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Its all Capello’s fault? Really… I mean, Really?

Lets get one thing clear from the outset, Fabio Capello is not the root of the English conundrum. To suggest he is the problem is nothing short of ridiculous. Whilst its a soothing thought to think the problem is simply the Manager, we must look beyond that and ask ourselves, are we really going to throw away one of the  greatest managers of modern times on the basis that we have supposedly ‘World Class Players’ who should be performing better? I’m afraid, the problem runs deeper. It isn’t something that a switch to 4-5-1 will fix and believe it or not, it isn’t all Emile Heskeys fault. Not quite.

England Training session pre Ukraine match 06/10/09 Photo Nicky Hayes Fotosports International Fabio Capello.

Wayne Rooneys inexcusable mini-rant to the camera as he trudged off the pitch on Friday night was typical of an England player unfortunately. With the odd exception, the players are so full of self importance, they feel that they will beat teams like Algeria simply by turning up. Its an arrogance that defies belief when you consider that this so called ‘Golden Generation’ would be rather embarrassed if you asked them to put their medals on the table. This team have lived through the Errikson days, where any bad performance was defended to the hilt . They were also watchers-on as McClaren attempted to change our fortunes by getting his good mates ‘Stevie’ and ‘Lamps’ on side.

The fact remains, Errikson wasnt a bad manager. FC Twente fans would also vouch for McClarens expertise as well. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are great club footballers, but for whatever reason have never done it on the international stage. So why do they continue to be named and selected in starting 11’s?

There is a real comfort zone emerging around this side, where Gerrard, Lampard and the like seem untouchable, like they have a divine right to pull on the shirt. English football wont move foward with the same old names. It will stagnate. If England bow out of this tournament then i fully expect Capello will be leaving and i fully believe the next manager will merely be the next scape goat in line for Wazza and JT’s average performances.

Lets look deeper, shall we? Lets make real change, as our cringe worthy Prime Minister would say. I believe everything about playing for this country seems negative right now. The players have the weight of the world on their shoulders. This shouldn’t be the way, and steps need to be taken to rectify that. The players are scared of making a mistake, and i really do believe that there is a psychological barrier preventing the 11 ‘lions’ from making any form of progress.

If we take the Algeria debacle as an example, then the 11 players in white, purely on ability, should be simply far too good for their African counterparts. But it doesn’t transpire that way and England put in a typically disappointing performance. Why do i get the feeling Wayne Rooney thinks he is doing us a favour by playing? and more importantly, why aren’t we beating Algeria?!

Jurgen Klinsmann argued that the English put too much emphasis on the managers role and that the players should be good enough to get given a position and beat teams such as USA and Algeria with minimal instruction. I tend to agree with the Ex German boss on this one. I see no reason why Fabio cant simply tell the players who is playing, and expect them to do the business. Granted, against Brazil or Spain, you need more of a managerial input. But, such is in the difference in quality between the English 11 and the Algerian side, the players should be able to simply get on with the task in hand.

The barrier that prevents the current England set up playing well wont disappear. There needs to be a total overhaul, and I believe Capello is the man to oversee it. I’d like to see Gerrard, Lampard, Terry, Ferdinand and Cole retire from the international scene. I realise this sounds drastic, most of them are very good footballers. But I look at them as nothing but painful reminders of the last 10 years of disappointing, pampered and lavish English football. Lets get fresh blood in the side, and lets, as a country, realise that perhaps we aren’t in that top 5 bracket of world cup candidates. Its a re-building job that’s needed, not plodding along the same old route time and time again. With these new players will come a ‘New England’. An England full of talented young players, desperate to pull on the shirt. Lets see Stephen Warnock replacing ‘Cashley Cole’ and Adam Johnson, Lee Catermole and Gary Cahill replacing the worn out and disappointing crop.

Its clear that these players aren’t as good as their predecessors, but I believe its a small price to pay to rid the country of the ‘failure’ tag that has followed us around like the stench of Steve McClarens hair gel, running down his face on that fateful Wembley night (see ‘Wally with the Brolly’)

Lets put 11 English players on the pitch with fresh ideas and a fresh mentality. Let Capello instil his beliefs into the side and let pride filter into our game once again. Tough decisions need to be made, but I feel certain that these decisions will be, ultimately, beneficial for the English game. For too long now, the England team have been stale and predictable under-achievers.

Lets wash our hands, say thank you and goodbye to the current ‘stars’ and replace them with some fresh blood. Lets also give the team a chance to blend and gel and the Media can play its part too, by being the supportive and powerful tool they have the capability to be, rather than tearing the side down at any opportunity. Lets let Fabio work his magic, lets see something different, something fresh and something successful.



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