A First, Brief Look at Capello

From today’s Graun:

The young centre-half listened to Mozart and Bach. He also adored jazz, particularly Ella Fitzgerald. He developed a love for the painting of Giorgio De Chirico, founder of the metaphysical school. He liked films too, arthouse movies by the likes of Visconti and Fellini.

His interest in modern art endures. He has an extensive collection and particularly likes Mondrian and Klee. And he continues to love what he terms “good music”. Whenever he can, he goes to La Scala.

Away from the stadium, Capello is a good conversationalist – particularly at table, for England’s new coach is a gourmet. Unlike many Italians, he is also an adventurous eater, relishing Indian, Arab and Japanese cuisine. He appreciates fine wines and had built up an extensive cellar. But it was ruined by his repeated moves from one club, and city, to the next.

For Capello, travel is not a necessity, but a hobby. “I’ve had it in my blood,” he once told me. “I’ve always loved travelling, even since I was a boy.”

He and his wife, Laura, choose their destinations after much thought, and are particularly interested in places where the world’s civilisations began. When they go to Mexico or Peru, it is because of the Mayas or the Incas. If they go to Sicily, it is on the track of the classical Greeks.

Last summer he was in Tibet where he was fascinated by the profound silence of the mountains.

I don’t know quite how it’s happened, ladies and gentlemen, but we have a “More Than Mind Games” manager. What can the interviews have been like? He must have run rings, Brooking aside.

Have you noticed the way most of the journalism thus far is STILL – after everything – blindly salivating at a fantasy vision of fantasy primadonnas getting their fantasy behinds kicked? What strange, strange people some journalists must be. How do they bring up their children?

It’s going to be interesting. And, as I say, I think we’ve won this one.


4 Replies to “A First, Brief Look at Capello”

  1. One of the bizarre features of the last few days has been the hostility towards the appointment of a foreign manager. I can’t remember anything like this when Eriksson got the job. Is it because he’s an Italian? or because a large number of our fellow countrymen don’t want to face up to the reality that the English can’t manage?

    The other bizarre thing is that no one has answered the fundamental question: are English players good enough? If they are then it is solely a question of getting the manager right. If they are not why blame Steve Maclaren? At least Capello seems to be sure on this one.

    Anyway, what’s the test? Qualification obviously. I reckon if he gets England to a semi-final then he’ll have proved himself.

  2. Patrick:

    I seem to recall there was quite a loud set of complaints about appointing Sven (he was the first foreign manager after all) but the team results had been so bad I think it dampened it a little.

    I think this time the murmurings are louder because a large number of our journalists still don’t like the idea of a foreign manager. They particularly resent the amount Capello will be paid (which is kind of strange given how comfortable they seem to be with player salaries.) Results have been bad, we didn’t qualify, but there wasn’t a totemic match like the Germany at Wembley game which gave the impetus to the Sven selection.

    As for the fundamental question: Isn’t the only way to answer it for sure by hiring a manager like Capello? The only way to prove that the players aren’t up to the job is to try a top manager and see if he succeeds or fails.

    If he fails then gloomy types like me who feel there are serious flaws in technique coaching running through the ranks starting from the youngest age groups might finally be able to get support for improving that coaching.

    However, presumably Capello is a fair judge of talent and would not have taken the job if he didn’t think that the raw material was present in the England squad to have some success with. His record (both in terms of results and choices) is not one of a man who chooses to take jobs where he can’t win.


    The journalists are quite distressing, particularly in the way that they rotate through various positions on the issue, never acknowledging that 3 months ago they advocated the exact opposite solution to what they may be calling for now.

  3. “Results have been bad, we didn’t qualify, but there wasn’t a totemic match like the Germany at Wembley game which gave the impetus to the Sven selection.”

    I thought the Croatia game at Wembley was pretty totemic – Croatia were already through, top, and they played open attacking football without, it seemed, any inhibitions at all. And they were very good – much better than they appeared on paper.
    They weren’t fazed by the England comeback and they deserved to win. England, apart from Crouch & Beckham, were almost paralysed with fear.

  4. Well, I wouldn’t disagree dave, but somehow the journos didn’t raise the same kind of ruckus as they did after that Germany/Wembley game.

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