Capello looks to tame the media circus
Sven Goran Erikson came in for a lot of stick during his time as England manager. He took a largely unspectacular bunch of players and moulded them into a solid last eight team.
Although this was below the over-inflated expectations of fans and the media it’s fair to say the Swede did a decent job with the talent he had at his disposal – if you want an example of a bad England manager look at what Steve McLaren did with largely the same team.
However, Erikson’s biggest failure was perhaps the way in which he courted the media and let his players follow suit. When the results disappointed this attitude it provided plenty of ammunition for those looking to criticise the team and their manager.
The 2006 World Cup was branded a “circus” by one of the team’s leading players, Rio Ferdinand, and it’s hard to argue with his assessment. The phrase WAGs featured in newspapers as much, if not more, than the reports of the team’s on the field actions and there’s no doubt the attention was a distraction.
Although it would be unfair to suggest the circus was the reason for England being knocked out at the quarter final stage, it left a bitter taste in the mouths of many fans. The same fans who got the impression the players weren’t as serious about the competition as they were.
Fortunately, Fabio Capello wants to things to be different this time and World Cup Betting Odds suggest they might well be. Commenting on the relationship Team England has had with the media in the past he said: “When I started this period I hoped it would not be the same.”
Although his words clearly express regret over the recent revelations about his player’s private lives it’s equally obvious he is determined to make sure this is not an issue in South Africa.
The 2010 Football world cup draw has been kind to the team, but keeping the circus at bay might not win England the World Cup. However, it will certainly make it a lot easier for the fans to bear if they do fail again.