BfB Goes To The World Cup 2010 (Without leaving the front room)

England manager Fabio Capello to test a theory that saw the previous non-English England manager Sven Goran Eriksson appointed specifically because the Swede was a man outside the English football structure.

Eriksson – it was thought by Adam Crozier the Chief Executive who hired him – would be less tied to the traditions of the English game and more capable of being his own man. For Sven – it was thought would not have to endure the moods of Sir Alex Ferguson or play nice with club chairmen who might want their players saved for league football.

So Capello – a man who has never managed in England and seems to publicly have as little to do with the club game as possible – is in a position to test the theory that saw England begin appointing overseas coaches.

The manager has four decisions make and they all touch on this theory. The goalkeeper Rob Green is pilloried in the press but as an outsider Capello should remain immune to headlines and stick with his choice of custodian although he has not previously – for England at least – shown a willingness to put all his faith in one sticksman and leave it there which strikes one as an error.

Secondly and more simply Capello has a choice of partners for John Terry in central defence in the absence of Rio Ferdinand. Ledley King’s selection was far more surprising than his injury but Jamie Carragher is a fine choice to replace him being a natural partner for right back Glenn Johnson as Terry is with Ashley Cole on the left with the onus being on the coaching staff to ensure the full backs know they are the pace that sweeps up behind the middle two.

Capello’s problem is a long standing apathy towards – and in part caused by Carragher who has spoken about how little he had previously cared for representing his nation – which he must also be aloof from.

Thirdly Capello has an idea of how he likes his forwards to play and that way includes Emile Heskey holding the ball with the pace of the team coming from the flanks. This goes against the grain of the England game and is highlighted in the Press in simplistic, nonsensical terms. Capello must be his own man, pick his own side, play his own way.

Finally Capello must have the focus that his role is beyond appeasement of newspaper editors and club sides and recognise that when Gareth Barry returns to the side – and Tom Huddlestone’s absence was noted last night – he has a decision to make about which of his two central midfielders he drops from the side. Steven Gerrard’s performance, and his role as captain, point to the fact that Frank Lampard should be omitted in favour of Barry’s ball winning.

The popularity of a decision to drop the Chelsea man is questionable but the obviousness of the decision – assuming the formation remains as it is – demands it be made. The theory had it that a manager brought in from outside the English structure would be more able to make this big decision.

Capello now gets to test that theory.


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