England’s honeymoon with foreign football coaches seems to be over. Fabio Capello handed over his resignation to the Football Association of England on February 8 and since then there has been a clamour by ex-internationals Bobby Charlton and Alan Shearer for an Englishman to be in charge of the team, to ensure better understanding and communication with the players.
Current Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp, known for his motivating skills and astute man-management is favoured to take over. However, Terry Venables, who coached England in Euro 1996 could get the job along with Stuart Pearce till the end of the European Championships this summer. Foreign coaches being considered are Guus Hiddink and Jose Mourinho.
John Terry has been Capello’s Waterloo. In early 2010, Terry was sacked as England captain because of his affair with Vanessa Perroncel, a lingerie model and former long-term girlfriend of team-mate Wayne Bridge. Months away from the
World Cup, this scandal was a media dream for the British newspapers. It also destabilised Terry and the England team.
This time, the FA Board stripped Terry of his captaincy for allegedly racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. The matter will be decided in court after Euro 2012. The 65-year-old Capello expressed his frustrations on Italian TV that Terry was sacked as captain, without consulting him and it undermined his own authority. This led to the end of
Capello’s reign. It is symptomatic of the relationship between the FA and Capello that a failure to resolve their differences in taking the captaincy off Terry led to the point of noreturn.
The Italian’s resignation is not really shocking as the relationship between Capello and the FA was “a loveless marriage” which they were locked into by his lucrative contract (£6 million a year) since the dismal failure in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. It was expected that the FA would sack Capello after the World Cup. However they procrastinated and allowed him to continue till the end of Euro 2012. Capello’s existence as England coach appeared to be a joyless one for much of his final months, despite his public enthusiasm for the emergence of young talent such as Manchester United’s Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck, Everton midfield man Jack Rodwell and Spurs right back Kyle Walker.
A noted disciplinarian, Capello was once hailed as the savior who would discipline the rich young footballers who played for England. His task was to eliminate the celebrity culture that surrounded the England team in their Baden Baden training camp, during the 2006 World Cup under the lax regime of Sven Goran Eriksson and later Steve McClaren (2006-08). Capello did curtail player power by banishing use of mobiles on match days. But England’s training camp at the Royal Marang Hotel in the village of Phokeng in 2010 went to the other extreme. Capello imposed asceticism and austerity on the players and with limited recreation possible, he did not get the balance right. The 2010 World Cup became a joyless ordeal for England.
As England’s manager Capello’s record is credible, 28 wins and eight draws out of 42 matches but he never fully understood their football culture.