column media in England.

    Every day we are subjected to anonymous quotes that are in so many instances made-up by the writer in the knowledge he/she can hide behind the disingenuous principle of 'protecting sources'. Articles listed as 'EXCLUSIVE' that are also available in numerous other media sources that day. Fabricated claims of imminent moves, discontent and non-existent conversations. The intent is always to stir up headlines, regardless of truth or the reflection of people.

    So many columnists take a dislike to someone, as so many of the English tabloid media did with Capello, and then their agenda stops being to report the facts and being fair, and becomes grinding away until they can force someone out of a job and inflate their own sense of self importance that they were behind this turn of events.

    People like Oliver Holt, Oliver Kay, Martin Lipton and countless others are a cancer in the game of football in this country. They cannot be stopped because we as a country won't stop buying the papers they write in and they confuse high circulation with endorsement of their opinion. They are either ignorant of the fact, or egotistically deluded enough to not realise that people will buy The Sun, or The Mirror WHOEVER is writing the columns!

    I don't have a suggestion to solve this. People will continue to buy tabloids, and the nonsense will continue to spout from the laptops of the people paid to fill the sports pages with content, even when there is nothing of note to report on any given day.

    Now that Capello is gone they will welcome Redknapp like Jesus entering Jerusalem, whilst claiming the credit for his appointment. If he fails, it will be either branded as somehow acceptable, or the aforementioned hacks will simply ignore the past and claim they saw this coming. If he succeeds they will claim the credit for his success as if they were picking the team or taking the penalties.

    I love the England Football Team. I find The FA tedious and annoying. But I truly loathe the pitiful, banal and stupendously dishonest trade that is the English sporting tabloid press.

  • Comment number 48.

    Capello was just a huge disappointment as England manager. His club record was superb but the international game is totally different. Lack of time with the players and the obvious language barriers were never to be overcome by the Italian.

    So cue the calls for 'arry. It is clear why many want him to lead England and it would surely benefit the team heading to the Euro's. But what if he doesn't want the position? That would be a disaster and would undermine anyone else taking the job now.

    The talk is of an Englishman. In the perfect world that would be great but there aren't many out there that fit the bill. Someone like Guus Hiddink would be a safe pair of hands and would have complete respect.

    Fabio Capello walked away because he wasn't allowed to pick John Terry as his captain. England really are better off without a man of such poor judgement and moral ideology. Redknapp for England would be a good change of direction, whether that is certain, we'll have to wait and see.

  • Comment number 49.

    If chosen I think Harry will do a good job and I think he would create a good atmosphere for the likes of Rooney in an England camp. I worry that by the time of Euro 2012 I will be reading lots of articles saying that England will win it. England have a decent chance, but they must accept that right now teams like Spain and Germany are better and have a better chance of lifting the trophy. On the day, England might beat those teams, but they would not be favourites. I think Capello did not make enough effort to integrate into English life, and it did not help his cause. The things that annoyed me most were that at the World Cup he did not seem to organise anything for the players when they were 'off-duty' at their hotel and training camp. Once you have finished training and discussing tactics, you surely have to let the players get together to have (acceptable) fun? It sounds like each of them were stuck in their rooms with ipods doing nothing! Then there was that game where England played pretty badly, and afterwards he said something like "Yeah, I noticed before the game the players were not in the right frame of mind" - why did he not do more if he spotted this? And it was not a good idea to play Rooney just after the arrest of his family members though Rooney's petulence did not help either. Also, I still scratch my head at the decision to locate their camp for Euro 2012 so far from their games. I think that could prove costly. Did someone sign a contract which they cannot get out of, or is someone being bloody-minded? Surely they could have cancelled their booking and arranged to stay somewhere nearer their games? I think the other countries will laugh as they take their bus half an hour back to their bases and England face hours of travelling or have to get on a plane to go home.
    England did not deserve to progress at the World Cup irrespective of Lampard's disallowed goal, but they have a chance to win Euro 2012. No more, no less. I hope the media understand that and don't provide too much hype nearer the time.

  • Comment number 50.

    45 and others

    be careful about throwing in untested youth. they will NOT be going there with no pressure, they will have all the pressure that older players feel without any experience to deal with it. Walcott and Lennon are two examples of young players who can't deliver under England pressure. not blaming them, but you need a thick hide to be and England star.

  • Comment number 51.

