Terry named England captain

by Dexy Longshot

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Capello the mentalist

Talking about England in the current climate is like treading on eggshells which have been laid by glass geese. Everyone has an opinion, and it’s fast gravitating to the same hunting ground, whereby sounding negative enough to slate an underperforming team is the norm, but edging your argument with a hint of positivity to suggest you could do a better job than the man Capello.

England take on their final friendly against Czech Republic under auspicious circumstances – the idea of a last-minute experimental squad is undermined by the fact that Messrs Young and Agbonlahor are notable absentees, despite the later proving only this weekend he has the ability to do the business three times in seven minutes. I guess his missus can’t complain. Or maybe she can, actually, it’s a bit too quick. Anyway, we have the power of hindsight, Fabio didn’t when he picked his squad, but it’s generally accepted he’s blundered either way.

Fabio is due a little bit of credit, though. Much has been made of his selection for captain without anybody stopping to think about the motive behind his actions. This isn’t some honest-to-goodness experiment to see who the better captain is. The fact it turned out that John Terry got the armband for the Czech game is academical; Rio Ferdinand can do a perfectly good job too, as can Steven Gerrard. And we all know how unbearable patriotic Becks is. The point is that Capello created an excellent pretext for a power play inside the England camp. It made the big stalwart names try their hardest to impress for a new manager, thus gaining their admiration for him, and it also gave him a chance to observe the rest of his squad reacting under different skippers.

The upshot of all this is that the meaningless friendlies England have been playing to see out the summer weren’t at all meaningless. The candidate captains were actually trying, and made sure the rest of the team worked to try hard under them. That way, the results bore a more realistic introspection of the England side that quite woefully scraped wins against the Swiss and the Yanks. It was a realistic loss when they went down to Franck Ribery’s goal in Paris. And it was a realistically easy win against Trinidad and Tobago. And now, John Terry has earned his spurs, and similarly Rio, Stevie G and even Becks will be working their socks off to prove to Fabio wrong. This tactic hasn’t divided the England squad in to camps of favoured captains – it’s united them under the eventual worthy winner. This is Fabio’s big step forward over Sven, who just showed up at these sorts of games and looked on bemused from the touchline.

He’s still got a long way to go as we head toward the World Cup Qualifiers, which will be his first major hurdle in proving his credentials not only to the nation, but to the UEFA qualifying groups and to the globe, but in the meantime there’s more to him than he lets on.   

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

    I can’t see how we have progressed under Capello, one thing that really stands out is the lack of pace in that squad. Everyone knows that genuine pace is a valuable weapon at International level, yet Capello is still picking the same over paid pre-madonas. What has Jenas done to deserve an England call up? As Talk Sport said this morning, why on earth name the squad on the Saturday? The two Villa lads are on fire and would surely take that form into the England game.

    We should judge him after this qualifying campaign but I can’t se any improvement what so ever, if anything the players have turned into little mice afraid to upset the big Italian Postman Pat who might bark at them and damage their pathetic little egos.

  • http://aloadofcobblers.blogspot.com Danny Brothers

    It had to be Rio or Terry didn’t it. I always favour defenders as captains for their ability to see the whole game in front of them…Gerrrard would suit it characterisically but while he’s running about all over the place it would be difficult for him to lead the entire team.

    As for England, we all need convincing that things have changed under Capello and that the players are willing to do for their country what they do for their clubs. I hope Agbonlahor hits another couple of goals in the Under 21s to get back in the squad come the opening qualifiers.

  • dexylongshot

    What gets my goat about this is Rio has been outstanding for the past two years and is first name on the sheet for me. Has Terry been the 2nd best centre halve we have had recently? should he play every game just because he has been made captain? Maybe Cappello will change it again.
    I think Cappello will do well for us over time but am disappointed with the Ashley Young exclusion, he has totally mugged the opposition in his last few games, scoring and assists galore before and after the squad was announced.
    A strange one.

  • Stevie

    come on, give the man a chance, every one knows all he has to do is get us to the Final, and then judge him from there. Spain did not have a good qualifying campaign did they? Its at tournaments when a manager should be judged. Excluding McClown of course cos we all knew he was shite anyway.

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

    that was quite possibly the worst display of so called football I have ever seen. An shambolic display of over paid pre-madonas who are not fit to wear the shirt. Where was the youth? the pace? The high tempo? The passion?

    Lampard should never ever play for England again, the same goes for Beckham. What’s the point of having him in the team just to take corners?

    I have a new formation, lets play 8 -2 with 2 100 meter runners as forwards, hoof it long let them chase it to earn us a corner, then bring Beckham on to take it, score, then go back to our 8-2 formation, cos thats the only way we are ever going to score.

    Verdict, Capello, you’re a disgrace, we have gone backwards, show some balls and drop these dickheads and bring in Ashley Young and Aggy! Rooney, waste of space yet again

  • dexylongshot

    I have seen the future, I have worked out Fabs long distance gameplan. How many u21 players were display tonight. Zilch. That because Fab had a good look at em last night with Stupot (they looked almost glued together in the dugout tonight). Fabs no mug, he has seen what the youngsters can do. It’s just that he played all of them last night in the u21 game and the old boys tonight. Why bother bringing in 4-5 youngesters into tonights game where they may of only had 20 mins. The Italian has now manged to see plenty of players close up and will assess it from there. I think we will see at least 2 of the youngsters in the full set up in a fortnight, definately Ashley Young & Micah.

    As for tonight, not exactly brilliant footy eh, I’m glad I outed my ticket last minute now (that Wembley is a slag to get home from) – a shapeless performance with plenty of negatives admitted but, hold on, let’s have a proper look at from a neutrals point of view (well trying to be neutral).

