Watching The Media: Capello Bashing Is A Pathetic Waste Of Column Inches

Posted: September 2, 2010 in Football, Media
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Since England’s miserable failure at the World Cup there has been a repetitive drum bashed by the nation’s media.

The resounding boom of ‘Capello Out’ from all and sundry has been deafening at times, despite being the most ridiculous of notions.

Now the collective toys have all been thrown out of the pram, and having asked for the geeky kid’s lunch money, they’ve now resorted to childish games in order to get their own way. All that remains now is for them to give Capello a ‘wedgie’.

Given the amount of other excuses the media have trotted out for England’s reported failure, it hardly seems fair to then lay the blame at the feet of the Italian.

Boredom, tiredness, altitude – These have all been attributed to England only reaching the second round of the World Cup, none of which can be attributed to Fabio Capello.

You’ll remember Glenn Hoddle achieved the same ‘achievement’ in 1998, falling to Argentina in the second round on penalties. However, Hoddle was spared the ire of the tabloids, at least until he made some rather crude remarks about the disabled.

He was at least allowed to start the next qualification poorly before being ousted from the hot-seat.

So it smacks slightly of xenophobia from the influential writers, who never seemed too keen on a foreigner managing the English side, despite having hounded out Steve McClaren and demanded a manager of proven quality.

Look around England, and you will struggle to find a manager capable of all this.

Stuart Pearce? A member of Capello’s back-room team and cannot be absolved of any of the blame reportedly being put on the Italian’s shoulders. Harry Redknapp? That sole FA Cup fades woefully into comparison with Capello’s league titles in two countries, in addition to a UEFA Champions League trophy. Redknapp is only competing in the Champions League for the first time in his career.

Other candidates represent a mish-mash of managers who have made their living trying to break into the top half of the Premier League. Not exactly awe-inspiring.

So now we look at the players. They are the true reason that England are failing, yet they remain respected by the media, who need them for their sound-bites and quotes. Chasing Capello away will result in him disappearing back to Italy, where he would become of little interest to them anyway.

The media have of course blamed Capello for his choices, but in general it is accepted that he picked the best he could from the lack of talent being produced.

The only arguments would be in regards to the omission of Theo Walcott in favour of Shaun Wright-Phillips, whilst others would suggest room should have been made for Adam Johnson, the man keeping Wright-Phillips out of the Manchester City side at the time.

They want new players to be brought into the squad, but only on the basis of going against a reason they applauded Capello for in the early stages of his tenure.

Capello wanted players who were fit and in form for their clubs. This made perfect sense, as opposed to picking players based on reputation, despite that plan falling apart once the World Cup appeared.

Jack Rodwell is one repeatedly mentioned (particularly by Henry Winter), but he has failed to nail down a starting role in the Everton squad as yet. Promising player, yes, but can in no way be expected to hold down an international place before that club role is more regular.

Again, a lot of fuss was made about the absence of Jack Wilshere in the latest squad, despite his two starts for Arsenal including a lack-lustre performance against Liverpool and being the only outfield player in the 6-0 hammering of Blackpool to be fairly unnoticeable.

This follows on from Capello seemingly ending the international career of the severely injured, 34-year-old David Beckham. This was met with outrage, retiring the most elderly member of the England side in order to bring the aforementioned youth through.

The media reaction was so contradictory to their initial demands after the Word Cup. It suggests there is nothing Capello can do right, even if it’s exactly what they want.

If we then move on to the Sun’s childish name-calling in a recent edition, calling Capello ‘gormless’ and a ‘jackass’ in addition to mocking up Capello in a pair of donkey’s ears.

This is ‘journalism’ of the lowest common denominator and in no way does it help to inform the public. It is just a pathetic tantrum from people who have failed to get their own way.

Honourable mentions must go to and Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail for their criticism of their peers, despite the latter’s ‘Mr Muddle’ headline of a fortnight previously smacking of hypocrisy.

But on the whole, the media has resorted to a repetitive and childish manner in their bid to remove Capello from his duties.

Gentlemen, accept that he is the England manager. Until that situation changes, look in the mirror and realise you are as much as part of the problem as that ‘gormless’ Italian incumbent.

  1. Craig Jones says:

    Totally agree with everything you’ve written here. Quite why nationality matters over a proven track record is beyond me. As if Allardyce could do a better job…

  2. Ash says:

    The call for an English Manager after Sven Goran Eriksson was made. Anyone in the media remember the results? Capello was hired because he had a proven record, admittedly at club level, but it was thought that he could bring success to the team, which he did admirably during the qualifiers.

    I wonder how many would applaud him if he picked the best youth for the next qualifying games, and they were slaughtered? Would they then turn to him and blame him for not picking a side best suited to win?

  3. James Cook says:

    I’m not sure that Cappello can be entirely blameless on the boredom front as it seems to have been his authoritarian rule that was responsible for that at least. I’m not sure we can hold him up as being totally blameless tactically either. The decision to put Heskey on as a last ditch attempt to grab goals seems a little naieve. Then again, at that point I doubt it really mattered what he actually did, as the game and the tournament was as good as over for us. I think sadly that Capello has gone against his established principles that made him so strong a manager at the start of his tenure. Picking players purely on international renown, rather on their ability to actually get the job done for the national side seems to be a failing that all our managers are slowly drawn into. However, don’t get me wrong. I feel a removal of the manager would not bring around a change. We need a complete overhall of grass roots football in this country with more young players brought through the ranks and a lot of money spent on coaching. As it is, internationals just seem to interupt my enjoyment of watching my league club play with the endless disapointment of watching a team of 11 strangers run around like headless chickens.

    • Chris H says:

      I think I am with James here. Although harassing him in the fickle tabloid media is stupid and potentially dangerous, to team morale, public support and his interest, I have to put a lot of blame on him.

      He didn’t pick from form, but on reputation-the exact opposite of one of the strong principles which he prides his whole managerial career on holding.

      He didnt allow any kind of tactical flexibility, playing the same failing methods over again.

      Most importantly in my mind, he doesn’t interact with the team. WHile I am all for improved discipline for these man-children, you can’t go around barking at them and calling them by their position, instead of name! In this respect I think I have to agree with Mourinho-you have to make the players feel special to make them play at their best.

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