Fabio Capello Resigns: The End Of A Loveless Marriage

Chris Wright

9th, February 2012


By Chris Wright

You turn your back for one second and what happens? Just three months and three friendly games before Euro 2012 gets under way in June, Fabio Capello resigned as England manager last night after spending the afternoon bickering with FA chairman David Bernstein and general secretary Alex Horne at Wembley over his comments made to the Italian media vis-a-vis the FA’s premature decision to strip John Terry of the national captaincy.

The FA released the following statement:

“The Football Association can confirm that Fabio Capello has today resigned as England manager.

“The discussions focused on the FA Board’s decision to remove the England team captaincy from John Terry, and Fabio Capello’s response through an Italian broadcast interview.

“In a meeting for over an hour, Fabio’s resignation was accepted and he will leave the post of England manager with immediate effect.”

Capello felt undermined, so did Bernstein and Horne. They employ him. He got canned. That seems to be the long and short of it.

The FA, the English press and Capello; It was a loveless tri-pronged marriage from the offing. One of the great, weeping epics of our time. Like a husband and wife (and wife), growing old and decrepit together while the relationship gradually becomes utterly sapped of requited romance – only continuing to sleep in the same bed at night as he’s handy to have around when the fuses need changing and she’s willing to do all the household paperwork. By the end, they all despised each other.

It’s over. Rightly or wrongly, it’s over. Capello leaves behind him the best winning ratio of any permanent England manager ever (66.67%, beating Sir Alf’s 61.1%), breezing through two separate qualification campaigns with ne’er a hitch while losing only two competitive matches during his 41-game, four-year tenure.

The fractious World Cup debacle is an albatross he’ll have to bear, though the contributing factors are myriad and the blame is to be shared out equally. Capello went in with a distant, disciplinarian modus operandi and the players weren’t malleable or willing enough to conform. It just didn’t work.

And so, quite naturally it would seem, our thoughts turn to Harry Redknapp – who is, unfortunately for those of us who perish the thought, the only real outstanding candidate for the post. If this morning’s Tweets are anything to go by, all the major players (Rooney, Ferdinand, etc) want Redknapp sworn in post haste as well as every single journalist in the land – though leaving an ascendant Tottenham in the lurch will undoubtedly be a wrench.

It seems Arry’s reluctance to go in for the whole ‘drafting up in-depth player dossiers and tactical gubbins bordering on telemetry’ approach is proving to be a popular prospect for a dumb squad who just couldn’t deal with Capello’s rigorous scrutiny.

Is Redknapp a better, more thorough manager and tactician than Capello? No, absolutely not. Is he more likely to see this current crop of England internationals through the Euro 2012 group stage on a wave of brevity and BANTAAAH! Quite possibly.

The whispers on the wind are that Stuart Pearce will be taking temporary charge of England for their friendly against Holland at the end of February, with a decision being made on the course of action imminent shortly after.

(UPDATE: The FA have just confirmed that Pearce will be put in temporary charge for the Holland game.)

My personal prediction? Redknapp will take charge for Euro 2012 on a temporary basis and then return to Spurs for pre-season. England will do ‘the usual’, exit with a whimper and Arry will get off scot free (again) as it was all Capello’s big, slab-faced fault for upsetting the nation’s apple cart so close to the start of the tournament. The excuse is ready-made and nigh-on irrefutable.

Any thoughts folks?

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured, International football, Opinion

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  1. gamblino says:

    Think you absolutely nailed it. I’d lump on that exact chain of events (pearce > redknapp at euro’s > Off scott free)

  2. snowmanvilla says:

    capello is a great manager, look at his record over the years. england just dont have the players to win tournaments and they play dinosaur football compared with the ever evolving spanish, germans, dutch..

    why england dnt win tournaments:

    77% of la liga can play for spain
    31% of the primer league can play for england

    englands problems are more deep rooted that capello

  3. Chimpo says:

    good summation.

    What do we reckon then piesfolk? im going for Redknapp part-time til may then full-time for euros followed by another limp knockout

    pearce has got olympics on his hands already…

  4. KingKenneth says:

    I would have done it, but Luis told me not to.

