No Excuses For England Tonight – They Must Produce!

Fabio Capello’s way of announcing his team to the players just two hours before KO time has come under scrutiny by the English Press – but what do they know about managing a football team?

Fabio Capello – strong no-nonsense England manager

It has become a debate in England since the Robert Green goalkeeping error, and some English players say they would like to know beforehand what the defense is, so they can talk and practice before the game.

The England players will be told whether they are in or out of the team just before they leave the hotel to face Algeria on Friday night, and  Capello is OK with that as he said today:

“I started for one year by always telling the first eleven the day before a game. After the dinner I spoke individually with some players – but after this I decided ‘no’.”

“People can say things. I know because I was a commentator. The score is the most important thing. The other things are only words.”

“Why is it better for the players to know? All the players are ready and focused. No problems.” Any further questioning of Capello was met by a light-hearted offer to take his place.”

David James must be favored to be between the posts tonight for England – but if we see Robert Green in the tunnel before the game we may just collapse.

In our vote on whether Green should keep his place a surprising  55% thought he should keep his place, 35% thought not,  and a rather large 10% had no opinion.

It’s a tough decision for Capello, but that why he earns £6M a year as England manager, but we will be amazed if Green keeps his place – because there’s no room for sentiment in sports – none at all – just like in business.

We were always told in IBM management school to take the emotion out of any business decision – and just look at the plain facts – well at least the facts you have at the time.

But Capello has said he will personally speak to Robert before making the final decision, but you would expect that from a leader of the caliber of Fabio Capello.

German legend Franz Beckenbauer has said, rather foolishly, that England are a long-ball team, but we’re sure that’s more for the cameras than anything else.

Capello talked about some of the comments that have been made about England so far in this World Cup:

“All the ex-managers can speak. I want to say something. If the referee had maybe given a penalty for Australia then the game could have been different. The red card for Tim Cahill was also hard.”

“I respect Germany. I respect all the teams. I respect the opinions of the other managers, but I only think about my team.”

“We are speaking about Argentina, but the score was 2-1 and South Korea had a big chance, one against one. If they had scored it would have been 2-2 and we might not have been speaking about Argentina.”

What we don’t want to hear are excuses.

Forget about the new Adidas ball – it’s the same for every country so let’s not make any excuses in this world cup.  We remember the press blaming Cristiano Ronaldo of all people, when England was  eliminated by Portugal four years ago.

What complete nonsense, it was Rooney getting himself sent off in the game that cost England.

You either have results in life – or you have the reasons for not getting those results  – which is a way of describing excuses – and we’ve had far too many of those since 1966.

It looks like Fabio has the lads ready, but we will not know that until the game starts.

But a good win is what we all want to see, and it doesn’t really matter how the USA does against Slovenia – it depends on England – and only on England – and two wins is what is now needed to qualify for the final 16.

Comments welcome.