    I can't believe that over-rated buffoon Rio 'that goal wasn't my fault it was everyone elses' Ferdinand has stuck his beak in and stated his preference for the managers position.........
    Surely he won't get in the squad for the Euro's, Vidic has been carrying him at Man U for the last X amount of seasons, he is an absolute liability!!

  • Comment number 52.

    When will we start to look at the player's mentality. Different approaches have never worked beyond the Quarter Final stage ( with a couple of notable exceptions - one in the poorest World Cup in living memory the other in a home based tournament ).

    The Germany game could have had a very different outcome if Lampard's goal had been given - 2-2 at half time and hope.

    I think it is high time that the brittle mentality of the players themselves came under the microscope. At vital times they seem incapable of acting like adults and taking responsibility on the pitch.

  • Comment number 53.

    @42 You just can't legislate for mistakes like that. Yes, it probably was a mistake to select him. Find me a manager that's never made a mistake. I'm not arguing that Capello was in any way brilliant.

    @43 I didn't say they were. The media have. You'll find many articles in support of those people.

  • Comment number 54.

    Good summation of Capello's tenure. But I think you exagerrate the significance of Capello's poor standard of English. I am not so sure that by the end of his reign, his vocabulary and command of English was much worse than Hoddle or Keegan's for example. Anyway, we will now replace the Don with geezer 'arry, who by his own recent confession in court, has the writing of a two year old, can't email, send a fax or text message. Let's hope he knows how to use a phone at least, otherwise he might find it hard to get hold of his players to call them up for selection. Redknapp will be just like every other English manager in recent times - exposed as lacking tactical nous at the highest level.

    As international manager you cannot buy success as he has with Spurs. He's Keegan mark two, except I think he has won even less domestically. What is it - one FA Cup against Cardiff? Hardly equates to Capello's multiple Serie A and La Liga titles and a European Cup to boot as well does it? The love affair with jovial old 'arry will soon turn sour when they crash and burn in the Euros just as it did with "King Kev", and every other English manager.

  • Comment number 55.


    Hiddink, the FA could never go with him, it would be impossible not because he isn't good enough because he is. But Hiddink would arrive and bring even more potential problems than ever before.

  • Comment number 56.

    So - the FA can't cope with being told that someone doesn't agree with them. In short the FA should not be applauded here, they've caused the problem. The FA should have either suspended Terry immediately or not at all there failure to do so has caused the problem.

    Capello - like him or not his departure is a sad indictment on the English game. We are now stuffed for the Euros.

    Regarding the 2010 WC the players must take much of the responsibility. Couldn't cope with being bored - do me a favour. If they were winning they'd have loved it but they were poor - overrated mediocre players with an inflated idea of their abilities. I have to laugh that during the Rugby WC the media were highlighting the mood of England's rugby players as an example to the Footballers - look how that ended.

    In short it matters little who is England manager as the players are mostly mediocre and don't play for each other and with pride in the shirt. I pity whoever receives the poison chalice next.

  • Comment number 57.

    49. No. they have no chance. unless something drastic happens to Germany, Spain, Holland, France, Italy and Sweden. To put that in context, England have the same chance of actually winning the thing as Newcastle have of winning this year's premier league.

  • Comment number 58.


    That amkes no sense - In teh past our teams are always touted as being able to win the tournament. If we play a youngish side with a few olderheads like Parker and Cole and Rooney then at least the new manager can make it clear that we are going there to get experience and not to win it.

    By playing Ferdinand, gerrard, terry, Barry and lampard we are always expected to win as they have all had good club careers and have tons of experience internationally.

    As a country we need to excepet we have fallen far behind other nations and we simply do not have players good enough to win it. If we acknowledge that and give players experience of a major tournament then we can build toward the next world cup without the debacle we had after South Africa

  • Comment number 59.

    What is so satisfying about England is they really get what they deserve, ruled by heart not head. Now the clamour for an Englishman because foreigners are rubbish and 'arry 'oudini atop the pile.

    Capello has been treated appallingly and is the only one who comes out of this with any integrity, if the FA want to manage the England team, then why pay someone 14k a day to do it?, just let Bernstein do it.

    Until you realise you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, the England farce will continue. Maybe an illusionist is just what you need.

  • Comment number 60.

    there’s no getting away from the fact that every single England manager is constantly hamstrung by the demand for instant success.


    Amen to that!

    Our italian team is under less pressure and we have won something in the last 40 years!

