May was a crazy month for football, with a lot happening both domestically and also internationally. But as we enter June, a month that should be filled with excitement about the start of the England u21 tournament, we have unfortunately again all boarded the ‘England are awful’ train and ‘Fabio Capello out’ campaign.
Saturday’s qualifier against Switzerland was a very drab, lacklustre affair and at the end of the day England were lucky to come out with a point and even more lucky Montenegro could also only manage a draw. But as we look back on the weekend England are still top of the group on goal difference, no huge drama, all still to play for. But due to the lack of a win against ‘inferior’ opposition we are all on a one way trip to negsville.
The common complaints are that the performance was a disgrace. Why didn’t we start with Ashley Young? Why is Capello still there? Why are we giving some of our top players time off? And all of this coming off the back of the club vs country debate surrounding Jack Wilshere and the under 21’s. Surely this weekend was a great chance to sign-off with a victory and give a good platform so the country to get behind the under 21’s this summer.
There is no doubt that Fabio Capello is the wrong person for the England job. Everyone bangs on about this, that and the other, but for me there is only one main reason that England have to change … communication.
Communication can be the bane of all of our lives if not used properly. It can cause problems with the other half, with friends and family, even whilst driving your car but there is one place that communication can cost you the most … the work place.
A good manager or boss is someone that not only leads by example, but also someone who understands what makes others tick by understanding them as a person and also how to get the most out of them in a work environment.
Everyone is different so it may well be that you need to understand the complexities of many different people. This is the same for Fabio Capello as it is for someone who runs a company or is the manager of a large team of people in a business – man management is man management.
The players that are selected for England train day in, day out, with their club sides, there is very little they can learn practically. Who to pick up at free kicks and corners and the formation that the team plays should not be big issues for the players to learn for example. The bottom line is that the England Manager does not have enough time with the players to coach them effectively and this is why communication is so important.
Capello seems to be a professional at communication faux pas’. Let’s take the captaincy debacle for example. Rio lost the captains armband to John Terry, found out via the media rather than through Capello himself and the England team had a very awkward situation on its hands. This has only just been resolved now, but it happened back in March, why take so long to nip a negative situation in the bud?
Surely when the incident first happened Capello could have spent 5 minutes on the phone to Rio to explain and we would have had no drama. Fabio could have even tweeted him!
The longer these things go on, the harder it is for all parties involved to get things sorted, but really what’s the worst that can happen? If things are left unresolved they build up in a negative way, in a work place this can have a serious affect on morale and atmosphere.
So coming in to this game and the squad meet up there was a lot of negativity around. The Ferdinand situation, players wanting to go on holiday, more important players were allowed to start their holidays when others were selected for the squad, players ruling themselves out of selection.
Previously Capello was quoted as saying in reference to the World Cup “Another thing really important thing is the mind of the players. We played not with confidence but with fear. I don’t know what we have to do to improve the mind of the players.”
Well how did all the negativity around the camp affect the game against Switzerland? It is Capello that ultimately should control the mood within the camp. Taking players to the side and motivating them on a one-to-one basis, being able to inspire the team as a whole to go out and perform. Send across a story, show passion, reminisce about previous glory, create a major positive atmosphere before the games - this isn’t about managing footballers it is basic human psychology.
The England job is suited to someone like Harry Redknapp. The guy just keeps it simple; speak to the players and media in a very frank and open way, make the players believe they are the best, make them feel good about themselves and you can get a performance, deal with problems quickly and be approachable to your players.
For me we have got to a stage where everything associated with the England national team is completely negative. Press coverage, the manager, team selection; the list goes on. No international team in the world tactically will be 100% as you don’t get enough time with the players. But bad results are not down to tactics, they are down to motivation and psychology. This has to stop, it is time to change the manager now.
Let’s get positive and hope that one good thing about the summer will be England under 21’s victory at this summer’s tournament.