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Kenny Dalglish: If John Terry was the wrong man a year ago, why is he the right man now?
Published : 20 Mar 2011 15:05:40
It is not a golden age for Italian football. Their clubs are struggling in Europe and their players and managers are struggling over here. Fabio Capello finds it hard to stickto a captain, Roberto Mancini and Carlo Ancelotti meet knowingthe consequences of failure to finish in the top four, and MarioBalotelli seems to get booked or sent off every time he plays. The England captaincy has been a real thorn in the side for Capello. His first choice, John Terry, wassacked for moral reasons. He has been unlucky to see his second andthird choices, Rio Ferdinand and Steve Gerrard, miss games throughinjury and now he may be ready to overlook his fourth choice, FrankLampard, to bring back Terry as the team's leader. Frank Lampard Steven Gerrard Rio Ferdinand Personally, I think allowing Terryto lead the team out in Cardiff against Wales on Saturday opens up areal can of worms for Capello - and I'm not sure it's necessary or thebest thing for England. It was Capello's decision to relieve the Chelsea player of the captaincy in the first place. It had nothing to do with football reasons because John is a first-class player and captain for Chelsea. But Capello clearly felt Terry'sreputation or behaviour did not make him an appropriate captain forEngland, so he took his decision. As England manager, he had every right to do that. But where the confusion lies is he has now overturned that decision. More from Kenny Dalglish... Kenny Dalglish: The way Barca play makes Xavi and Messi look so good12/03/11 Kenny Dalglish: Survival or victory in the Cup? Sorry, there's only one winner and Houllier was spot on05/03/11 Kenny Dalglish: Arsenal and Wenger deserves to end six-year drought26/02/11 Kenny Dalglish: Football may pay a high price for this final insult19/02/11 Kenny Dalglish: Can Wilshere make his mark against real giants of football?12/02/11 Kenny Dalglish: Rooney finished as an England player? You must be kidding05/02/11 Kenny Dalglish: I'd go potty over a bad call - not because Sian's a woman 29/01/11 Kenny Dalglish: I've been knocked out by the changes at Liverpool22/01/11 VIEW FULL ARCHIVE It raises a lot of questions. If John was an unsuitable captain a year ago, what has changed now? And you have to ask what Lampard has done wrong to lose the armband. He did the job well in Denmark in England's last game when Rio and Steven were injured, so why the switch? As far as I knew, Rio was the captain, Steven stood in for him, and if they were both unavailable, Frank. The system worked, until now. Some will say it doesn't matter, that when you cross the white line you need 11 leaders. True, but being a captain is more than just going to the centre circle to toss a coin and choose ends. You are the public face of the England team to the media, sponsors and the fans. Sometimes, you are the players' representative in front of the manager. The players need to have the right to ask things as a group, whether it be about training or whatever. The manager doesn't have to do whatever they say, but at least the players have a forum to air their views and often that is through the captain. Fabio might have felt Terry wasn't the right person to do that, so why is he now? We shouldn't forget that in Italy, the majority of Serie A managers are Italian. They have a particular way of doing things, a style of play, a mentality of their own. Under pressure: Carlo Ancelotti needs to ensure Chelsea finish in teh top four It doesn't mean they can't be successful here - Claudio Ranieri was relatively successful at Chelsea and Carlo Ancelotti won the Double last season - but the culture in England is different, and it must be difficult for the Italian managers, and for English fans and players to adapt to them. Mancini is going through the same thing at Manchester City. He is under pressure because of the finances at his disposal. If City win the FA Cup and qualify for the Champions League, his methods will be applauded. But everyone knows what happens when you fail to reach the targets set out. The Italian methods do have advantages in some ways and give English coaches and players a new insight. But whether they can be successful long term remains to be seen. The culture is different here and it is difficult to change it. It is hard to play the Italian style, and hard for the fans to accept it. Italian style: Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini Manchester City fans will remember the club being a swashbuckling, care-free team. I don't think that is the case nowadays and City aren't everyone's second-favourite team as they were. I don't think there is any institutional bias against Italian managers. Ancelotti was a hero last season. but if Chelsea end up empty-handed this season, he will be seen as a failure. That goes for managers of any nationality. The problems facing Capello, Mancini and Ancelotti are all very different but what unites them is that they are being made to make decisions in an environment that is very different to what they have been used to. And the harder they try, the deeper that can of worms becomes. Why I fancy Harry's Spurs to pass their Real test One English team can be pleased with their Champions League draw: Harry Redknapp's Tottenham. Neither Chelsea nor Manchester United will be happy to be paired with each other but I fancy Spurs to get something out of their quarter-final with Real Madrid. When you mention Real, it conjures up images of strength, glamour and near invincibility. The reality is different, though. I don't think the current side are as good as the famous name suggests. They are certainly not as good as Barcelona and nothing like the great Madrid teams from the past. It is even debatable whether they are the best team Spurs have faced so far, given that they have already beaten the current holders (Inter Milan) and runaway leaders in Serie A (AC Milan). Good draw: Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp The Jose Mourinho factor will be talked up but I don't think Redknapp will be fazed by the Special One. He can always point out that Jose has a lot to thank him for - developing Frank Lampard and Joe Cole at West Ham, players who helped Jose win the Premier League title at Chelsea. Obviously, Real have great talents like Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso and Mesut Ozil, but they are not as strong as a team as they are individually. The draw has worked kindly for Spurs in playing the first leg away. I really fancy them to get a goal in the Bernabeu and then finish the job off at White Hart Lane. Harry is just about old enough to remember the legendary Real team who won the European Cup in 1960. But it's not that team Spurs will be facing, so I think we'll see Harry, not Jose, in the semis. Have your say - email me at Kenny.Dalglish@mailonsunday.co.uk I'm not a fan of stadium announcersbellowing out the names of certain players louder than others. It isall very well announcing 'STEVE GERRARD!' but doesn't that just makethe other players feel rubbish? JOHN BISHOP Kenny says: Even stadiumannouncers are allowed their favourite players! The greatest all-timeScottish players in my view were Jim Baxter and Jimmy Johnstone. WillScotland produce talents like that again? DAVID McCANN Kenny says: Idon't think you can leave Denis Law out of any all-time list. Scotlandhas a tradition for producing great players. There might have been arelative dearth in recent times but the new generation coming throughare really promising. I've seen Carlos Tevez miss goal opportunitiesbecause he didn't have the confidence to roll the ball into the netwith his 'weaker' left foot. Surely high-profile players should notembarrass themselves by exposing such a weakness? ROGER ARSCOTT Kennysays: Most players will have one stronger foot. The great Ferenc Puskaswas primarily left-footed but didn't get too many complaints. Explore more:People: John Terry, Fabio Capello, Harry Redknapp, Jimmy Johnstone, Frank Lampard, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Denis Law, Xabi Alonso, Carlos Tevez, Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole, Roberto Mancini, Carlo Ancelotti Places: Barcelona, Madrid, Cardiff, Italy, Denmark, Wales, United Kingdom, Europe