What The Papers Say On Fabio Capello

As you might expect, there's a stirring in the collective trousers of the press as they take sickening glee in getting their way. Well, mostly. There are a few voices of sanity...

Last Updated: 09/02/12 at 08:30 Post Comment

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* 'There will be few tears shed for Capello, often regarded as unengaged with English football, and damaged after the poor 2010 World Cup campaign. Tears will be shed, however, if the obvious candidate for the job - Harry Redknapp - takes one look at the wreckage along Wembley Way and runs a mile. And why would Redknapp embrace this chaos? Why would he, given his recent circumstances, regard the FA as suitable employers?

'This is a man who has just endured a five-year investigation, culminating in a very public trial for tax evasion. Acquitted on all charges, he stood on the steps of Southwark Crown Court and paid generous tribute to the executive staff of Tottenham Hotspur.

'Whatever fairy dust is being sprinkled on Wednesday's meetings, there is no firm leadership at the FA, there is no coherence. Ultimately, Capello quit over a basic point of principle, and not anything as grand as innocent until proven guilty, either. He left over the principle that the football man does the football. At the very least he gets consulted about it. At the very least, he is invited to be part of the discussion and is not made to look a fool. If the FA could now secure Redknapp, some would claim this is all for the best. He is a far more popular figure than Capello, and English. Without doubt he is the best candidate for the job. But not like this' - Martin Samuel in The Daily Mail.


* 'This is the ritual cycle of the England football manager. There was delight in the removal of Fabio Capello last night, just as there is every time England shed the man in charge of the national team. We rejoice in their departure and, yes, even in the case of Kevin Keegan, welcome the new messiah.

'The ancient rite demands that we rubbish the outgoing man - all part of the process of renewal - so you will hear a lot about Capello's failings in the next few days. How his communication was so poor, how the players did not relate to him, how he was stubborn and unyielding. How he never understood English players, did not learn the language, did not smile enough on the training ground.

'His tactics were not right, he was paid too much (his fault, obviously), was Italian (his fault as well) and, in any case, did he really care that much in the first place? After all, he quit, didn't he?

'And some of it may even be true, especially the part about picking a hopelessly outmanned midfield against Germany in the 2010 World Cup finals and failing at times because of schoolboy English to be clear enough on specific instructions. Just as it will also be true that most of the same basic methods made him a serial winner just about everywhere else he has been for the past two decades' - Matt Dickinson in The Times.


* 'In truth, Capello should have gone after England's short and hapless visit to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup but his employers lacked courage. The FA's new chairman, David Bernstein, has demonstrated greater boldness in calling Capello to task over his blinkered commitment to John Terry. Capello stamped his feet like a stroppy child denied a sweet and eventually stormed off in a huff yesterday.

'Any mourning will be brief. His flaws were obvious. He failed to grasp fully either the English language or the unique psychology of the English professional.

'He did not respond to the players' preference for a 4-3-3 system at the World Cup, sticking to tactics that left England so vulnerable in the middle. He overlooked the credentials of the country's most in-form goalkeeper, Joe Hart' - Henry Winter in The Daily Telegraph.


* 'There are many reasons to be disillusioned with the state of English football. The lack of home-grown players coming through. The distance the country lags behind countries such as Spain in producing high-quality, technically accomplished players. But to quit over the FA taking a stand that it was inappropriate for the England team to be led by a man on a charge of racial abuse is a pathetic waste.

'Whatever the chaos in English football this morning, the FA was right to strip Terry of the captaincy. It should have excluded him from the squad altogether. That does not interfere with the presumption of innocence until proved guilty. That is just a simple statement about what is appropriate for a captain of the national team. If Capello cannot understand that, then it really is better that he goes now.

'Given that this is a manager who worked for Silvio Berlusconi, indeed a manager whose career was launched by the former Italian Prime Minister, Capello would be advised to spare us any lectures about awkward bosses. He may not like compromise but he will surely not try to tell us that he has never been forced to comply with policy decisions sent down from on high. The more you look at yesterday's events, the more Capello seemed to be looking for a way out' - Sam Wallace in The Independent.


* 'He did have a fine record in qualifying but there is little point in reaching major tournaments if you fall apart when you get there. That was the pattern for the World Cup and it was beginning to look suspiciously as if it would be the pattern for Euro 2012, too. It never quite felt as if his heart was in the England job. Perhaps it was something to do with his failure to learn the language and the fact that he never really seemed to understand the mentality of English players. The news of his resignation is a boost for England. It's just a shame he didn't quit earlier' - Oliver Holt in The Daily Mirror.


* 'So he's gone - and not before time. After being paid £24million in four years, you might have thought Fabio Capello might have learned the language. But he couldn't even do that. Though he did have enough grasp of the swear words to sit yelling at his players from the bench in South Africa.

'The clearest sign that he had totally lost the plot. He stared out at his players from behind his glasses not knowing what to do and looking to all the world like Mr Magoo. This was some comedown for a man generally acknowledged as one of the finest club managers in history. Yet he was never cut out to be an international manager' - Steven Howard in The Sun.

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