Capello has to stay but must adapt
I still find it amazing how the British media can change their opinion of someone so dramatically. After being built up as “Don” Fabio and the man to lead England to glory before embarking on England’s World Cup adventure, boss Fabio Capello has now been roundly criticised in the press and told he has to resign following the Three Lions’ dismal exit from South Africa.
I am the first to admit that England’s World Cup campaign which yielded just one win, began with Rob Green’s gaffe and ended with a hammering by Germany, was hugely disappointing and has rightly been seen as a failure by all concerned. After all the 2010 World Cup odds made England third favorites before kickoff.
Capello isn’t free from blame in all that. He has made some critical errors, some of which he explicitly set out not to make when he took the job. He insisted he would not pick players who are unfit or not playing regularly for their clubs. Yet Capello gambled on the selection of the out-of-touch Emile Heskey, the half-fit Gareth Barry and the walking knee operation Ledley King.
The Italian’s stubborn refusal to change formation despite 4-4-2 blatantly not working, as well as his strict regime at England’s training base, may have also contributed to the side’s failure.
But it wasn’t all Capello’s fault and his strange team and tactical selections were perhaps down to other contributing factors. For starters his call up of Jamie Carragher and attempted call up of Paul Scholes perhaps highlighted, from Capello’s perspective at least, a dearth of English talent below the first XI. He may have felt obliged to pick the likes of Barry and King because, in his opinion, there was no one else out there.
Added to that the rigours of yet another tough Premier League season wearing the players out and it is hard to see how any other manager would have coped.
Indeed, looking at potential replacements for Capello it is clear to me that he is the best man for the job and the one to lead the rebuilding mission.
A lot of the present squad will be too old for the upcoming European Championships and certainly the next World Cup, so now is the chance for Capello to plan for the future by blooding a younger generation of players. The online football betting suggests England are in with a chance of winning the next major tournament, but there is still plenty of work to do.
To do so he also needs to adapt, easier said than done after such a long and successful period in management playing the same system. However, his chastening experience in South Africa may have taught the old dog new tricks.
The golden generation is no more. It’s time for Fabio to guide a new set of young Lions to future glory. Or at least past the second round.