Wednesday, December 12, 2007

England Closes In on Capello for Manager

The BBC and most of the English papers are reporting that Fabio Capello is thisclose to being named England manager and all that stands between Capello taking over is a matter of ironing out some fine print.

So the question that begs asking now that England apparently has its man: What took so long?

Steve McClaren has been gone for close to a month, and it was readily apparent to everyone except Brian Barwick that Jose Mourinho wasn't really interested in the job. So why on Earth did Barwick need to check with his panel of advisers on the qualifications of the candidates? Why did he need to wait for an official proclamation from Mourinho before flying in Capello?

Does Capello feel like he's second choice? Hopefully not. His resume is better than Mourinho's winning seven times in Italy, once in Spain, four Italian Cups, a Champions League and a European Supercup. He says the England job is a dream job, but he doesn't have the support of every Englishman. Some are still hesitant to hire an outsider. From the Telegraph:

LMA chief executive John Barnwell, however, believes that the choice of Capello would show that something is "deeply wrong" with the national game.

"Football is a worldwide game and internationals are about putting the best of your country against the best of another country - that includes players and coaches," he said. If you have to go and hire someone from another country, that devalues what you have done. If we are saying there is no English coach able to do the job then that is an indictment on our game.

"A lot of people in the game are going on about the number of foreign players in the Premier League having an adverse effect on England, and now it's looking as though we are going to appoint a foreign manager. It doesn't make sense."

Also from the Telegraph:

Former AC Milan and England striker Mark Hateley praised Capello but added a warning for England's big names. "Be very worried, be very worried - this man will not suffer fools," Hateley said. "He will drop people. He will bring people in you least expect him to bring in. He's not in this to pick individuals. He'll pick players that will balance up, and that's the problem we've had in the past, the fear of dropping the top stars."

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