Anorak | Why Capello really quit England: he mastered English better than Redknapp

Why Capello really quit England: he mastered English better than Redknapp

by | 9th, February 2012

AS Fabio Capello “flees” England (Daily Star), the media goes into overdrive. Will Spurs manager Harry Redknapp now get the nod? Was Capello just warming the bench until Redknapp’s tax evasion trial ended? Was Capello undone because he canna speaka da Ingleeesh so good? Will he be replaced by Harry Redknapp, a man who told a court he he had the writing ability of a two-year-old (a face not recorded in the Sun – the paper for which Redknapp writes a column). Is Harry Redknapp the master of the English language we crave?

The FA’s decision to go over Capello’s head and strip Terry of the captaincy until after his July court case, where he will deny racially abusing Ferdinand, the Queens Park Rangers defender, led to the Italian quitting his £6m-a-year post.

Now read on…

The FA statement in full:

“The Football Association can confirm that Fabio Capello has today resigned as England manager. This follows a meeting involving FA chairman David Bernstein, FA general secretary Alex Horne and Fabio Capello at Wembley Stadium. The discussions focused on the FA board’s decision to remove the England team captaincy from John Terry, and Fabio Capello’s response through an Italian broadcast interview. In a meeting for over an hour, Fabio’s resignation was accepted and he will leave the post of England manager with immediate effect.”

And Capello? FA chairman David Bernstein says:

“I would like to stress that during today’s meeting and throughout his time as England manager, Fabio has conducted himself in an extremely professional manner. We have accepted Fabio’s resignation, agreeing this is the right decision. We would like to thank Fabio for his work with the England team and wish him every success in the future.”

The odds:

Harry Redknapp 1/4
Stuart Pearce 9/2
Alan Pardew 16-1
José Mourinho 16-1
Roy Hodgson 16-1

What? No Terry Venables?

What Capello said in Italy:

“They really insulted me and damaged my authority. What really hit me and forced me to take this decision was the fact the much-vaunted Anglo-Saxon sense of justice, as they are the first to claim that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. In Terry’s case, they gravely offended me and damaged my authority at the head of the England side, effectively creating a problem for the squad. I have never tolerated certain crossing of lines, so it was easy for me to spot it and take my decision to leave.”


Paul Hayward (Telegraph): “In press conferences Capello was curt, high-handed and sometimes incoherent. His English never advanced beyond first base. All this would have been ignorable had England not embarrassed themselves in South Africa.Rob Green’s goalkeeping howler against the United States in the opening match brought the old fatalism crashing across the camp. Capello took injured players to Africa’s first World Cup and paid the price. He was unable to solve Wayne Rooney’s ennui and imposed an absurdly austere regime on the players in a remote outpost. In the 0-0 draw with Algeria in Cape Town, England were so bad that John Terry suggested a few beers afterwards so the players could discuss what was going wrong.”

England for the Ingerlieeeesh:

Gary Lineker: “As you ask, I think new man should be English. Players have to be, so should boss. HR the man if he wants it. He can do both jobs til May.”

Barry Fry: “We want an Englishman in charge of England. With passion, not like foreigners who don’t care.”

Wayne Rooney: “Got to be English to replace him. Harry Redknapp for me.”

Richard Williams (Guardian): “For all his promises to learn English, Capello failed to master enough of the language to express himself in anything but the simplest terms, or to participate in debates without leaving scope for misinterpretation. Other foreign managers working in England – Anglophiles like Gerard Houllier and fluent linguists like Arsène Wenger and José Mourinho – avoided such problems.”

Kevin McCarra (Guardian): “Capello could never regain all of his old authority after the debacle of the 2010 World Cup. In the last-16 tie a Germany lineup seething with promise routed England 4-1 in Bloemfontein. There may have been no shame in that but England could well have been demoralised by the fashion in which they had landed themselves in such difficulties.”

For Harry, By George!

Martin Samuel (Mail): “It was Capello’s call. He decided it would be best if he picked the England team, not Sir Dave Richards, David Gill or Heather Rabbatts, and then he was gone. That is four years down the drain.  Four years in which the FA tried to buy the World Cup, failed dismally and were left looking ridiculous, now high and dry, without a manager.  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….Englishmen, the FA seem to think, are ten a penny. Redknapp does not wish any stirrings of patriotism to be used against him in negotiations. He would want the job on his terms, including the same freedom to choose backroom staff that Capello enjoyed. The prospect of being a stooge, weak and grateful to be England manager, holds no appeal.”

Mark Lawrenson (Mirror):  “Harry Redknapp can do the England job part time – and still do better at the Euros than Fabio Capello would have done.”

Oliver Kay (Times): “On the face of it, the idea of forcing out Capello (Serie A titles with AC Milan, Roma and Juventus, La Liga titles with Real Madrid, a European Cup with Milan) and bringing in Redknapp (an FA Cup and second-tier league title with Portsmouth, a third-tier league title and the Associate Members Cup with Bournemouth) might sound absurd. Certainly it would cause mirth in Italy, where they will conclude that this time those crazy English really have lost their minds. The rational argument ignores the reality. Counter-intuitive and Little Englander as it might sound, a team led by Redknapp will stand a better chance this summer than one led by Capello — certainly if we are talking about the wearied and undermined Capello of 2012, whose authoritarian approach had worn off and who felt moved to offer to resign over an issue that, while divisive, would not have broken a regime retaining strong foundations.”

Simon Barnes (Times): “Meanwhile, Capello, who was brought in to clear up quite a different mess, has left behind a disaster area. And it all comes down to one thing: a failure — something that felt like a downright refusal — to comprehend a single thing about English footballing culture. You can say what you like about Redknapp, he has a fair old handle on the game of football as played in England. He has none of Capello’s credentials as a renaissance man, a lover of fine painting and a serious collector and cosmopolitan — but in the backlash from Capello’s four years of calamity, the London vowels of Redknapp sound like the voice of sweet sanity. If England wants to go back to its good old insular roots, Redknapp is made for the job. Capello has left England without a manger as they prepare for the European Championship finals that start in June. He has also left them without a captain and with a potentially divided dressing room. It is an appalling situation, in only footballing terms, and it all began with a single error. The FA realised that England were never going to win the World Cup, but thought it might be possible to buy it instead. That is never a good place to start in any walk of life. Now it is reaping the consequences. It hurled nearly five million quid a year at Capello, thinking that such a salary made him a miracle worker. Capello took it on as a kind of retirement job, and you could see that his heart was never in it. He never got the hang of English footballing culture; for that matter, he never even got the hang of the English language.”


John Terry?

Alan Smith (Telegraph): I think the best thing to do would be to leave both John Terry and Rio Ferdinand out of the squad for Euro 2012. Terry at his best is still a very good player but given what has happened, his inclusion in the squad can only cause problems.”


Daily Mail: Tottenham will play financial hardball with the Football Association over any attempts to lure Harry Redknapp away as the next England manager. The path for Redknapp to become the next national team boss was cleared when he was acquitted on two counts of tax evasion.  But Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will not let the manager who has taken the club to third in the Barclays Premier League to walk away without a fight.”

Such are the facts…

Posted: 9th, February 2012 | In: Key Posts, Sports Comments (17) | TrackBack | Permalink