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The Fears of a Clown

For some reason Capello has always appeared to me to have the face of a clown without his makeup. Maybe, with that thought in mind, for me he will always cut something of a stumbling comic figure that somehow has convinced those in power he is made for a job he seems to me ill equipped to do. Sometimes doors just open for you as for the simple gardener that Peter Sellers once played in a film in which he eventually became President of the US. George W later went on to prove that truth can be just as strange as fiction.

The timidity with which Capello went about his squad and team selection for the World Cup shows nothing of the innovative, creative, tactically aware coaching genius he is supposed to be. Though he has had an impressive record in the arthritic football of Serie A, like many Italian coaches of his age he doesn`t really trust youth and is always likely to make what he thinks are safe choices.

Maybe that`s why I find his advice to Gibbs and Wilshere to seek to go elsewhere on loan or whatever if they don`t get enough playing time at Arsenal in order to further their international prospects the thoughtless musings of a clown. Wilshere was only picked for England because he spent some time last season on loan to Bolton he claims. No he wasn`t he was picked because he is a precociously talented Arsenal player that had already gained plenty of exposure before going on loan to Bolton. Had he been on loan from Crystal Palace he wouldn`t have got anything like the recognition he did. By contrast Gibbs only played 7 times for Arsenal last season but his quality was still able to be recognised by the national team. Unsettling players at such a young age with clumsily veiled threats that their international prospects could be harmed if they aren`t first choice with their clubs is both disingenuous and disruptive.

There was a time, not too long ago, when the young England side, and thereby the stepping stone to the full side, was the U23`s. With that in mind telling 18 year old Wilshere that he should be agitating now for a first team place instead of reassuring him that he has possibly another 18 years, literally a lifetime in his terms, of a professional career in front of him if he takes care of himself properly is just promoting impatience and unreasonable expectations - both of and from the player. International football reaps the benefits of the work of others - it does nothing itself to improve the quality of players. In fact forcing them to play ill timed and meaningless international friendlies is among the most counterproductive of demands on professional players. Let the clubs manage their own players - that`s how they get where they are now in the first place.

Capello`s ability to speak English is improving but doesn`t yet match his ability to speak Rubbish.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 10 2010