    A draw against a good experienced organised team who scored their 1st courtesy of a home goal (although defensively, Wes should have been at that wideman like a shot rather than stepping on Rio’s toes and Terry and Ashley should stop the Laurel and Hardy act). Wes won’t play next time.
    The 2nd was a brilliant top draw free-kick, not many keepers would have got to that (although James could have at least tried).
    How many more really chances did they actually have?

    As for us, see above in reverse. Another set play for set player Becks for Wes to nod home.
    Another goalmouth scramble for Joe boy to bundle over via more Laurel & Hardy acting from the Czechs.

    Considering how badly we played with our midfield all over the shop, we still managed a draw, got 8 corners to their 0, had 55% possesion, 13 shots on target to there 9 and more shots all round, to a team who appeared to be playing better. Check the stats.

    If we can sneak a draw playing badly, the only way is up. Fab will have them for a lot longer before the real tests come next month when our players will be a tad fitter too. These things take time, give the man a chance, it’s only a friendly.

    We will qualify for the World Cup, along with the excellent Croatia. Judge Fab then, everyones on his back already, some blame should to the players. The usual suspects:
    Becks – how many iffy waist high free kicks?
    Lamps, yes, he was on the pitch,
    Rooney, all over the gaff pulling us out of shape.
    James not convincing etc etc.

    How many of these would be in your starting 11?

    C’mon bring on the banter!

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

    it still doesn’t add up. He should be playing the team that he will put out in 3 weeks time, the players are always moaning they don’t have enough time together, and tonight he wasted a big chance to give Ashley, Mica & Aggy more top draw experience. We seem to missing the point of these friendlies, to blend and gel the team together, Lampard & Rooney need to dropped, simply as.

    Barry & Gerrard formed a brilliant partnership in center mid then he goes and puts Gerrard on the left? Why? Why not play James up front to see that he can’t play there.

    From day 1 I wasn’t a Capello fan and I’ve seen no evidence to change my mind. His post match interview was just a load of goobledy gook nonsense, to say he was pleased with our first performance shows the man needs to get better glasses, we were as poor as I’ve seen in many a year.

  • Jamie Farrier

    I’d have to admit that last night was dreadful in terms of expectations, but in reality 2-2 was the fair result. Czech Republic are excellent friendly material – good enough to beat any team on their day, but beatable themselves if the opposition are organised. England fell somewhere in between and the draw was the fair result.

    What bothers me most about it though is the fact that we’re looking at who should be dropped, not who’s earned their stripes to take on Andorra. I think Dexy’s right, the opposition for the first WCC game is weak enough (without any complacency) to give youth a chance to shine. Roll on Andorra.

  • Jay

    we should not be talking about the line up or the system, or the fact that Gerrard and Lampard can’t play together, or why the problem on the left has re-appeared, or who should partner Rooney up front. He has had 6 games to experiment. That’s what friendlies are for, it annoys the hell out of me, every England manager goes round in circles.

    Glenn Hoddle was the last England manager who had a system, if a player was injured someone else slot into that position. Simple.

    This should be the team end of

    GK Green
    LB Cole
    CB Terry
    CB Ferdinand
    RB Richards
    LM Young/Cole
    CM Barry
    CM Gerrard
    RM Bentley
    CF Crouch
    CF Agbonalhor

    Rooney has done nothing since Euro 2004, he needs to be dropped, Lampard is not good enough to play International football and David James is a laughing stock, he will lose us a game (France 2004 remember).

    They keep going on about Crouch only scores against the lesser teams but at least he knows where the goal is. I don’t see any one else scoring goals for us.

    And Mr Beckham, we love you but you were finished 4 years ago, please stick to playing soccerball and whopping with the Yanks.

    No messing, lets stop mucking about and get this right for once

  • Martyn

    Guys, I was there last night and a few things. I thought we’d already dealt with this one but Lampard is not a world class footballer. Terry doesnt play for England like he does for Chelsea. Beckham is not good enough to play for England anymore. Wes Brown was never good enough to play for England. Gerrard needs to sort himself out and start playing like he did last year. Heskey …. its too soon I cant talk about it. Joe Cole and Bentley should start everytime and everyone should put the same effort in as Rooney!!!! Oh and Liverpool were right not to pay £18m for Barry.
    Barwick is going – Thank god. If I have to see much more of that stupid moustache, I’d have to be restrained from going down to Soho Square and de-moustaching him myself.

  • Jay

    funny you should say that, I work very near Soho Square and I have often thought of going down there myself with a can a spray paint myself!

    Rooney was way to deep last night, surely it’s the managers job to tell him where to play? Heskey came on and looked totally lost.

    It was a total shambles, expect more of the same against Anndora, we’ll scrap a very scrappy 2-0 win with boo’s ringing from the stands once again.

  • Matt Quinn

    Last night was terrible- although we could have predicted that exact performance as soon as the team was announced. As Darren has said- there was absolutely no pace or flair in that team whatsoever.
    Mind you, some of the suggested teams were rubbish too!
    Wes Brown is not international class- give Glen Johnson a go. He cant be worse
    John Terry- turned by Baros, which sums it up really.
    Lampard- anonymous again
    Beckham- a spent force now.
    Gerrard- usual inept display
    Barry- poor but he isnt and never will be a defensive midfielder.
    Defoe- will NEVER be good enough.

    My team would be:
    GARETH BARRY (he isnt a defensive midfielder)

    Im a Villa fan, and im not 100% convinced by Agbonlahor. I love him for Villa but most Villa fans would have him as a sub. He isnt ready for international football yet, but given the total lack of pace in the england set-up, he must play- just to open the game up, if nothing else. He has also developed impressive strength recently, so has added to his overall game.

  • Martyn

    You shouldbn’t resist urges like that Jay. We’re behind you all the way. Think of it as giving something back to football.

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