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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fabio Capello, England Coach - the right choice

Recalling how pitiful Steve McClaren looked and spoke at the press conference held after his dismissal by the FA further reminds me how important it was for us to be rid of him from the England coach position. It further reminds me of the image of McClaren hiding under an umbrella while his then adversary in Slaven Bilic remained in his jacket and suit. McClaren could not even brave the elements while out there monitoring his career ebb with the lacklustre approach from the very players he is said to have coached. The manner of that conference where he said words to the effect of 'it's happened, it's sad, I've tried, didn't work, I'm sacked, move on, next challenge, see ya'. Hardly a care and as pitiful as his ridiculous exit after the away Andorra game.

My choice was Harry Redknapp with potentially Tony Adams as his no.2, both English and in charge of a Portsmouth side brimming with confidence, their best Premiership start ever and in top shape up the table. Wasn't it Portsmouth who battled relegation during most seasons? Such a contrast. But since the frighteningly suspicious way it was exposed that police were on their way to Redknapp's house during an investigation into corruption in football, Redknapp was embroiled in 'controversy', therefore ruling him out of the running for the position. I would bet that Redknapp would have taken that role with huge aplomb and with little persuasion.

Jose Mourinho became a sudden favourite for the role, where it was made abundantly clear he was interested and wanted someone to talk to him about it from the FA. Yes, good, what's that? OK, what about, then there's.........well, not really, no, I don't think, that doesn't work, not that much. In the end, despite Mrs Mourinho's keen interest to return to London, her husband chose to turn down the coaching role. I didn't think he really wanted it in the first place but instead looked to propel himself into the media spotlight for others to take a look at him. The Special One. With Chelsea, two league titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups, Community Shield. With Porto, two league titles, UEFA Cup and the European Cup. Very impressive. But the Special One did not feel for a real challenge in turning around England's fortunes to qualify for the World Cup 2010.

Fabio Capello clearly does. From his appointment as coach of AC Milan in 1991, he led AC to four league titles and the European Cup. He left AC to join Real Madrid, winning La Liga title, rejoined AC again for 12 months and then moved onto Rome giants AS Roma, guiding them to their first Scudetto in 18 years and leaving them in some controversy with players leaving the club and Roma ending up with Capello's departure and near relegation. Capello then joined Juventus and took them to two Scudetto titles consecutively, though the titles were stripped from the club as a result of the match-fixing fiasco. Capello joined Real Madrid again, last season, with former Juve players Fabio Cannavaro and Emerson following. Real Madrid finished with the last game winning 2-1 to grab the title off Barcelona. Capello was fired nonetheless.

Nine league titles and a European Cup, Capello's record shows clear intent in his team to achieve and nothing less acceptable. He is rumoured to pull no punches with his players, they are to listen and nothing else. He has clashed with the likes of Ruud Gullitt, Francesco Totti, Alessandro del Piero, Antonio Cassano, tutored the likes of Clarence Seedorf, Paolo Maldini, Marco Van Basten, Marcel Desailly. He is exactly what England could do well with, put the steel into the team that they have been missing for many many years. I hope this is what we are due to see from his management, not the cowering under the umbrella while the ship is sinking.



Anonymous alam said...

I dont know why mourinho never got the job but he was the perfect man for the england job in my mind. i dont know much about capello, so it will be intresting to see his work. Can somebody tell me about his acomplishments please

12/13/2007 9:34 pm

Anonymous alam said...

Sorry redsman i wasnt paying attention to your article properly, iv seen that you wrote about capello's achievments. Sorry everyone.

12/13/2007 9:53 pm

Blogger T said...

Excellent article Redsman, and I agree with every word.

Great choice by the FA for Capello - someone I advocated on EFT on the day of McClaren's departure. He will be the one who can instill fear and respect into these England players who became soft under Eriksson and even softer under McClaren.

Turning up into England coaching camp will no longer be a holiday from club football for the likes of Gerrard, Terry, Lampard and Co - they will need to be on their toes when they walk into a Capello coaching camp... and England football can only be the better for it!

Will Capello pick both Lampard and Gerrard in his CM - this is one issue I look forward to seeing. I wrote about the lack of balance in this pairing way back in 2005 on EFT soon after Scholes had retired... and find it hard to believe that it was still used as an unsuccessful option very late on in McClaren's reign.

Will he pick Jenas and Defoe too??!

Alam, the thing abut Mourinho is that he never wanted the England job. When he left Chelsea he said that he was too young for an international job - and that was when he was talking about the possibilty of becoming Portugese national manager which he intimated was his dream job. Redsman is right in that Mourinho simply saw this as a marketing opportunity for himself - to show the owners of Inter, Barca, R Madrid etc that he has the power to get the FA to come to him. It was no surprise to me when he then turned round on Monday and said that he was no longer interested...

Or maybe I'm too cynical when it comes to Mourniho?!

12/13/2007 10:45 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

No, nothing cynical there, that is what he said and I too was not surprised he didnt accept the role for those very reasons. The hype about him has hovered from his Chelsea days why so many had voiced their approval of him and I was not that convinced that he wanted the job nor if he had accepted it that he would be able to emulate his domestic success.

Being that Mourinho had already spoken about players like Ashley Cole, Lampard, Terry, Gerrard, favourism would creep up as one accusation at some time. Secondly, his approach to the game didnt convince me he would apply the strong steel to the players needed and his charisma is not for a number of them why I think they would not take to Mourinho and possibly be moved on.


12/13/2007 10:50 pm

Blogger Skipper said...

In my view this is a good appointment.

12/15/2007 1:01 pm

Blogger Abdul said...

Could not agree with you more Redsman. Capello is EXACTLY the kind of man England need right now. I am more excited about England now than at any other time since 1998. Capello is a winner, and a no non-sense tough guy. I cant wait to see the shake up in the England Squad.

12/15/2007 3:34 pm

Anonymous alex butterfield said...

I don't think there's anyone (aside from patriots and advocates of a patriotic policy, ie. appointing an English coach) who could complain about the appointment.

Personally I can see the argument for an English coach, only based on the concept it should be England that is being represented, but until and unless FIFA decide to make that a rule (which I doubt they ever will) then I'm fine with any nationality coach in charge of England.

And while appointing Mourinho would have made me happy, Cappello is just as good in my opinion.

Not keen on the Stuart Pearce rumours though.

12/18/2007 8:22 am


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