  • Comment number 61.

    Incidentally... Are we really going to criticise Capello's English when his likely successor has just admitted under oath in court that he can barely write and has a reading level of (his words) a primary school child?

    We're saying we'd rather have an illiterate Englishman, than an intelligent foreigner who commits the sin of struggling to speak flawless English?

    It does seem a fair point when you consider historically how well British players have adapted to playing abroad. I hear Beckham's Spanish is flawless, Ian Rush loved Italian food and Joe Cole speaks fluent French by now I've no doubt.

  • Comment number 62.

    All I read here from the BBC pundits is how Capello found it hard to talk to journalists,oh dear,so sad!!
    His football credentials are beyond reproach,I am surprised that he lowered himself to take on the English FA and our over paid second class footballers in the first place.
    Funny how no one of these "experts"ever complained all the time Alex Ferguson flatly refused to talk to them.
    With our aggressive,sensation seeking media and the whimps at the FA,I can't see any right minded person really wanting the post as Englands football manager.

  • Comment number 63.

    In any other job, anyone that is accused of racial abuse/ indecent behaviour would be suspended until the results of an inquiry. So all this "innocent until proven guilty" is a nice motto and good idea but doesn't really happen in reality. Correct decision by the FA to remove JT once the investigation was moved to after the Euros. I wouldn't be surprised if Capello spoke out so his CV doesn't get tarnished if we have a bad Euros, but can say that his job became untenable because he disagreed with the FA. Win-Win for Capello.

  • Comment number 64.

    Capello's downfall was his stubborness. Why did he have to stick by the accident continually waiting to happen (and happening too often) that is John Terry and why did he for 2 years insist on playing one way and one way only (4-4-2) until we got destroyed by the Germans. He changed the latter but stuck with the former even with the bad press, accusations and vile behaviour that followed his captain.

    Even at his age Capello is one for learning the game, he has learned from the defeat against Germany that we can play another way and that youth can make a difference but it is the stubborness that just wouldnt go away. When he dropped Beckham at Real (after he'd signed for LA) and he saw the effort that the former England captain put into his training even though he had been told he wouldnt play for them again; he decided to go back on his stubborness and most Real fans would agree that Beckham's performances contributed hugely to them winning the title that season. That was a moment of weakness from Capello in turning back on his decision but ironically it worked out for him and his team.

    Why is it that his moment of weakness this time turned out to be a disaster? He should never have reinstated Terry and was correct the first time in relinquishing the armband from his possession. I guess the second time round he didnt like it because it wasnt his decision, even though in most peoples minds it probably is the correct one. He should never have backed Terry and he has been left with no choice but to quit.

    A new manager needs to have the courage of conviction to see what the public want and to do right by the fans when it comes to the behaviour of any of Englands players. Stuart Lancaster the interim England Rugby coach has clamped down already on behaviour by dropping Danny Care based on bad press and a new football coach needs to do the same to keep the harmony in the camp that can be so successful if harnessed properly. Most Rugby fans see the benefit of this attitude, especially after the England Rugby sides behaviour in the last World Cup.

    A new England captain needs to have the attitude that David Beckham (cue Beckham bashers to ridicule comment) showed on the field with an off the field behaviour that is squeeky clean. The only person who fits this mould to be is Scott Parker.

    The team itself needs freshening up, youth over the also rans can only benefit England for years to come. A little bit of experience is always good but the German's proved in the last World Cup that nothing beats a bit

  • Comment number 65.

    Pretty mean spirited hatchet job this. Because we didn't win the world cup or look dazzling very often it's a reflection on his managing abilities now? Nothing much in there about our players just plain ol' being not as good as they're made out to be.

    It doesn't seem to matter if they're on a holiday camp, on first name terms with the gaffer, played when out of form and can have the WAGs around for distraction... or the complete opposite of that, our best aren't good enough. Mentally, technically, whatever. Why kill yourself in the thankless task of playing for England when you can go back to your mega-club, be told none of it was your fault and be treated like a god (and stand a chance of winning something)? Neville and Carragher have both given the truth to that in their biographies in recent years.

    I'm bracing myself for whoever comes in enjoying a bounce in performance, players ingratiating themselves saying it's better than the old days, and then the same old predictable, sorry cycle to continue and play out in the same old way, with England coming nowhere near winning anything, perhaps 'nicking' a semi if we get the right draw.

