The backlash towards Fabio Capello from the English press today wasn’t as forthcoming as I expected it might be. The sort of headlines we have seen in the past slaughtering the likes of Graham Taylor, Steve McLaren and Sven Goran Eriksson never materialised.
One article that did catch my eye was the match report from Shaun Custis of the Sun. In it he starts with an apology to Sven Goran Eriksson, claiming that the Swede’s tenure was now the golden era of the last 40 years. And that this certainly isn’t.
I know he’s being slightly sarcastic about Capello, but I have disagree that Eriksson’s era was the best since we won the world cup. Sir Bobby Robson’s reign was far better than he was ever given credit for, and even Terry Venables short period in charge provided a brief two week high for the English public. Sven did give us the 5-1 victory in Munich, and the 1-0 victory over our other arch enemy, Argentina in 2002.
With Custis at best comparing Capello with Eriksson, it is proof that Fabio’s extended period of grace with the press has finally run out. If his team fails against Slovenia on Wednesday, then he will surely feel the full force of the English media come down on him with all their collective might.
He has one last chance to prove all his doubters wrong, and that list of doubters seems to be growing all the time with David James appearing to have added his name to it.
During James’ aftermatch radio interview he said “I found out five minutes before we got on the bus. Usual standard.” Refering to the lateness of the team selection, he then went on to say “We train hard now for a few days and wait for the selection again five minutes before we leave again on Wednesday”.
Hardly a ringing endorsement for Capello’s policy of naming the team as late as possible. It remains to be seen whether David James is speaking for just himself, or whether there is further displeasure within the squad with Capello’s attitude towards the players.
The two performances so far could suggest there might be unrest, Wednesday will go a long way to confirming one way or the other.