Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Fabio Capello; gilt edged record

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Oh to be the England Manager. First you are lauded for your great sporting record and writers (er sorry journalists) pontificate on your tactical prowess to bring back the next World Cup/European Championship (depending upon the timing). Then even when you have won virtually single important competitive match they will still niggle away, upset players and generally cause a huge nuisance. However, Fabio Capello has been in the role for nearly two and half years and no journalist has yet to seriously damage his reputation as the England Manager. With a win ratio of 75% after 24 games that is the best by an England manager post war.  
Manager↓England career↓Played↓Won↓Drawn↓Lost↓Win %↓
England Walter Winterbottom1946–196213978332856.1
England Alf Ramsey1963–197411369271761.1
England Joe Mercer1974733142.9
England Don Revie1974–197729148748.3
England Ron Greenwood1977–19825533121060.0
England Bobby Robson1982–19909547301849.5
England Graham Taylor1990–1993381813747.4
England Terry Venables1994–1996231111147.8
England Glenn Hoddle1996–199928176560.7
England Howard Wilkinson11999–200020110.0
England Kevin Keegan1999–20001877438.9
England Peter Taylor2200010010.0
Sweden Sven-Göran Eriksson2001–20066740171059.7
England Steve McClaren2006–20071894550.0
Italy Fabio Capello2008–24182475.0
    1.^ – managed the team on two separate occasions as caretaker manager
     2.^ – managed the team on a one-off basis as caretaker manager

Fabio Capello is a man with a superb footballing history. He played as a midfielder for Roma (1 Coppa Italia), Juventus (3 Serie A titles) and AC Milan (4 Serie A titles, 1 Coppa Italia). He made 332 appearances for senior clubs and scored 45 goals. He won 32 caps for Italy and scored 8 goals including scoring the winning goal against England when Italy beat them for the first time in competitive football in 1973.
His managerial record runs as follws:-
AC Milan       1991-96             4 Serie A Titles, 1 UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid   1996-97             1 La Liga Title
AC Milan       1997-98
Roma             1999-2004         1 Serie A Title
Juventus         2004-06             2 Serie A Titles
Real Madrid   2006-07             1 La Liga Title
England          2008-
Whichever way you look at that record it is first class, nay world class.
Managing the top sides in  Europe and repeatedly winning the league and cups demonstrating his ability for tactical brilliance and management.
He has taken swift, action when the John Terry affair threatened to tear the team apart with a few brief words and incisive action.
However, it is worth raising the question of how he is coping with the tremendous stress of being the England Manager on the verge of the World Cup. He bawled out the players for a lacklustre first half against the minnows of the Platinium Stars . Today he has scolded photographers taking shots of the medical centre (not sure what was going on inside but perhaps Capello feared the long range lenses might reveal something damaging such as treatment on a England player?)
Shirt badge/Association crest
Is the Stars incident because he was genuinely fed up with the way England Players seem to be coasting around the pitch. Yes, but did he purposely set up the game to puncture the usual England complacency in a more realistic setting than just on the training ground and where his words would sting far more in the glare of the world’s press? I think he has some real nagging doubts about certain key players and wants to keep them on edge to bring the best out of them. Likewise, I wonder whether his outburst with the photographers was to demonstrate his protection for his players or whether he was worried that his carefully preparations could be blown off course by a canny photo of a possible injury? I think his avuncular approach suggests he is protective of players but only up to a certain point. He is totally ruthless in his pursuit of victory. That’s why he is right for England.

Yet it will all come down to 3 games in the group stage, last 16, quarter final, semi-final and final (if we get through them all). That is just seven games to truly judge the managerial skill (given the players he has to work with) to turn a gilt edged club record into a solid gold international country record. We wish him and the team well.


  1. "With a win ratio of 75% after 24 games that is the best by an England manager post war."

    Undoubtedly so, but then again all these games have been in meaningless friendlies, usually against weak opposition, or qualifiers in a very easy group. They are rather distorted figures.

  2. Agreed Dave. Stats can prove anything and nothing. if England crash out at the Group stage it will mean they are tosh. On the other hand looking at those results in the Group stage of the World Cup, England won 9 out of 10 matches (lost to Ukraine which was a dead rubber at the end) and beat Croatia 1-4 away and 5-1 at home. Croatia are ranked Number 10 in the world by FIFA (just two places behind England). By England's past standards we could have expected squeaky wins, draws or even losses. Those results are the sort you expect against lower ranked sides if you are in fact a serious contender for Semi-Final and beyond. In other words I think Fabio is a better manager than Sven and has shown he can motivate players to play to a higher standard. But those players have to go out and deliver. USA will be no pushover but if we win that game and then the Group we have an excellent prospect of beating teams we may face through to the Semis.
    Best wishes.


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