    Capello is a coach of genuine standing in the world game. Whatever you think about the England manager having to be English, his record is the best and he deserves some respect for resigning on a point of principle if nothing else, whatever you think of John Terry. Instead we get 'he didn't like it here anyway', intimations that he was a flop because all that money he was getting paid didn't equate to a trophy win and some gutter 'Mind Your Language' forrigner-speaks-Eengeleesh-funny stuff. Shameful.

  • Comment number 66.

    The FA are a bunch of jokers. They should concentrate on sorting themselves out instead of dragging the reputations of others through the mud, resulting in drivel like this being written. Personally I think Capello leaves with his head held high and reputation intact, while English football is a complete mess. Controversies left right and centre, ironically its the Italian system which has had that reputation before. Best of luck at the Euros.

  • Comment number 67.

    58 OK. say we take a very young team to Euro 2012. they fail. how does this help them? all they will get is experience of failure, and of being exposed by superior players.

    England dont fail because their players are too old, they fail because they dont like situations they arent used to. they are essentially kids protected from the world by various father figures. but to succeed with england you've got to put your head above the parapet.

    and parker is in international terms, a novice

  • Comment number 68.

    We have to acknowledge that we can have any manager in world football and we wont win it. We simply do not have the talent and have not for years now.

    The golden generation was only dubbed taht by English press and never worried any other nation.

    None of our so called top player in teh last decade......... Rooney, Ferdinand, terry, Lampard, gerrard, Rooney etc have ever had a good tournament.

    In recent tournaments I remember Hargreaves and Butt being our best performers.

    At least Harry would get the that bit extra out of the team - not to win it but to at least play some football on the ground.

  • Comment number 69.

    Capello's games to win ration should be checked against Alf Ramsey's. As with all statistics, they can be used for good or bad. If the next manager scrapes 2 x 1-0 wins against San Marino and Andorra, and then gets spanked 3-0 by Liechtenstein, he would be the most successful manager of all time for England, with a 66% win ratio.
    Irrespective of whether he should ever have been manager, you have to feel sorry for Capello. The FA should not have taken their decision without consulting or informing Capello.
    However, if Terry had done the decent thing and resigned the captaincy, having been CHARGED with a criminal offence, and then the courts dealt with it as soon as possible rather than bowing down to a request (Chelsea's ?) to put the case off until summer, then the decision would not have to have been made by the FA.
    Terry has now had the captaincy removed TWICE because he clings on to it like a leech. He has no concept of the "right thing to do", and feels that because he has an armband, he has the respect of players and fans alike. He is a limited footballer who has always relied heavily on a classier defensive partner to get him out of trouble - a la Carvallo.

  • Comment number 70.

    Tom Fordyce: "I cover cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics and - well, most sports except monkey-tennis. "
    Best stick to that stuff man, thats all im sayin.

  • Comment number 71.

    Am bemused why my comments broke house rules, the fact of the matter is £26 for four years without winning any major competition is a FAILURE.

    Secondly, everyone else seems being blamed but not the one person that has been responsible for the last two major crisis the English football team have had to cope with. As someone else said, Terry's words had to be blanked out whenever the incident is re-played on TV.

    Thirdly, none of the other major football nations would consider appointing an Englishman as their national football, I don't see why the English can't also be discerning.....

    If that's not stating the obvious then I don't know what is.....

  • Comment number 72.


    You make some fair points, but I feel the press are merely a symptom of the problem, not the central problem itself.

    For the press to be fed, for example, they must be in league with players, clubs, agents, hangers-on and other assorted Walter Mitty characters.

    It's part of the circus created and subsequently accelerated when the FA sold itself into the whole Sky / Premier League pantomime, and consequently rejected the England national team. No-one is interested in this stopping, there's jam for everyone - so why should they?

  • Comment number 73.

    Regardless of how the resignation transpired the undisputable facts are these; we do not have a manager or captain and there is less than four months to go before a major tournament. So in that time the FA have to successfully appoint either an interim coach (with a mandate to keep us ticking over prior to the appointment of a permanent replacement), or have a candidate ready to take the reigns immediately. Presumably they would want the new manager to be in place at least a few weeks prior to the start of euro 2012 in order to try and form some semblance of order within the squad? By that I mean having a backroom staff in place, tactical planning, coaching sessions with the players etc etc.

