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Mr Capello I wish you luck – you’ll need it!



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NB. The following article is a spoof letter addressing a current issue within the game. It is intended to be light hearted and is not intended to offend anyone. If you are a reader who does not enjoy this feature on a Monday, please spare yourself the agony of reading it!

This week, after watching the first couple of days of Euro 2008 I thought I’d send an open letter to Fabio Capello to try to cheer him up about England’s current plight.

Dear Mr. Capello,

Having watched the first four games in the European Championships I am sure that you will agree with me that it is a tournament that it would have been quite nice to be involved in. Unfortunately, your predecessor, Steve McClaren, couldn’t have managed his way out of a wet paper bag, and somehow contrived to fail to qualify.

I thought I should just write to you to point out that we are the best football team in Europe and that you have players at your disposal who would walk into any of the teams who have qualified for this tournament.

At the time of writing, I have seen just half of the sixteen teams, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Portugal, Turkey, Austria, Croatia, Poland and Germany. I can compare our English stars to these eight teams because I don’t think there is anyone playing for Italy, France, Holland or Spain that would get into our team, do you?

In goal, David James would have been the best. Well, OK, Petr Cech might be picked above him. Oh, and maybe Artur Boruc. Turkey’s keeper looked quite decent actually, so did Croatia’s. Anyway, David James is definitely better than Jens Lehman.

At right back, who in their right mind would pick Germany’s Lahm or Portugal’s Bosingwa ahead of Wes Brown? Yeh, maybe he wouldn’t get in ahead of them two. OK.

At least we have the best left back. Ashley Cole is definitely streets ahead of that Jankulovski of the Czech Republic, isn’t he? Well, maybe not better, as such.

We clearly have the best central defenders in the world though, of that I’m sure. John Terry and Rio Ferdinand would never be left out in favour of Carvalho, Pepe, Ujfalusi or Mertesacker. Some people wouldn’t leave them out. OK, so Fernando Torres says that Ricardo Cavalho is by far the best central defender in the Premier League, bur really, what does he know?

On the right of midfield, Beckham or Bentley are clearly better than that Ronaldo feller at Portugal and on the left, Stuart Downing would undoubtedly keep Podolski out of the German team or Simao out of Portugal.

In the middle of midfield we have an advantage over the rest of Europe. Steve Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry and Owen Hargreaves would be sought after by all the other teams. Frings and Ballack for Germany and Deco, Moutinho and Petit at Portugal are hardly in the same class. I even heard someone suggest that some player called Modric is pretty good, but not in the class of Barry, surely?

Up front is where we clearly lead the world in talent. Rooney, Owen, Crouch and Ashton would be the first choice for all eight of the teams we have seen so far. We wouldn’t swap any of them for Klose or Gomez or Nuno Gomez or Frei or Eduardo if they were fit would we now.

So there we are, I have categorically proved that the only reason we didn’t qualify and go on to be European Champions is because we had a poor manager. The players are the best in Europe. Of course, we haven’t yet seen, Evra, Gallas, Vieira, Henry, Benzema, Ribery, Van Der Sar, Sneijder, Robben, Van Persie, Van Nistlerooy, Buffon, Chiellini, Pirlo, Toni, Casillas, Puyol, Iniesta, Xavi, Torres, Villa and Ibrahimovic amongst others, but I’m sure they’ll all prove to be disappointing.

Mr. Capello, I’m just slightly concerned now that one of the reasons we are not in the tournament could be because we’re not good enough. What do you think?

I wish you the very best of luck. You’ll need it!

Yours, sincerely,

Graham Fisher

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Graham is a 46 year old freelance football writer from Salisbury in England. He has a passion for football, in particular, Watford and the team he coaches, Wilton Town. Graham writes opinions and observations for various online sites, www.4sportsake.com, www.soccernews.com, www.sportingo.com and www.soccer-weblog.com. Visit his football club's website at www.wiltontownfc.co.uk