As we now know, England has its very first Italian Manager in Fabio Capello, whose appointment was announced yesterday.
Fabio Capello – new England Manager as of yesterday
His appointment as England manager has been backed by Sam Allardyce, but in Samâ€™s view the FA still have plenty of work to do to redeem English football, and Sam knows exactly what needs to be done. His interview with the Newcastle Journal today, shows he has both a passion to improve English football and also knows what needs to be done.
Sam talked to Luke Edwards of the Journal this morning:
â€œI think the CV of Fabio Capello stands up for itself as an outstanding manager and coach,â€ â€œThat alone says he should be able to come into this country and be successful, but only time will tell.â€
â€œThe CV says yes, but the scenario about it being good for English football in the long term is only if he wins a tournament. However, now that Fabio Capelloâ€™s appointment has been made, hopefully, that puts the front end right.â€
â€œFrom my point of view, the bigger issues lie below the national side in terms of the FA making this appointment and letting him get on with it.â€
â€œThe England team is Fabioâ€™s side of the job. Their focus has to turn to the fact the FA are responsible for football as a whole in this country.â€
At his interview for the England job about 18 months ago, Allardyce argued about the poor state of coaching at the grass roots level in England and said the game needed to be shaken up, not just at the very top level, but at every level below it. His interview was leaked to be the most impressive of any candidate for the England job, and itâ€™s not surprising to us, given the passion and depth Sam seems to understand things about English Football.
Sam went on:
â€œThere has to be a revamp of the whole system and huge support for the FA Director of Football Development, Trevor Brooking, and what he wants to achieve. The education side of football has diminished. The academy side of football has diminished since Howard Wilkinson left.”
“We have not made it more forceful or better. Itâ€™s been diluted since.â€â€œSo go to where they need to go to, it is not the glitzy side, but they have to go and get the expertise, along with Trevor, and develop the grass roots football and get that side of the game back up and running.”
â€œNow the England manager has been decided, the focus can get away from that to where it really needs to be. That is quality people working in the right areas of football, from the very bottom, right the way up to the very top.â€
At the centre of Allardyceâ€™s thinking, is the revival and completion of the National Football Centre at Burton in Derbyshire, a project which the FA has delayed lately, probably because of the ridiculously high cost of building the new national stadium at Wembley.
â€œThey have to get the Burton site finished and signed off. If they can afford to pay Fabio Capello the sum of money that is being trotted out, they can afford to spend another Â£20m to finish off the development site.”
“Then we can finish off recruitment and make sure we are getting the grass roots football right to develop the next national team in the future.â€
â€œThe Burton complex is important because of the research done by other countries, which proves it works and the need for a base, a home for football in this country. It should be the learning centre and the brains of grass roots football and upwards for the whole of the country.â€
Good words from Big Sam, and if he ever wanted a job after managing Newcastle United, he could always take some FA position. But we think the FA would need to change before Sam would be effective there. They would have to be able to listen to some good ideas and implement them â€“ so they still have a long way to go.
Comments very welcome.