    I can only imagine what our European rivals make of this latest episode? Regardless of the possible outcome of our appearance in Euro 2012, the events of the past week leading up to now have been shambolic, and again only serve to enforce the negative image in which the FA (and by association our national game) is viewed.

  • Comment number 74.

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

  • Comment number 75.

    Also, supporter arrogance needs to be put into check. So we've only got one world cup - in case you haven't noticed, there are many other nations who are more than capable of winning it. Is it that surprising, really? Do you honestly expect England to rock up to tournaments and dominate from start to finish? We give so little credit to nations we perceive as "inferior". They can play football, they know how to work as a team to defend.

    Tournament football is much more difficult than the media seems to portray

  • Comment number 76.

    post 34: Terry is innocent until proven guilty; Mr Redknapp has had his name cleared in court. What I was really alluding to is the character assassination of the England captain (of whom I am no great admirer). The man is yet to stand trial for a remark that allegedly caused offence (racism). If he really did it, deal with it.
    Harry Redknapp stood trial for a far more serious crime (tax fraud) than what Terry is alleged to have said, yet there was no character assassination. Regardless of whether guilty or not, I don't think anyone would have taken the charges too seriously because of Redknapp's media persona as a "Crafty Cockney", "Wheeler Dealer"; in a nut-shell, a footballing Del Boy. John Terry, on the other hand, has been caricatured as some BNP supporting oaf; we may as well insinuate he is a 'top boy' in a hooligan firm.
    In either case, I wouldn't really care as long as they bring success to the national team.
    The same applies to Rooney: who is really concerned about his sex life, drinking habits and hair implants? The only thing I worry about is his form for England which he has not shown since Euro 2004.

  • Comment number 77.

    Everyone likes to blame the England manager for our poor team performances, but the bottom line is that we just don't have players who are good enough at the very top level.

    Until we have Premier league teams that are filled with English players we actually don't have that big a pool from which to chose.

    So really, it doesn't matter who is manager. Don't offer it to me though because I'll turn it down!

  • Comment number 78.

    My biggest fear used to be something like global warming or nuclear war. Now its that Stuart Pearce becomes full England manager.

  • Comment number 79.


    It gives them experience - so would u rather play the same old players and fail anyway. How many tournaments do the likes of Gerrard and Lampard need to play in without delivering??

    We can blame managers but wghen the players are on the pitch they ahve to show something

    These players are used to being supported by technically gifted foreign players in their club teams and as soon as they play with Englands other average players it shows.

  • Comment number 80.

    Fantastic news, I knocked back a bottle of red last night and wasn't drowning sorrows. Nothing against Fabio Capello here but it was just so wrong to me. I can't get my head round why international teams are allowed to have foriegn managers, you can't have foriegn players, so why this discrepancy? Anyone who thinked he truely "walked" is fooling themselves, he walked before he was pushed. Harry Redknapp all day long for me.
    WE ARE ENGLAND and we shouldn't forget it, enough with embarrassing ourselves with ridiculous appointments.

  • Comment number 81.

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

  • Comment number 82.

    30. At 10:29 9th Feb 2012, Sam Darnell wrote:
    I think that a great point has been made in this blog-


    Awful post - can you not see the difference in speaking in English to a media desperate to twist anything for a story and speaking in English in private?

  • Comment number 83.

    Harry would be a mug to take the England job...assuming the FA even offer it to him...all it does is ruin reputations! He should stay at Spurs and continue to do the job he is doing (and doing it very well he is)

  • Comment number 84.

    75 - spot on with everything u say

    We always think we are better than teams when realistically we are not even at the top table of nations anymore.

    Last 10 years....

    Holland - Reached WC final

    Spain - European and WC holders

    Germany - European Final and WC semi finals

    Italy - Won the world Cup

    Brazil - Won the world cup

    The only under achuievers I see are Argentina and England

  • Comment number 85.

    Just reading that Redknapp has said that his focus is on Spurs and Spurs alone (persumably until the FA stump up the cash).

    He went on to say that he 'never thought about the england job'. Any comments that he may have made to the contrary are unlikely to register as he probably wouldnt be able (by his own admission) to read what he has previously said!

  • Comment number 86.

    Sorry Mr Chief Sports writer but I stopped reading your article as soon as you critised his descion to take Ledley King to the World Cup. Ask anyone who has played with Ledley King and they will tell you he is one of the most talented and gifted footballers they have ever come across - worth taking a gamble on. And for the record, I'm no Tottenham fan.....

