Clueless Capello running out of ideas and time

by Michael Wade

Monday, October 4th, 2010

The arrival of the latest England squad on Monday afternoon brought with it the sad realisation that Fabio Capello is just not the right man for the job anymore and it probably is in the country’s best interests to dispense with him.

The notion that any manager should be given a ‘practice’ tournament (e.g the European Championships) to gain some competition experience is one that is slowly starting to make sense. Instead of throwing Capello’s successor straight into a World Cup it would make sense, to me at least, to give someone new as much time as possible.

The bizarre decision to call up 33-year old Bolton captain Kevin Davies smacks of the kind of cluelessness the tabloids tarred Don Fabio with following England’s dismal World Cup showing. It’s fair enough to give someone their first cap but at Davies’ age and the fact he has been ruthlessly ignored for over a decade you would hope we have something better to turn to.

Apparently not, as Capello tried to recall Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey from international retirement mere months after he stepped down, as the Italian embarrassingly attempts to put his World Cup squad back together.

It isn’t a coincidence that Heskey has returned to form since Gerard Houllier took over at Villa, instructing him that he was his first-choice frontman and instilling a confidence in the big guy that has been far too fleetingly evident throughout his career. For Heskey to return to international duty, the scene of so many terrace taunts would surely burst the bubble again and return him to the role of national scapegoat.

It should also be noted that Capello has unsubtly ushered in a whole host of international flops through the back door including Robert Green, Aaron Lennon, Gareth Barry and Shaun Wright-Phillips. I’m probably being slightly harsh on Gareth Barry as he wasn’t completely fit for the tournament and Aaron Lennon is young enough to improve but Capello could at least pretend to be assessing new talent and not just reverting lazily back to type.

For example where is Scott Parker – who was so unceremoniously carted off on the pre-World Cup tour before being dumped without playing a minute of football. If he was to get a call-up it would be entirely understandable if he threw his toys out of the pram a’la Paul Robinson and stayed at home.

The inclusion of Rio Ferdinand is another backwards step. Undoubtedly talented, the cultured centre-half has managed just one league appearance this season to add to the 13 he made last year. Why not add Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King to the defensive ranks again.

Still, there are signs that there is a next generation of sorts among the new squad. The lack of a tall greasy haired Geordie striker is disappointing but the promise shown by Adam Johnson, Jack Wilshere, Tom Huddlestone and Joe Hart this season gives some form for optimism.

The motley crue we have representing us only have to play Montenegro, but even that might be too much at this stage.

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  • Ian

    Results should determine whether a manager is the right man for a job, not squads. To condemn him before we’ve even played Montenegro is just nuts. Fair enough if you think our abject failure at the World Cup is reason enough for him to be sacked; but having survived that and won his first two qualifiers it would be a tad odd to dispense with him now. What’s more, even if you accept the logic of the European Championships as a ‘practice’ tournament (and I’m not sure I do; it isn’t the Confederations Cup but a big tournament we have never won) then who’d you replace Capello with?
    On your main points about Kevin Davies…you state your ‘hope’ that we have something better to turn to, but fail to illustrate who these people are. Far as I can see the alternatives aren’t there in his position. They’re either already included (Crouch), retired (Hesky, as you acknowledge), injured, or out of form (Calton Cole).
    And as for Ferdinand, I agree he probably doesn’t deserve his place but you undermine your arguments with the candidates you suggest. Jonathan Woodgate wasn’t even named in Spur’s 25-man squad this year such is his injury record. And Ledley King can barely play two games in a week.
    Having beaten by far the best team in the group in the Swiss, I can’t understand your logic in thinking Montenegro will be too good for us; Davies or no Davies.

  • dexylongshot

    In Fabio we trust.

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