Gavin HamiltonFootball Association chairman David Bernstein has insisted that the FA did not seek Fabio Capello’s resignation at their decisive meeting. “It was very much his decision to go,” Bernstein told a press conference.

Yet there seems far more to Capello’s departure than merely a disagreement over John Terry’s captaincy. If we are to believe the FA, Capello has walked out on a £6million-a-year contract without a penny of compensation.

Only in England is the national team captaincy taken so seriously. In Capello’s native Italy and most other major European nations, the captain’s armband usually goes to the most capped player in the side. It is nothing more than a ceremonial role.

For Capello to quit in a spat over Terry’s status simply doesn’t add up. Deeper reasons will emerge for Capello’s departure four months before the European Championship.

The suspicion remains that it was fast dawning on Capello that England do not have the players to win Euro 2012. England’s outstanding attacking talent, Wayne Rooney, will miss the opening two games through suspension, while the brightest young midfield prospect since Paul Gascoigne, Jack Wilshere, has ongoing injury problems and his club Arsenal cannot confirm that he will play again this season.

Certainly, Capello made mistakes as England manager – learning sufficient English to communicate effectively with players proved beyond him – but the credentials that made him such a success at club level (nine league titles and a European Cup) did not desert him overnight.

Capello’s qualities – for which the FA were happy to pay him £6million a year – did not work with England. Which begs the question: will anything work with England?

The uncomfortable reality for the FA is that the England national side are essentially a quarter-final team. With with the wind behind them and a little bit of luck, they could be considered a semi-final side. But their world ranking over the past decade – in or around the top 10 – is essentially right. They’re not as good as Holland or Germany and certainly not as good as Spain, Brazil or Argentina. On a good day they’re probably on a par with Portugal, France and Italy.

However, by making Capello easily the world’s best paid coach, on three times the going rate for a top international coach, the FA ramped up expectations that could never be realistically met.

Capello, who was heralded as the world’s best coach when he was appointed four years ago, actually had the highest win rate of 67 per cent is the highest of any manager in England’s history.

Many things went wrong during Capello’s tenure with England, but it would be misleading just to blame the manager.

Bernstein did nothing to deny suggestion that Harry Redknapp is about to ride to England’s rescue, although you can be sure that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will extract his pound of flesh from the FA before Redknapp is appointed.

The media love-in with Harry is understandable. He never knowingly turns down an interview; his record with Tottenham is impeccable. He’s one of only two living Englishman who has qualified a team for the group stages of the Champions League; the other is Steve McClaren…

But Redknapp is no Capello. Currently, that is a good thing, as far as England fans, players and officials are concerned. Whether they feel that way in a year’s time remains to be seen.

By Gavin Hamilton

  • ismaila

    it is true england shoud sack capello because how many years he does give any trophy to england.he has d player,the fans and the support of the FA.The caliba of players capello have he should win so many trophies by now but the FA do what si right

  • 2012Winners

    this weeks football debate should surround Leadership. Leadership is what will turn ENGLAND into World Cup winners! Not the leadership of the manager that at this time is not as important as the leadership of the organisation!  So while all are discussing Harry Redknapp as our next Mgr. is this the most important item we should be discussing? No !
    We have ambled along for 100 odd years now and arrived at a point with a complex structure. Lost real control. Got not a lot of friends in UEFA. Referee/ linesman turns a blind eye to a certain F.Lampard goal. If you cannot sort these later items out then you cannot hope to achieve anything other than an ambling organisation!
    Your attitude to a manager that has a 70% win ratio was appalling and he was dead right to take the cow home. Ps in case Mr Cappello is reading this this is not a reference to your wife but the award you received for escaping England ! Mr Cappello you were a brave man to stand up to your employers. I just wish you stood up a little longer!
    Racism: M Richards get back on line do not let them go underground!
    JT England captain – English law innocent until proven otherwise.

    Leader in the FA………..?England Manager?England captain? England win anything?

  • WhatWouldJesusGilDo?

    Vincent, I’d say Holland actually make up the world’s top four (with Spain Germany and Brazil) with Uruguay perhaps next in line. If it was just about talent England should arguably have won in ’06 – there is a reason they make the line-ups PLAY each other to decide the cup! But my point was simply, if past performance is to be factored in, shouldn’t it be done equally for all teams? ‘Talent’ should be tested after all, not just taken at face value: it’s the point of competition.

  • shiv

    England footnall and Indian cricket mirror each other.Both are run by bumbling idiots played by over rated over paid “stars” with mediocre talent,followed by fans with huge expectations.This facade will continue because both have access to huge funds from sponsorship.

  • Mark Rojinsky

    England have not shown purpose or enterprise since Joe Mercer’s caretaker role as manager between 1973-1974: ‘a beguiling interregnum’ to quote Brian Glanville when flair players such as Tony Curry, Frank Worthington and Mike Channon had their way.

  • vincent

    Talent-wise, Argentina are much stronger than England.

    In terms of overall talents, England are behind Spain, Germany, Brazil, Argentina. That makes England “essentially a quarter-final team.”

  • pepe

    In my opinion England, in a good day, can defeat anybody, but it is probably luck of confidence and strong mentallity in the right matches. It was a shame the Euro 2004. England was the best team of the Championship.

  • WhatWouldJesusGilDo?

    OK, England are “essentially a quarter-final team” (no semi reached since Italia 90); but what does that make the “certainly” superior Argentina (er, no semi reached since Italia 90)?