Time: 1:07AM

Your Comments

What a weird one, just when I'd thought that the English set up had exhausted every which way to criticise Arsenal for something or other, Capello comes up with this gem. Before we were wrong for not having enough English players and now we're wrong for having them at the club at all. What?
Professor Calculus
Capello was exposed at the world cup for the archaic coach that he is. Dated formations, dated tactics and dated player preparation drills. There is NOTHING innovative about Capello at all and the only reason he is still England coach is that the FA is baulking at the massive compensation package he would be due if he were sacked now. I hope our young players do better than listening to Capello. Gibbs and Wilshere's own self interest is better aligned with our club's interest than the national team's.
At least both players carry with them enough intelligence to acknowledge their number 1 goal being to play regular with Arsenal. I find this whole debate over why England are so crap very amusing! Instead of figuring out ridiculous rules to get more English players into the top teams, perhaps they should investigate why English players do not play in other leagues across Europe?? Because they are greedy Pre-Madonnas!!
In fairness Capello's record is not to be sniffed at in such a way. He also won La Liga a couple of times and doesn't have a bad record in the Champions League either! La Liga may be a two horse race, but you have to ask yourself seriously if England is much different. It's also worth remembering that Serie A may be arthritic now, but when Capello built that Milan side of the early 90s it was the top league on the planet. He also won Serie A with an unfancied Roma side, which is roughly the equivalent of of someone taking Spurs to the title in England. His comments about Wilshere and Gibbs are unhelpful and a bit stupid for sure, but as a manager it's difficult to question him- certainly at club level anyway. And for his squad selection this summer, I'm intrigued to know who exactly it is he left at home that would have prevented England being spanked by Germany? Darren Bent? Scott Parker? A team that didn't qualify for the last tournament and has a history of 2nd round/ QF exits shouldn't be too despondant when that equlibrium is restored.
Little Dutch
I'ce accepted that his Italian record is impressive. The major part of Capello's successes were with a dominant Milan side 15 to 20 years ago. He seems to me tailor made for the type of risk averse football that Serie A has become as noted for as it has for its lowly attendance figures. That he has won something with Real on a couple of occassions isn't any great surprise but not apparently in a manner that has delivered much satisfaction. As for his England selection my point is exactly that. He picked all the players that the media and popular opinion told him he should pick and played all the players he was expected to play irrespective of whether it was a balanced format or not. If Howard Wilkinson were Italian he'd be Fabio Capello.
But again, I have to ask what else his choices were? Schumacher wouldn't have won a Grand Prix in a Vauxhall Astra, Capello was stuck with what he had. I don't doubt that had Wenger of Ferguson been in charge of that lot in the summer, that the result wouldn't have been much different.
Little Dutch
I always feel a little reluctant to offer opinions on the national team. I don't really care enough about the way England turnout to think too deeply about what the options are and if I did it isn't possible to prove any other choices would have been better or worse. Capello isn't alone in picking both Gerrard and Lampard to play in a formation that only has room for one of them but you just know he isn't going to be the one to take that brave a decision to leave one out. Similarly maybe there weren't any other options to Emile Heskey but somehow he seems just the sort of player that Capello would pick. What you can say is that for a man whose coaching credentials are enough to put him into a stratospheric pay league compared to those who'd gone before him he hasn't so far added anything of value that suggests he is even as good as those he has succeeded. Frankly I couldn't care less who is England manager but someone so clearly playing to the gallery as Capello does should at least have the courtesy to ensure his patronisation of young players, that he probably won't pick when the crunch decisions have to be made, doesn't encourage a distorted view of where their real professional interests lie.
LD, no doubt Capello will go down in history as a great manager. But what about now? I do think his style of regimented management, controlled play and no creativity is a form of attritional football which is past its sell by date.
I think his hand was forced with the Gerrard Lampard thing due to the injury to Barry (which goes to prove the point about paucity of choice when Barry is such a pivotal player) and the fact that Hargreaves is suffering Rosicky disease, even going so far as trying to tempt Scholes out of retirement. He found a way around the Gerrard and Lampard axis in qualifying but had to ditch the formation due to unavailability of players. That the F.A. pays him astronomical wages is more down to the F.A. than Capello (they even reportedly dithced one of his release clauses this summer). I think Capello is playing to the gallery because he sees that a) his players are average and b) they're paralysed by fear every time thay play for their country. He'd probably desperately like to turn around and tell everyone his players aren't all that and the best everyone should hope for is a quarter final place. Probably much like Wenger would like to have told everyone between 2005-07 that the pursestrings are tight and we'll just try and hang onto 4th for a couple of years. But that would destroy the confidence of his players even further. But yes, I am in agreement that the comments around Wilshere and Gibbs are idiotic. I stand by my comparison between international football and the Royal Family; decorative, expensive, contributes nothing, takes everything and expects you to consider it an honour.
