Fabio Capello’s England

So Capello is the man to lead us (hopefully) to the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. Obviously, football is the most important thing in life, so this appointment was of the utmost national importance! Am I happy with Capello’s selection? I’m not unhappy, is the best way to put it. There are a couple of others I would have preferred, but they simply weren’t interested. In my opinion, the FA should have selected a manager who fitted the vital criteria. He should be a ‘winner’ at domestic level at least – and a regular one. Picking up the Carling Cup once isn’t close to being good enough. I want league titles in the CV. He needs to be experienced within the European Champions League. And he should know the English game.

Being English nationality wise was preferable, but not a necessity. In fact, based on my three criteria, I had ruled out every single English manager. Some of the names being touted, such as Curbishley and Redknapp, have experience in keeping teams away from relegation. With the odd good season challenging, but failing, to qualify for Europe. Managing to motivate lesser players to perform above there level, which is the bottom of the Premier League, is not the right qualification for an England manager. My criteria ruled out everyone bar Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho, Rafael Benitez, Martin O’Neill and Kenny Dalglish. Mourinho was the only one to really take an interest, but in the end he decided it wasn’t for him. O’Neill fits the criteria, but his wins have come in Scotland. Dalglish has been out of the game too long. Time for compromises…

The pros to Capello? He is truly a winner. I’m not sure there is a more succesful manager in the game. He’s also a very strong personality, who I suspect won’t take any nonsense. The last two managers have failed there, particularly Eriksson, big time. We need a guy who will take on the Premier League managers when it comes time to release players for internationals. We need a guy who will put prima donna attitudes where they belong. Capello just falls down in one area for me. He’s never managed in England. We play a different game here. I don’t believe it’s any good trying to get England to play a continental style. They play the English game week in and week out. It’s a style that’s won plenty for the domestic teams in Europe. We should play to out strengths, not try and adapt to other teams strengths. I hope he appreciates English football for what it is and doesn’t go all Italian on us! Time will tell. I am optimistic. Far more so than when McClaren was appointed anyway!


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