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England Fans Who Lack Faith in Fabio Capello are Unjustified and Premature

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:

Joleon Lescott

Owen Hargreaves

Gabby Agbonlahor

Stewart Downing

Gary Neville

Phil Jagielka

Ashley Young

Carlton Cole

Bobby Zamora

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.

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  1. Bopper

    May 13, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    The man has a LOT to prove and has talked a big game

    He should be criticized until he backs it all up

    England is not exactly a WC powerhouse

  2. scott alexander

    May 13, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    There are always going to be some questions but for the most part, Capelllo has done an amazing job and the media have treated him accordingly. We all have biases and we see players that we rate so we’re going to think that such and such player should be there but that’s different than thinking that Capello is wrong or incompetent. We can also see players that are better players but don’t provide what Capello needs/wants in the squad.

    Emile Heskey is no where near the overall player that a lot of the other forward options are. That said, he opens up play for Rooney and so probably forms a more potent partnership than putting Rooney with a different better forward. Walcott is (at this point) a pretty one dimensional player but his pace offers something completely different that Capello can inject if he sees something exploitable. Joe Cole is a similar story. Been recovering from injuries for a long time and other players like Young have had much better seasons but Cole offers a magician element that the team will otherwise be without.

    But these are different debates than Lippi excluding Miccoli. Than Maradonna saying no to Cambiasso, Zanetti, and alienating Riquelme. These are stupid prideful and petty exclusions that deserve to be blasted. This is not the same thing as saying that Zamora has had a great season and deserves to go.

  3. henry king

    May 13, 2010 at 10:22 am

    ashley young has played more and been more effective than Joe cole

  4. brn442

    May 13, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Actually, Downing would have been a better choice than Walcott, as he has a basic grasp of what to do with the ball past the half-way line.

    Also, its the media”s job to question and Cappello’s job to ignore them. Cappello’s provincial squad has been the least shocking of the major sides. No Pato, Ronaldinho, Cambiasso, Zanetti, Toni, Benzema

  5. pyromania

    May 13, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Emile Heskey Really ??? c’mon , i’d rather have Cole or zamora there cos they have more playing time ( fits A )

    Ledley King doesn’t fit the Fully fit bill

    Jamie Carragher Fits C.

    • ovalball

      May 13, 2010 at 9:41 am

      I, too, think Zamora would be a better choice, but apparently he is going under the knife next week.

      • Jesse Chula

        May 13, 2010 at 10:27 am

        Good feedback, but Heskey has proven he can effectively partner Wayne Rooney up front by holding up the ball and allowing Rooney to, well, do what he does. They formed a pretty successful partnership throughout World Cup qualifying.

        In my opinion, King has proved he’s fully fit. He played -what was it – 4 vital games for Spurs in the span of 15 days?? Perfect for a tournament appearance and most likely England’s best center back on current form.

        Carragher will most likely be back up and won’t start – although he isn’t getting younger, he’s got a lot of International experience. Sure it’s odd that he’s changed his mind, but his services will be welcomed.

        • Gaz

          May 13, 2010 at 10:31 pm

          Heskey essentially allows England to play a lone striker (Rooney) without diverting from the traditional English 4-4-2.

          He’s an advanced center midfield player that creates so much space for the front man.

          I say this all as a positive thing – I think England need Heskey almost as much as they need Rooney.

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