  • Comment number 87.

    #74. You don't get my point: players should be picked on merit and form, there should be no other criteria. The manager should not have be a diplomat. He is there to pick the team and ensure they win. Most successful countries operate like this (see Spain). Winning is the most important thing of all; only a win counts, nobody remembers pretty losers. This is why I admired Capello, only he didn't deliver on the winning when it truly mattered.
    Germany will win the tournament because they have good players with a winning mentality and a stable coaching set up. It isn't rocket science.

  • Comment number 88.

    79 no, not the same old players, but dont throw the kids to the lions. introduce them gradually (in fact, a bit like capello did when he played Jones, Walker and Rodwell against spain).

    there's no quick fix for england. but we could learn some basic psychology. instead of hearing Lamps or JT or Rio or whoever saying "we dont fear any of the other teams, I'd like to hear them say, well nothing actually, and the manager say, as all other countrys managers seem to "yes, we respect these other teams they are full of class and style and it will be very difficult for us."

  • Comment number 89.

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

  • Comment number 90.

    Good read, as ever, Tom. Does a quick look at career win ratios tell us anything? As a manager Capello's teams have won 62% of their games. England's all-time record is 57%. Among the contenders only one stands out - Harry R 40%, Roy H 43%, Stuart P 39.75%, Arsene W 53%, Martin O'N 53% - and Jose M 69%.

    When it comes to honours, Harry's won a domestic trophy and the Intertoto Cup. Mourinho has 2 Champion's Leagues, 1 UEFA Cup, 6 League titles and 6 domestic trophies. So who's the best man for the job?

  • Comment number 91.

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

  • Comment number 92.

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

  • Comment number 93.

    If they were a Rugby squad where attitudes are different to football (and better) then any failure is treated as a learning exercise to which they have to work their backsides off to improve. We have even seen that in hockey over the past few years with both our mens and womens teams standing chances at Olympic gold this summer.

    Youth is key and the right manager who can inbed this winning mentality has to come with that. The old guard of Terry, Rio, Lampard and Gerrard are too used to failure and unfortunately for them they probably have been dragged through the mire too many times for any positive attitude for national team football to remain.

    Time for a freshening up. New coach, new captain, new team.

  • Comment number 94.


    I dont want JT, Ferdinand, Gerrard, lampard etc anywhere near the squad . . . . I think the 11 I named is more than capable of getting out the groups and leaving the tournament with their heads held high and some experience

    Rooney Sturridge and Oxlade would be fearless and attack back 4s

  • Comment number 95.

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

  • Comment number 96.

    91 You got some serious issues there boy! (girl?) just to let you know, tax avoidance is legal.

    sadly, arry was unable to unsettle Demba ba. but we'll get him in the end

  • Comment number 97.

    Capella wasn't very media-friendly - his "interviews" made me wince, and I used to count the number of times he used his favorite catch-all English word, "important"...

    But he was a decent manager, and even the so-called humiliation against Germany would have been very different had we gone into the half at 2-2. (Desperate on the attack, it was no surprise to be caught out twice on the counter, really...)

    Ian Holloway for England! Rock-N-Roll football, all out attack, and even more entertaining than Redknapp...

  • Comment number 98.

    Fantastic we can now bring in another manager and ruin his career with a bunch of players who cant play as a team. No philosophy of how were going to play in the future, coaching thats far behind the likes of Spain and Germany and a public and media that bays for blood if immediate success is not achieved. The last few England matches have been boring and rubbish. I can't imagine any neutral turning on an England game and thinking "ooh this could be good" redknapp dont ruin your career, stay with Tottenham

  • Comment number 99.

    91 is ken dodd still alive?

  • Comment number 100.

    Disagree with the points of this blog to a degree. Under Capello England seemed certain to beat teams they were better than, which couldn't be said of previous managers reigns. Against Germany in the World Cup, we were outplayed and humbled by a team of far superior players to ours. As a manger of England, you can't simply go out and buy a new winger, you're restricted to the players at your disposal. Unfortunately the majority of English players are devoid of creativity, and seem to lack footballing intelligence. If we continue to create players who are essentially all the same (athletes who play football, rather than footballers who are fit) then we will continue to fail at major tournaments. That Capello achieved so much with the players he could choose from is further proof of his undoubted quality as a manager.


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