I’ve grown tired of the naysayers, the detractors, the doubters and the downtrodden members of the English media and England fans over the last few days who have blindly and prematurely questioned Fabio Capello’s initial 30 man World Cup squad.
After perusing the who’s who of English media types and top journos, questionable words and phrases like “bold move“, “maverick“, “alarm“, “gamble” and “compromised” are currently plastered over articles inciting fear in the hearts of England fans and bravery in the hearts of Americans, Algerians and Slovenians.
Is this doubt justified?
Sure, minor knacks and knocks have squeezed their way into the bodies and extremities of England’s best – which could in fact lead to some questions surrounding the final squad. But to deny Capello the right to add “questionable” cover to his starting eleven is an unjustified criticism aimed at a man who in no way deserves this doubt from the unconvinced and uncertain.
Here stands a man who has yet to let England down in a meaningful game in his short yet brilliant tenure. Under Capello’s watchful and tactical eye, England went 9-1 in World Cup qualification having finished first in their group, and only losing after that coveted top spot was secured, away to Ukraine. Other blights in England’s loss column came at the expense of meaningless friendlies.
England’s dominate and impressive performances came both at home and away to strong European competition which saw the three lions outscore their opponents 34-6 with virtually the same players who failed, if only slightly, to even qualify for Euro 2008.
Sorry Debbie Downer, Capello is a master tactician and easily England’s best manager since Bobby Robson who has proven he’s got the ability to shape up and get the best out of England’s top players, all the while scoring goals and remaining strong in defense.
Since World War II, Capello has had the highest win percentage among all England managers yet seems to walk around with a ? over his head as a sort of “foreign rain cloud”. Success follows Capello, he’s won silverware everywhere he’s been employed. He’s won the league title at least once at every club he’s coached which includes truck loads of Scudettos (AC Milan) and titles in Rome, Madrid and Turin.
Capello has always said he’d pick players who see relevant and effective playing time for their club. By my estimation, not one England player made the initial squad who hasn’t done just that in the last few months. Notable absentees who haven’t made the cut cannot at this point claim they’re either A. Fully fit B. Nothing more than an England fringe player in the first place, or C. Heading into the twilight of their footballing careers.
The short list includes, but isn’t limited to:
Can you name one player on that list where you’d feel comfortable in replacing a current squad member with? I certainly can’t. Even with the now injured but expected to be fit Gareth Barry and John Terry, Capello’s current 30 man World Cup squad is a justified, well thought out attempt to field a crop of England players who combine to form a collective that are fully fit, experienced or full of brilliant footballing potential.
It’s understood that there are some inclusions in this team who have little to no international experience. Michael Dawson, Leighton Baines, Joe Hart, Stephen Warnock, and Tom Huddlestone combined have 3 CAPS between them. So what? They’ve also been in top form for club throughout much of the excruciating Premier League season. It’s also not guaranteed anyone of those players will then make the final 23 man squad.
For those who lack faith in Capello, your doubt and questions are unjustified and ill-timed. Have confidence in a serious football manager who succeeds everywhere he goes. As the so-called “golden generation” flutters into their last World Cup, Capello represents England’s best chance to win their first major trophy since 1966. With his solid, well-picked squad, brilliant tactical acumen and a little luck, he may do just that.