Last season when Fabio Capello landed in Madrid as the messiah for Los Merengues, I was quite excited – Beckham’s team would have a top-notch manager after a long time (with all due respect to Quieroz, he isn’t top notch) and finally we’ll see Real Madrid winning again.
For the first few months the dream was on hold but as the season wore on, slowly and surely the Real Madrid players put together an amazing string of performances to lead the club to the La Liga title. Like it or not, Capello had a role to play in Madrid’s revival.
Now that he’s expressed interest twice in the England job (once while commentating on an Italy game and then in his BBC Football Focus interview), let’s examine the possibility more closely.
I have to point out that my preference for the role would be Mourinho, because of his familiarity with the English players. Martin O’Neill is an unknown quantity and I would prefer Lippi and Klinsmann over MON any day.
However, Mourinho and O’Neill have said no, there’s no knowing what Lippi / Klinsmann are thinking (but those are the type of names we should be going after), so we, the fans, are left with discussing whether the only interested candidate at this point is suitable or not.
Here are my top 10 reasons for why Cappello will be a good choice to manage England – let me know what you think.
- Capello’s club record is better than Eriksson’s. It might not be an accurate indication of managerial quality (although if you see the disparity between Eriksson’s and McClaren’s club management records and then the same disparity between their performances as England manager, you’ll notice a distinct pattern) but for a manager to win league titles in his ‘only’ season at a club is saying a lot.
- Capello won’t play nice with the media, and it’s about time that we had a manager who said what he thought instead of pandering to public opinion. Capello probably won’t give a damn about the fans either, which is fine by me as long as he helps us win something.
- Capello’s mentality of ‘winning above everything else’ is exactly what England need right now. At a time when the nation and the players doubt themselves, Capello is the type of person who can get them to start fighting again.
- England need to rebuild – Capello, because of his managerial stature, can drop stars and pick ‘stars-in-the-making’ for the future.
- On the flip side, England need experience and quality going into the future – Capello has the balls to stick by players who are needed to help England do well in South Africa 2010 – assuming England qualify, that is.
- Capello’s experience in Serie A and La Liga will be immensely valuable in allowing him to point out where local academies are lacking in their training of English talent. Anally defending the nation (or anally berating it) is not the answer – we must find solutions, and Capello is the type of manager who can point them out.
- England have lacked tactical discipline and footballing intelligence – Capello can instill that, to a degree, in his players.
- Capello is capable of dealing with the pressures of management at the top level – a certain former manager was not.
- The players need to be dressed down and shouted at sometimes – on other occasions they need to be told that they can win. Motivation and the hairdryer treatment are part and parcel of management, but English players haven’t had such treatment for too long now. And yes, Capello can give that to them.
- Bringing Capello onboard is a major statement of intent – instead of pandering to misguided notions of ‘continuity’ and ‘Englishness’, the FA would be investing in one thing only – results. And if the FA gets bothered about England playing ugly, Capello is the sort of manager who would flip them off and keep doing his job. Someone badly needs to tell the FA to go fuck themselves; odds on Capello doing this?
Perhaps it’s a mark of desperation that I’d have preferred Capello flipping off English fans during the Andorra game than have McClaren scribble notes, but England are in desperate times. If Mourinho isn’t coming (and Hiddink / Scolari are busy with Euro 2008), then it’s between Lippi, Klinsmann and Capello. And right now, Capello’s the only one willing to take on the failure that is England.