Little Dutch
DF, I think you could make a better argument that Capello's methods aren't suited to international football, but I don't buy that he's a football dinosaur as he has recent success; it's not just all from the early 90s. Whether or not Capello feels that and alters his outlook slightly remains to be seen. What I do think is worth noting is that his qualification record was the most emphatic ever achieved by an England manager. Now I know they were hardly playing world beaters, but Slovenia and Algeria are not exactly troubling the higher end of the world rankings either. For whatever reason, his players were paralysed by fear on the big stage- as they have been for some time now. Similarly, there was no reason for him not to persist with Heskey, who was key in qualifying. In fact, I think dropping him was one of his biggest mistakes, it was the first time he had really bowed to the press and I think it cost him. You may say qualifying and the tournament are different things, but I think you could level a similar criticism at Wenger. i.e. playing nine upfront will see us beat Bolton 5-2, but against United and Chelsea, we will get annihilated.
Little Dutch
So who makes the final decision when picking the team? Is every decision made to avoid the hungry media just praying for failure so they can systematically tear everyone apart? The biggest problem England face is "ego". This unfounded belief that they should be at the top of every sport ever invented is childish. What the national football team needs is a manager with balls. Every great team to ever grace a football pitch never fields 11 "world class" players. Brazil have proven time and time again, along with Germany, that all you need is desire and a system that brings it all together. Capello unfortunately caved in to the demands of the media and "fans" and chose a team based on names, instead of a system that would best suit the English game. 4-5-1 is not an English system. You cannot invent something to accommodate a player. The moment that team was announced I put a twenty down on England to be out in the first round. I was close.
I wouldn't want Heskey anywhere near the national team let alone start every game but it has to be said that Capello built his whole qualifying campaign on using Heskey but after two games in the WC he quickly changed his mind and opted for Defoe. That to me signals that he had no clear plan of winning a match except for we have better attacking players and we should win this match. He catered far too much to the media, if he really believes playing Heskey is good for the team then by all means he should.
I completely agree with Amos. It is less than helpful to put that sort of pressure on youngsters like Gibbs and Wilshire (or anyone), and it is particularly galling when it appears to be deflecting some of the pressure away from Capello. He is an excellent manager who people are blaming for England’s poor showing at the WC but even if they played to their full potential England would not have been World Champions. Admittedly, he made some peculiar decisions just prior to and during the WC but that just illustrates the ridiculous demands put upon him by the English. Here was a hugely experienced manager made to buckle by a country who expects the unachievable. And the players buckled too. Ironically, Arsene Wenger could be the saviour of football in this country. Only the best players (of any nationality) make it through to the top at Arsenal and Gibbs and Wilshere are two of those players. Properly nurtured and taught to play football the right way, (I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the Spanish style of play and Arsenal’s so let’s say the Spanish way is the right way for obvious reasons), they have been rightly recognised and selected by England. Perhaps the Arsene model should be accepted by the English as the way out of this 44 year barren run.
Sir Henry
I think playing Gerrard on the left wing & starting Emile Heskey made my mind up about Capello unfortunatley
Are Capello's comments re Wilshere & Gibbs available on the net anywhere, or were they just reported by journos? What exactly did he say? I ask because I've heard other bloggers differ on the substance of his actual comments re the Arsenal players. One blogger who was at Capello's press conference thought his comments had been misinterpreted. Ditto re LD's comments on Capello's achievements when Serie A were not "arthritic" and was in fact the best league in the world. There's plenty of blame to go around re England's failure at the wc--it wasn't just the players nor the manager, but both. LD has already discussed the problems with England's players. For Capello, what struck me more was not the player selection but the formation--his absolute rigidity in using 442 in a tournament in which nearly every team was using some form of 4231/4321. But was that his rigidity or his lack of quality players to use any other formation than the traditional 442? Going into the tournament, I wondered if Capello would be capable of establishing the right kind of atmosphere in the England camp in which--for the 1st time--players and staff would be together in close quarters in a high pressure event for an extended period. Had England qualified for the 08 Euros and had Capello been manager then, he & the players would've at least had some experience in that. Capello's never had that experience, and his style/approach isn't really amenable to team-bonding in close quarters for long periods. In his prep for the wc, in the last couple of weeks before they all had to fly out to SA, it was clear how desperately he was flailing for quality players, how little he had to work with. The last minute effort to get Scholes, the lack of a replacement for Barry (who himself is just competent), and then of course Rio's injury--after which he brought in King, ffs! Rio's injury was devastating for England, I think, b/c there really isn't an English defender quite like him. Anyway, if he did in fact make those comments, then of course he should just STFU.