  5. C says:

    “You turn you’re back”

    *woop woop* It’s the grammar police!

  6. Hobbes says:

    With an MLS Cup now under his belt, I think Beckham is fit to manage England.

    Plus, he had a Superbowl ad. Strike while the iron is hot England!

  7. Wolf Haley says:

    I think snowmanvilla got it spot on

    England play unimaginative football and don’t have the same youth prospects as other leading footballing nations. More investment in the lower levels is needed to produce a higher caliber of players

  8. America says:

    @Chris: Great article

    Everyone here complains that England clubs dont spend enough on England players, dont use enough english players, and blah blah blah. The Premier League, the Championship and on down, are all businesses. They don’t make a profit if they don’t win. So when faced with the choice of do i pay for some young english kids who need time or do i buy the hot young talent from *insert country here* theyre always going to go foreign. MLS is the same way: teams spend all of their money on their “designated player” who in almost every example is foreign while the others on the team, usually Americans, barely make sh!t. Look at Liverpool: they spent a ton of money on domestic players and they’re struggling. Henderson, Carroll, Kelly, Adam, and co. just arent producing at a high enough level. Chelsea tried to stick with their domestic guys in Lampard and co but ended up buying, you guessed it, a young foreign talent by the name of Mata to speed up the team. I dont know how you fix the problem without seriously limiting the ability of teams to buy foreign over domestic.

    Also, Fabio Capello may have won some games, but to say the players werent malleable enough to him seems a stretch. Its a two way street: Players need to execute what the manager wants them to do, but the manager also needs to have a malleable-enough game plan to suit the players he’s got. I think Redknapp would be a great coach, although the international game is far different than the club game.

    • Chris says:

      @America: Cheers chap. Re: the ‘malleable’ point – I was only talking about the games at the World Cup. Capello wanted rigid discipline and a clinical approach to tournament football, the players just weren’t able to adapt and morale dipped as a result.

  9. Archbishop Betty Snagcock says:

    if redknapp takes the job it won’t be just for the euros

    either pearce takes over until the end of the euros or redknapp takes over full time

    i want the former but expect the latter

  10. Gibby says:

    @ Snowmanvilla agree but how many of the England squad play abroad ? When Spain won the WC they had 1 or 2 players from their whole squad that played abroad (i.e Torres who wasn’t a 1st team start). I’m sure if you picked the england team from current crop, stick a diff strip on them and call then something other than England then you’ve have every chance of winning. English press/media destroy any chances England have of winning anything. Germany & Holland have an arrogance to their style and play which is backed up. England try this approach and then the press paint a picture of overpaid, overhyped, stuck up brats. Portsmouth played Arsenal a few years back and not 1 englishman was in the starting 11’s !!! That’s poor from a nation that considers football as it’s main sport and how inspriring for an up and coming english teenager plying his trade in the pro youth ranks. Grass roots in England (+BRITAIN) needs major investment so all leagues have a greater chance of nurturing and developing homegrown talent.

  11. snowmanvilla says:

    im also sick of hearing that the new manager should be english.total nonsense. You base an appointment on a CV. its with that kind of talk that they ended up with McClearn, keegan, taylor. even thought rednapp has a great cv, if he doesnt take it there is no other viable english option.And it looks like rednapp will only take it part time, which seems like a bad idea. hiddink has the best international record of all the candidates i think. trappatoni-ireland,Rehhagel-greece 2004, hiddink s korea 2002, russia 2008..thats what england need

    i have a funny feeling that pearce will end up with it somehow,play 442, get outnumbered in midfield, go out on penalties, blame the ref, yadda yadda yadda…

  12. werderbremen_rulez says:

    So is Anfield-cat taking over the job?

    Might slightly better Englands chances to make the 4er finals at Polkraine ;)

  13. scotspur says:

    Capello is now going to tie a thousand balloons to his house and fly away

  14. Questionable says:

    This sounds too much like the plot from the ever great Mike Basset: England Manager, and we all know how that turns out lol

  15. Dragan says:

    Alan Curbishley in next ? come oon! he can do it!

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