Thursday, 9 February 2012

FA and Fabio fault lines were there from start

There was a kind of inevitability in Fabio Capello's England reign ending in tears off the pitch.

When as a player he scored for Italy against Bobby Moore's England at Wembley, who'd have thought it'd be the Italian and not our World Cup winning captain that would coach the team one day?
Ciao e Grazie. Lessons learned?

One can well imagine the John Le Mesurier-style FA mandarins goading the firebrand Fabio on points of principle to surprise us all with his resignation.

I met Fabio by invitation at Wembley about a year ago. I knew of his "my way or the highway" approach to management - but face-to-face, I was struck by his simplicity and with reference to the England job, his foreignness.

Here was a Latin taking on the FA, an Anglo-Saxon church of football - and expecting co-operation throughout.

Fabio talked simply on his humble beginnings in a small northern Italian village and his strong-minded journey through football in beating a career-threatening injury as a youngster.
When the FA appointed Capello in the wake of the Steve McClaren debacle, he was hired for his incredible trophy haul in Italy and Spain. But nothing was taken into account with reference to how, where and when he won it.

Because Capello managed mostly Latins in a southern European environment. The instinctive group mentality of that culture played well with his "do what I say" instructions. Furthermore, those players were on wages a fraction of the level of our boys.

(Adrian Bevington of Club Wembley can talk all he wants of recreating the Spain structure, but the FA will never ape the group strengths of community which Spain has - and we don't have in the same way.)

Cry God for Harry, England and St. George!
So Fabio's proud and confident inflexiblity was always going to be gobbled up by our individualistic club-focused millionaires.

His stinging quotes to Italpress after leaving the job show he was always a square peg in a round hole:
"They really insulted me and damaged my authority. What really hit me and forced me to take this decision was the fact the much-vaunted Anglo-Saxon sense of justice, as they are the first to claim that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

In Terry's case, they gravely offended me and damaged my authority at the head of the England side, effectively creating a problem for the squad. I have never tolerated certain crossing of lines, so it was easy for me to spot it and take my decision to leave."
 
We're best without him, I know. Let the coronation of Harry Redknapp be arranged and with his arrival, let the basics about football come to the fore.
 
There's too much apparatus and apparatchiks at the FA spoiling our broth, and it's gone on too long. Disband Club England, appoint 'Arry and this time, do it without Sir Clive Woodward!
 
Remember Greece at Euro 2004. Simples.