Why didnt he asked Gareth Barry to move somewhere else because he f***ing hell sure wont get playing time in MC with YT coming in
jaelle king is as good a defender as rio that was never the problem with england the sheer predictability was the issue and that is down to both staff and players. and before you pick me up on my king defence please remember it was your legend who hailed him as the best he had played against
I think gooners should pray Mr Capello does well by England. I can see the FA looking to Mr Wenger for next England manager. If things don't go well for the gooners and Cesc as expected moves on, Wenger may well accept the England job.
Clive 49
I very much doubt you'd ever see Wenger take any international job. I'd bet my left ballbag on it.
Little Dutch
I'll take your word for it. But the England job is not any international job it is THE international job.
Clive 49
Clive 49, the England job is not THE job in Intl. football from any stretch of imagination. You have a nationalist's glasses on and that is fine but that doesn't make what you said true. The England job has become a poisoned chalice - the players have a primadonna culture complete with their assorted lackey's wags and agents, the media are bloodhounds who will sell England's chances for a few pennies and marketshare, the FA is clueless how to implement a proper footballing education to young kids who want to become professiona footballers...I could go on. Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Germany, Holland etc are so superior to England "footballistically" that its not funny anymore.
jljyid, King is a fine defender but NOT RELIABLE FOR ANY TOURNAMENT, NEVER MIND A WHOLE SEASON! I was referring to his injury-ridden body, not his skills. He's still not as good as Rio, however - Rio's passing and vision are not equalled by any English defender I can think of.
I love the way you lot now adopt, conveniently, a patronising and disinterested view of international football, and England in particular. I'm not english but I take an interest. As for Capello, he's Charlie Carolli crossed with Stanley Unwin, so given the intellectual propensities of the squad, he ain't gonna get his message across, even after two years of a learny dis an dat, capiche?
lordjonny, when did anyone on this site ever adopt anything different? I'm curious because that's been the way most of our members have been for as long as I can remember.
Little Dutch
I refer to your support as a whole, not the half dozen who ooh and aah at your Leonard Sachs impersonation.
lordjohnny, you are really the Xavi to LD's Cesc. Your love for him shines through.
Thank you Delta. He's somewhere he doesn't want to be, and if he was, he'd be on the bench, thanks to me. How apposite.
Charlie Carolli and Stanley Unwin??? Nobody would have heard much of them after about 1961. Coincidentally the last time Spuds won the title. Really are locked in a bit of a time warp aren't they.
Yes Amos. Modern life is much better, what with Ant n Dec (C*** n P**** in my house), Bradley Walsh, James Corden and others from the contemporary comedy alumni.
Yep - life was so much better for you when it was in black and white lj. These times are not for you. :)
Absolutely Cletus.....I mean Amos.
Short term memory loss - its consistent with your advancing years oldtimer.
Leonard Sachs? Wasn't he in a series called 'The Good Old Days'? Sounds about right. You carry on with your dansette there old timer, who knows, if you close your eyes and keep chanting "we are the mods" for long enough, the 60s just might come back.
Little Dutch
There are times when Wikipedia just isn't enough to stop that whooshing sound over your barnet.
There are times when your sneering cynicism isn't enough to mask the crushing loneliness that pours out of your every trolling post.
Little Dutch
'....Oh Ruuu.....uuuubeeeeee..............don't take your love to town'.
I think it's time for his medication nurse !
Is there a Doc in the house?
Yes I need my fluoxetine. It combats feeble retorts, especially with exclamation marks.
Yes I can imagine that would be of some help to you. The mental distress you lot have suffered over the last 50 years would be difficult to handle on your own. You're all so needy industrial strength anti-depressants have to be a help. Best taken with Lasagne I'm told.
Whenever I'm feeling that way, I'll look at a picture of Tom Watt, the walking cadaver and long term Arsist.
I guess you'd be relishing his comparatively youthful good looks and wishing that you weren't old enough to pine after Charlie Carolli and Stanley Unwin. You could still enjoy the Lasagne though - you won't need to put your teeth in for that.
It'll keep you nice and regular too.
Little Dutch
Oh and allow me to pre empt Lordjohnny's response. "Something, something, something, some obscure reference to someone from the 50s, something, something, if your tastes don't exactly match mine in every way you are a moron and I am oh so smart, something, something, something, how apposite, chortle, chortle." There, saved us all some trouble.
Little Dutch
Yes.... the world began when you were born. To quote another 'obscure' surveyor of the youthful 'I am not young enough to know everything'. In the meantime, try growing a thicker skin.
The world didn't stop in 1967 either. You confess to being a wind up merchant yet you don't want responses? I think it's you who needs to check the thickness of your own leathery skin my friend.
Little Dutch
No but I've checked for oxymorons.

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