That is the question I would like to ask Fabio Capello after the England football teams latest shambolic performance.
I gave myself 24 hours to think about this before I posted my views, as I didn’t want to come on here and start posting abusive rubbish about negative, unimaginative, boring, stale and rigid Italian football tactics and an inability to break down a team that has come for the draw.
Maybe Montenegro deserve a lot more credit than they are currently getting. To be honest I think they are a half decent side and their rise up the FIFA rankings shows this. I’m also sure they will keep on rising and will soon be a lot higher ranked than their current position of 40th.
At the end of the campaign we might look back at this and see it as a decent point. But then again I doubt we will, will we?
I’ve got to admit that I am not Capello’s biggest fan, but I am also not one of those people that blames him for absolutely everything.
In his defence, he had a lot of injuries to cope with and he also cannot play the game for his underperforming stars. After all, once they have crossed the white line it is up to them to do the business.
He can also only work with the players he has and maybe the time has come to accept that these players just aren’t good enough.
But for me, there are areas in which Capello can influence things and he appears to be choosing not to do so.
For a start off, I don’t think that Capello has really made that many (promised) changes to the team that flopped in South Africa. Joe Hart was an obvious one that had to be made and also bringing back Theo Walcott and adding Adam Johnson were no brainers.
Apart from those three and bringing Jack Wilshere into the fold, not much has changed really. Of yesterdays team, Joleon Lescott and Ashley Young were only there through injuries and suspensions.
Also, while Kevin Davies is a good honest pro and I’m glad he got he’s got his cap, the question has to be asked, ‘was his selection really a step forward’?
Why wasn’t Newcastle’s Andy Carroll looked at? I’m not saying he is the finished article, far from it, but surely it was the ideal opportunity to have given him a chance.
I also would imagine that had John Terry and Frank Lampard been fit, that they both would have played as well. As would Emile Heskey had he made himself available.
So I say it again. What has really changed?
Another thing that also seems ‘same old’ to me is Capello’s inability to make positive, match changing substitutions. His two changes of Wright-Phillips for Young and Davies for Crouch were just like-for-like.
Why wasn’t Jack Wilshere given 20 minutes? He has that bit of craft that could have unlocked the door.
But no, Capello played it safe as usual. The substitutions were a show of typical Italian negativeness for me.
We all know what we are going to get with Kevin Davies and as for Shaun Wright-Phillips, well he is as predictable as they come. I have never got what he adds to the side at all.
Also why didn’t he swap Young and Adam Johnson around? It’s not a massive tactical shift that only a genius could work out and I’m sure Montenegro would have expected it, but it would have given the full-backs something different to cope with, possibly taking them out of their comfort zones. It’s just basic stuff really.
There seems no imagination, no ambition to win the game or no variety, just the same old stubborn, rigid attitude that helped get us embarrassed at the World Cup.
Another thing that has pissed me off which isn’t actually Capellos’s fault is all this bullshit that Steven Gerrard should have remained captain, after his post World Cup performances in that role. Why? You have to ask what happened to this great captain during the World Cup?
Personally, I don’t see the big deal about all this, Gerrard should be able to perform to a high level with or without the armband. If he so badly needs the armband to perform then you have to ask why is he even in the team? It just dosen’t add up.
If England are too be successful they will need 5 or 6 captains on the pitch, it shouldn’t matter who wears the armband. We need a team full of leaders, like they had with the 2003 World Cup winning, Rugby Union team.
To be honest I have to admit that I got a bad vibe of what was to come when before the start of the match I seen on my TV the sight of Sir Dave Richards walking along the line of players, shaking hands. This man is the genius credited with taking the clause out of Capello’s contract pre World Cup and hence, leaving us with this problem of having a ‘lame duck’ in charge and just biding his time for the next 2 years.
I don’t know if I am the only one, but I get really annoyed at the mere sight of this man. I get the feeling that while we have people like this within the FA that we are never going too see the national team move forward.
I’m sure he will play a pivotel role in appointing another spineless ‘puppet’ in the role recently vacated by Lord Triesman. Another one of the boys who won’t try and undermine or alter the comfy positions that Richards and co hold within the powers of football.
The phrase ‘Turkeys voting for Christmas’ springs to mind!