Monday, 21 June 2010

The FA threaten Fabio with the sack if England fail

Fabio Capello will step down as coach if England fail to qualify for the second stage of the World Cup. The Football Association's 'fears' over his future announced to the media, make it absolutely clear to Capello that failure's not an option.

It means power in the England camp has been dramatically transferred to the players for the vital final group game with Slovenia on Wednesday.

Will this group still play for the Italian?

Player power will force Capello into making a much earlier team announcement for Wednesday's game.

At a "crisis" meeting with the players after Friday's awful goalless draw with Algeria, Capello was slated by the squad for naming the starting line-up so close to kick-off.

It caused major tension inside the camp, voiced publicly by 'keeper David James, who only knew he was playing a couple of hours before the game's start. For the first time, dissention in the ranks went public.

The stakes couldn't be higher for both manager and players. A win and the 'crisis' is over and England will advance to the last sixteen knockout stages.

But failure to qualify and the Capello Project is done. The players will come home to a chorus of derision for under performance. Then that'll be forgotten come August as they don their club shirts and embark on another domestic season at home and in Europe. There'll be some low-level taunting from opposition fans as the only reminder of a cruel summer.

And as consternation grows among England fans as to why our campaign threatens to derail again, perhaps we don't have to look further than the struggle between club and country.

After all, why should these millionaires, heroes and leaders at their trophy-laden clubs, bother with such a poisoned chalice as playing for England? They and their families are the suffocating target of tabloid tales and painted as villains for their on-field exploits, rather than as heroes when playing for their clubs.

In this overly-commercialised footballing world, never has playing for England and giving all for your club represented such a large conflict of interest.

I tip England to scrape through against Slovenia, but for the reasons outlined here, we can't win the World Cup until the FA and the Premier League integrate their two clashing business interests more closely.

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  1. I'd look to the question of whether a national team with a foreign coach feels the level of national pride, passion and unity required to be the best in the world.

    I'm all for cross-cultural living and breaking down barriers, but it's the one time in sport when everything needs to be about your own country.

    Most Brazilians I've asked seem to think it's crazy to want to have a foreign coach - you can tell how much the communication is affected by it and feel the distance that is placed between players and mentor.

  2. Capello reminds me of Benitez; too stuborn and like Benitez, that stubborness will be his undoing. Sven was too laid back, Benitez too cold. We need a manager who can find the right balance, although I sincerely hope that we are not looking for a new manager in the near future as it means we will have been knocked out!

  3. I meant to say Capello too cold, not Benitez!


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