Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Capello To Raise England's Game

Like a new headmaster walking into his first assembly, Fabio Capello would have critically surveyed the horde gathered to welcome him. This one will be trouble, that's a cheeky one, this one could be useful.

Equally, like a bunch of surly schoolkids presented with their new headmaster, the gentlemen of the English press would have analysed the new manager carefully. Possible nicknames, quirks of mannerism - curious turns of phrase to gleefully satirise must wait, for a month at least - the sketched outlines of a soon-to-be-familiar caricature will have been drawn.

The basic structures have already been put in place: the classic sergeant-major character will be the template; 'grumpy' the fittingly infantile adjective most prominent so far. The more forward thinking opinion-formers will already have the permutations of both success and failure mapped out: if victorious, the Roman general - or emperor? - if a failure, a bungling pizza chef.

Far away from Soho Square, in the TV rooms of Premier League club training grounds, or the audio-visual chambers of preposterous footballer mansions, Capello will also have been getting the once over. Few of the England players will view the Italian's appointment in the same way that many of the public and press have: that being the procurement of an exquisitely-crafted, staggeringly-expensive designer Italian shoe, to be launched hard and true at the complacent posteriors of England's finest.

No, with vast wealth usually comes a shield of self-righteousness. The players will have ascribed their absence from Euro 2008 as solely the fault of the toothy mediocrity that led their failed qualifying campaign. They will see themselves as the precious metal, and Capello as another goldsmith charged with making the priceless masterpiece.

But the myth of England possessing a stellar generation of footballers has long been exposed as, at the very least, a wild exaggeration. Quite sensibly, many in English football are not so much equating the current squad with the star-filled rosters that Capello led to nine league championships, but are rather doubting if the Italian can work his magic on a group that is barely average in many areas.

At this point, little also has been said of Capello's methods. Chased out of Madrid despite delivering La Liga in both of his single season spells, in Spain they quip that Wembley will be bored to tears. But after the humiliation they have just endured, few in England have the spirit to demand winning with style.

For us on the outside though, the whole point of the England team is the show, the familiar yet captivating plotline. It's why we secretly curse when they don't qualify for major championships. The vaulting ambition, the groundless optimism, the heartbreaking and hilarious defeat. Steve McLaren's small-time operation never even allowed them the momentum to hyperinflate their expectations. Capello, on the other hand, will have them thinking they can rule the world.

Thing is, they might just be right this time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never fear lads, we're getting Houllier, venables, hoddle or Big Ron!

2:18 p.m.  
Blogger Tommy77 said...

Yes, while the England international side is always good for a laugh, our own generally only brings on the tears.

2:36 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always a pleasure to read your thoughts Tom, and I agree with you; Capello in charge of England scares my trousers brown. Will we be seeing you in town on Friday?

8:50 p.m.  
Blogger pj said...

I agree England have an average group of players; but so did Greece (and to a certain extent Italy). What England need is a strong tactician and I think they have got the best man for the job. I am now worried they might win something.

5:03 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out this Fabio Capello blog ive found - its proper funny!

5:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é http://www.provedorcrescenet.com . Um abraço.

8:40 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é http://www.provedorcrescenet.com . Um abraço.

8:40 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should there be a Salary Cap in Football?
Personally I think there should be! It’s just getting to be stupid money in football at the top of the premiership!
It’s always the same teams at the top proving that football success is based purely on money which ruins the idea of it being a sport! They’ve done it in rugby, basketball, hockey and American football and it makes the sports more competitive and better to watch!
I do a little Spread Betting from time to time and most matches don’t hold much surprise who is going to win, its boring! I want to see a team at the bottom pulling off an amazing season beating last seasons winners in a close fought battle!
Make things fair! It shouldn’t be about money!
All there is all that money in the premiership and barely any of it stays in the UK so it’s not even helping the economy!
From my Spread Betting, if I ever win big (which is never, I’m unlucky) it’s still nothing compared to the average premiership players weekly wage!
This Rant was brought to you by Spread Betting Spike.

12:59 p.m.  
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