Will Tidey - Wilshere must be trusted to spark England's evolution
Published: 24 Mar 2011 - 08:18:20
Fabio Capello has not been a bold England manager. Disciplined, yes. Dignified, yes. But has he once sent out a team that brought a collective gasp of excitement? Or followed a course of action that strayed from the predictable?
The answer is no. The Italian has steered towards plodding convention from the moment he accepted The FA's 'beautiful challenge' in late 2007 - and given little hint of the subjective revolution he was offered millions to orchestrate.
Dropping David Beckham was a grandstanding first act, but it flattered to deceive. Beckham wasn't close to match fitness for the friendly against Switzerland in February 2008. Not even Gary Neville would have picked him.
And then was the John Terry captaincy circus. No-one really knows what happened there, but if Capello's convictions were truly behind the decision to take away the armband, it seems bizarre now that he would it give it back.
A bolder manager like Jose Mourinho or Sir Alex Ferguson, or Capello circa the mid-1990s, would have made one of two decisions. Terry should have stayed in the role, or lost it forever.
Making a u-turn has only added to the culture of confusion permeating the England squad. Over three years into his reign, and you get the distinct feeling Capello's squad still don't know who they're dealing with.
Can they play golf on Tuesday? Yes. Wednesday? No. Is Theo Walcott one of England's most dangerous players? Yes. Is he worth a place in the World Cup squad? No. Little wonder they speak in cliches, and still treat Capello like a supply teacher.
But on Saturday, against Wales, Capello has a chance to begin shaping an altogether more appealing legacy. Whether England win Euro 2012, or stutter through the group stages and lose on penalties, the Italian could yet salvage his reputation.
One decision is all it would take to start the revolution - pick Jack Wilshere ahead of Frank Lampard, and at last make a bold move to stir England's floundering football team from their slumber. And there's a strong suggestion it could happen.
Wilshere is the future. Lampard is the past, and has been for some time. It's as simple as that, and the sooner Capello casts aside his no-risk strategy and stamps his personality on this England team, the better for all concerned.
Time and again we hear the word 'belief'. England, for whatever reason, are woefully lacking in it, and what better way of delivering it than trusting our Euro 2012 qualifying campaign at the feet of a 19-year-old.
Paul Gascoigne, Michael Owen, David Beckham...
Go bold or go home Mr. Capello.
- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Will Tidey
- Will Tidey writes on sport for CNN, Eurosport-Yahoo! and Bleacher Report, amongst others. His first book, 'Life with Sir Alex', an account of Sir Alex Ferguson's 25-year reign at Manchester United, is set for release in October this year. Pre-order it now at http://tinyurl.com/6xzl62b. And follow Will on Twitter here - www.twitter.com/willtidey
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