Capello: the media pack has got what it wanted!


The Capo has gone. His critics in the media have got what they’ve wanted all along. I woke up this morning to Dan Roan on the BBC telling me that his tenure as England manager will be judged a failure. Arch critic Henry Winter in the Telegraph can barely contain his excitement.

Various reasons are put forward for what, in the eyes of many in the football media pack, should be a moment of national rejoicing. His grasp of English wasn’t good enough (presumably to give them better quotes); he was always on holiday!

Facts are not allowed to get in the way of a good story. Only this week Sir Alex Ferguson came out and said he would never allow such interference in the dressing room as the FA has perpetrated in the last week. The fact that Capello’s win percentage is better than any other England manager, including Sir Alf Ramsey, is glossed over. Presumably too inconvenient to merit valuable column inches.

His resignation caps a fabulous afternoon and early evening for ‘the pack’. Yesterday, Harry Redknapp (“our ‘Arry”) was cleared of tax evasion charges leaving him free to take charge of “the biggest job in football”. The fact that he is a self-confessed semi-illiterate who has never sent an email is irrelevant. He played at West Ham with the Heroes of ’66, Bobby, Geoff and Martin, don’t you know?

Unfortunately, ‘the pack’ is even worse at picking the next England manager than the FA. Only 18 months ago Liverpool fans were being told that we were lucky to have Roy Hodgson and that we would have to hand him back to the nation when the England job next became vacant. Multiple internet statto nerds pointed out Hodgson’s shocking away game record at every club he’s ever managed but their cries went unheard until the Kop, with its team only just outside the relegation zone, started ironically chanting “Hodgson for England.”

My advice to Harry Redknapp is don’t go near the job with a barge pole. The ‘pack’ is fickle and it will turn on you when things go badly, and things will go badly. As I sat in front of the TV last night marvelling at another England football crisis I recalled the words of one of Don Revie’s assistants at Leeds United when Revie was considering taking the England job in the mid-1970s. “They [the England players] are not as good and not as dedicated as what you have here.”

There are multiple problems with English football from the way it is administered through to individual players. Unfortunately, the events of yesterday allow us to gloss over the problems once more.

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