Capello grows weary of condemnable subplots and selects his captain








The England manager’s job is one that is often talked of as the hardest job in world football, despite the £6 million annual wage.

Managing the nation who initiated football back in its fetal stage and one whose fans and press are cutthroat and unforgiving is a taxing mission. Where in the past this has been limited to forming a triumphant squad from a pool of largely high-pedigree and talented players, the job now entails wider chores of morality and righteousness.

At the beginning of another squad selection procedure, one more condemnable subplot engulfs England’s squad, though the alleged culprit is far from new to the situation. It seems however that Fabio Capello has grown weary of policing a squad whose key players are accustomed to the iron fist of punishment, and John Terry’s selection in the squad for friendlies against Spain and Sweden exemplifies this. Whereas Capello was quick to punish John Terry for allegations that would be more at home in an ITV soap, supposedly having an affair with a teammates ex-girlfriend, recent accusations of racial remarks aimed at an opposition player have not so much as been brushed under the carpet by Capello but avoided. Terry was forced to relinquish captaincy of the national side following a hullaballoo of adultery accusations, insults and evaded handshakes, though this time around, and with the insinuated charge far worse than that Hollyoaks-esque drama, Terry remains present and correct as the reinstated captain.

Innocent until proven guilty is Capello’s seeming stance on the situation. Inconclusive evidence, from videos and Anton Ferdinand himself, and a detrimental track record are all that stand against Terry, though in the midst of an FA and Metropolitan Police inquiry, it is perhaps weak of Capello to include him; even hypocritical from a man whose inconsistent policies have come to characterize his 3 year stint at the helm of the national side.

With the responsibility that supposedly comes with playing for England, Capello is then arguably growing tired of his role as head teacher as well as head-coach. Punishing his players for bad behavior had been an initial priority of the Italian, though now, far from success and approaching his final tournament as manager, perhaps Capello has prioritized playing his best side rather than policing a group of inherently wayward and susceptible individuals. To continue punishing accused players such as Terry, Rooney, Ferdinand and Gerrard, would leave Capello with a squad devoid of its most experienced and seasoned professionals. A lack of options has perhaps therefore forced his hand into giving Terry another go at redemption, with Lescott, Jagielka, Cahill and King failing to hold down a Centre Back role at international level. Ferdinand’s omission is also revealing, as including the brother of supposed victim Anton perhaps would be more damaging than leaving him out. A lack of form has been sighted for Ferdinand’s removal from the squad, though John Terry’s recent performances have been less than sparkling and arguably separating the two will help stifle a bubbling undercurrent of accusations towards Capello’s captain. Leaving out Terry would have suggested more troubling issues than form and though salvation was attainable the first-time, a second would have been impossible.

Terry is expected to be pardoned from duty in the first friendly against Spain, which is puzzling in itself as out of the two opposing sides Spain are the side most would like to see England testing themselves against. Revealing as that may seem, Capello is clearly at pains to remove yet more acrimonious focus from his captain as charges which are yet to be proved would most probably terminate his international career. As of now, Terry is still innocent, though a change in stance towards the Chelsea player’s latest misdemeanor is indicative of how tiring criminal subplots have become to Capello. For the time being, the Italian will ignore them in trying to put together a side ready to challenge in Poland and Ukraine next summer.


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