Capello for England

One might wonder why anyone would want to become England boss. Unreasonable expectations, a rabid fanbase, and the suffocating weight of historical glories make success unlikely. There are only two options: national glory or national embarrassment. Considering England’s historical propensity for underachievement, the latter seems more likely. After a career of triumphs, 61-year old Fabio Capello figures he’ll play the odds.

Having won domestic titles with every club he has managed, Capello is regarded among the shrewdest minds in football. He also is no stranger to high expectations, former manager of such giants as Milan, Real Madrid, Roma and Juventus. Now, declaring this the end of his illustrious career, Capello seeks immortality.

England has done well for itself in hiring the Italian. Legendary domestic managers Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Rafael Benitez publicly expressed their approval. Some view the hiring of an Italian as a repudiation of English coaching talent, which it is, but the sense of desperation and impatience is strong enough to quell those voices. In Capello, England has finally selected a boss with the pedigree needed to undertake this massive job.

Capello will have some time to get them in form. Having failed to qualify for the European Football Championships, England will be taking on an involuntary hiatus next summer. There is plenty of talent for Capello to work with however.

Having John Terry and Steven Gerrard, named to the FIFPro World XI, the world’s best 11 players, and 2004-2005 Young Player of the Year Wayne Rooney, there is talent in England. But, the question remains, will Capello’s capability and England’s inconsistent and, sometimes, incongruent side prove a partnership strong enough to overcome the oppressive weight of history? Or will unleashing the potential of England’s Three Lions prove too arduous a task, even for a man who has seen success with every squad he has managed?


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