Can Capello deliver the World Cup for England?

by Michael Somerville

Monday, September 7th, 2009
 

It’s interesting to see that while England have (before Brazil played Argentina last night) scored the most goals in the WCQ’s, they have shown their defensive errors a- plenty.  Capello’s men have only managed clean sheets against Trinidad & Tobago, Andorra, Slovakia, The US and Kazakhstan- hardly teams with great attacking threat.

Although I feel that England have improved greatly under Capello, with Wayne Rooney finally hitting some clinical form, and goals looking more and more likely  from the likes of Walcott and even Lennon, the Three Lions have done well. Complacency is something that Capello will not stand for, especially after McLaren and Eriksson were found out and hounded by the British media for being too “laid back” which eventually transpired into the teams’ performances. Pitiful is a word that could be used to describe the England performances of old, and is one that Fabio Capello will not stand to see.

“He is probably the first England manager I’ve played under when you know that if you don’t play well there’s a chance you’re not going to start the next game”, said Wayne Rooney speaking recently about Capello. One can only imagine the minimum effort shown in training and as we know- on the pitch when the previous two managers were in charge, with players not playing well for several games at a stretch and still getting played because of their reputation.

Even though England have an excellent qualification record thus far, with the 4-1 scalp of Croatia a worthy inclusion of any WCQ England DVD, it doesn’t matter how you get to the World Cup, it’s what you do there what counts.  Capello himself will remind naysayers about his own experience at the 1974 World Cup, after unluckily going out on goal difference with a group that constituted Argentina, Poland and Haiti. Considering that the Italians were one of the favourites for the tournament and with Capello in his prime in central midfield, it was a very disappointing tournament for the Azzurri… and its famous central midfielder.  History tells that teams that do brilliantly in qualifying will never win the tournament, only the God –like 1970 Brazil team defying that statistic.

It’s comforting and stirring to think that the England manager will want to banish his own painful memories by guiding the now seemingly restored and hungry England team to glory, and there are plenty of reasons to think that England can do it. Wayne Rooney for example, who is described by Capello as “incredible” hit the net 10 times for England last season, as opposed to the “defender like” 3 goals he managed between November 2005 and September 2008. Perhaps many thought Rooney was better suited to a winger/full back, but the emergence of  a revitalised Ashley Cole under all his weighs of cash and a very good full back in Glen Johnson and voila! England look good again on the flanks.

If England can beat Croatia on Wednesday, then the last two games will be rather “friendly”, giving Capello the chance to pin down the holding midfield role. Gareth Barry looks the obvious choice, but his recent performance against Holland was pretty diabolical; giving the ball away left right and centre. Possibly a chance for Micah Richards to show his credentials as a holding player, or simply a chance for England fans to ask the eternal question… when will Owen Hargreaves play football again?

We can dream!

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  • dexylongshot

    “Can Capello deliver the World Cup for England?”
    Yes! I’ve been saying it from the start, in Fabio we trust.

    Check out my England v Croatia preview on Wednesday,
    not before you have a chuckle at My Maradonna bashing blog tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Darren

    in short, NO. There’s no doubt we are a much better side with him in charge, but for me, we are still to venerable at the back. John Terry will never be world class and the full backs are not good enough, that leaves RIO. What happens if RIO is in injured? Upson & Co are mid table players. Not good enough.

    Teams like Spain, Brazil & Italy can see games out with ease. They go 1-0 up and it’s game over. They play possession football, which is what Fabio is trying to achieve with us, we just haven’t got the players for that type of game. How many times in a game will you see Gerrard hoof the ball 50 yards.

    When was the last time we beat a top national in a tournament also? We always come up short against the big boys.

    We never learn, the whole nation thought we’d win it under Sven and look what happened. Lets stop all this silly talk until we make the semi finals, only then I will believe we have a chance of winning the World Cup.

  • Charlie

    incidentally, is anyone else fed up with the mauling Glen Johnson has got in the press over last week’s late goal? Not only is it entirely unfair (it was JT and Joleon Lescott’s foul up in the box that led to the goal, though admittedly if Johnson had cut out the cross it could have been dealt with earlier) it’s also not a clever idea to bash a young right back’s confidence just before a nailbiting WCQ against Croatia.

  • James Webb

    Take Ledley King to the world cup, he is perfect backup for Terry and Rio. Lescott and Upson are just not strong enough. A fit Ledley King is undoubtedly the most natural defender this country has.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    Charlie, it’s what we do as a nation, it’s one of the reason why we won’t win the WC. The expectation is to high, and here we go again, a few good results and all of sudden we are the best team in the world. It’s a cycle which has been happening ever since 1966.

    WE WILL NEVER LEARN

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