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Hayley Wheeler - Capello behaviour merits the sack

Published: 16 Mar 2011 - 09:33:08

If you thought that Fabio Capello could do nothing more to embarrass himself and make a mockery out of the national team, you would have been very much mistaken. Once again he has made a radical announcement to the press, prior to discussing the matter with the player involved in the privacy it warranted.

Capello has now reached new heights of idiocy by renouncing the captaincy from Rio Ferdinand and reinstating John Terry - further evidence that the hard faced Italian crumbles under the pressure of the big decisions.

It wasn't so long ago that he was declaring David Beckham retired from international football on live television before having the decency to inform the player in question. A player who, unlike some, had given his all for his country and had done everything in his power, including loan deals from LA Galaxy to AC Milan and Tottenham respectively, to remain fit and in contention for an England call up.

Rio Ferdinand has been an industrious ambassador for England over the years and leading by example and his efforts have certainly justified the armband. But the endless doubts over his fitness remain more prominent than his endeavours on the pitch, and likewise his captaining ability.

Sir Alex Ferguson took the executive decision to seize the captaincy from Rio and hand it to Nemanja Vidic following ongoing injuries, a decision that would not have been made lightly. Ferguson realised that the captain, no matter how longstanding they may be at the club, must be a figure of consistency in the team. A factor that Capello has refused to acknowledge until now.

Sadly, Ferdinand has been unreliable, in terms of appearances, for club and country. To take the captaincy away from him is like rubbing salt into his frustrated wounds. It is no surprise he is upset at not only the result, but also way the situation has been handled.

I respected Capello's no-nonsense attitude towards the sacking of Terry as England captain, but his conclusion that Terry has served a year of punishment and therefore deserves the armband back is laughable. The captaincy of England is a privilege that Terry threw away, and in my opinion, does not deserve back, no matter how much a true English bastion he is.

In Ferdinand and Gerrard’s absence from the team, the issue of who to replace them as captain was highlighted during England's friendly against Denmark which saw the armband embarrassingly passed around every bemused player, except Terry. An experience he described as humiliating. As a temporary replacement, Terry would be a reasonable choice, but to strip the player of the captaincy and later hand back the honour just because Rio's soundness is unpredictable, is unacceptable.

Whether the responsibility of captain is symbolic of leadership, it is time for it to be passed on to someone who will treasure it and embody the role, on and off the pitch. Vice-captain Steven Gerrard has flourished in his role of captain since taking over in Ferdinand's absence and I strongly believe he should be instated as the permanent captain, assuming his recent injury problems don't persist.

Unlike his manager, he thrived under the pressure, a mantle he upheld with great aplomb. These revelations are just the latest in a series of blunders, from picking the wrong team for the World Cup and poor man management to insensitive and unsubtle press interviews.

It appears that Capello no longer cares, and I am sure he is rapidly losing the respect of the players and staff alike. The sooner his reign comes to end, the better.DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Hayley Wheeler
Despite being born and bred in the country, Hayley is a football-mad Tottenham Hotspur fan. Away from the beautiful game she has been eventing her own horses for over 20 years, having previously been a human and equine sports therapist. She has now turned her hand to sport journalism and hopes to one day be gracing your television screen broadcasting the game she loves. Follow Hayley on Twitter @Hayleywsport

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