I cannot believe England would miss him and having known him for many years and admired his undoubted intelligence, I am as surprised as many of my colleagues that his English is still so pitifully poor; where the likes of Roberto Mancini and the doomed Carlo Ancelotti have fared so much better.
With Montenegro seeming to fade away after that unexpected defeat in Wales – promptly and somewhat irrationally sacking their manager – with the indispensable “general” Jack Wilshere and Steve Gerrard due eventually to come back, England would probably make a decent quarter finalish show of things in the ensuing European finals.
Yet Capello’s selection and tactics still tend to bewilder. Using Wayne Rooney alone up front worked well enough in Sofia but didn’t work at all at Wembley against Wales where he was close marked, ill supported and subdued.
And Capello could thank his lucky stars both that Wales were unable to deploy the exuberant talents of Craig Bellamy, so shabbily treated by Roberto Mancini at Manchester City – who will clearly go on buying their way to success till hell freezes, with an embarrassment of riches in every sense, which even Chelsea cannot rival was suspended.
Also that Gary Speed the Welsh manager for reasons that reason takes no account of, inexplicably kept the dynamic and elusive Gareth Bale out on the right throughout, when the surely obvious stratagem would have been to have run him on the left against a Chris Smalling still inexperienced as a right back, not least at international level.
Even so only Robert Earnshaw’s ghastly four-yard blunder prevented Wales from snatching a draw. I was especially sorry about his miss, as I have long been one of his admirers, ever since I saw him make a remarkable debut in Cardiff against Germany, showing the so called Big Match Temperament in spades, running rings around a ponderous German defence, and scoring very properly, the only goal of the game.