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A hat trick for Capello

June 12, 2010 - South Africa - Football - England v United States of America FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 - Group C - Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, South Africa - 12/6/10..England manager Fabio Capello.

By Guest Writer John Brandon.

Fabio Capello last night scored a hat trick on his world cup debut. A hat trick of school boy mistakes. A hat trick of arrogant decisions, a hat trick of blunders.

Leading up to the competition in the rainbow country the many people in the media and other professionals backed Capello and England to lift the inaugural pot of gold on July 11. The reason everyone was saying was Capello. I disagree. Last night Capello made mistakes, serious mistakes that cost England 2 points. First Ledley King, second James Milner and third Joe Cole.

Any professional sports man knows that to play at the top level you must be 100% fit. Any human being can tell you that when you have a virus it takes longer than the 2 days James Milner had to recover from it. I can’t imagine how Milner felt 1 mile above sea level with an immune system as compromised as Robert Green’s position in the England goal. After 30 minutes he had signalled to their leader that he had had enough.

Not to worry I thought Joe Cole, who is in the shop window after turning down Chelsea’s offer to re sign, would step in and carry on the fight to USA. It wasn’t to be, Capello chose Shuan Wright Phillips. A player who has been kept out of his club side by Adam Johnson (who at the time was having a beer with Abby Clancy in London). This was the biggest mistake of the 3.

Then at half time when Capello was about to deliver his speech Tottenham’s Ledley King drops a bomb shell that he has pulled his groin and could not continue any more. If Ledley King was a greyhound he would be walking around a Romford park with a muzzle on right about now, dreaming about what might have been. Capello knew that King could not complete a vigorous tournament of this quality.

King is not playing against mediocre opposition. This was USA’s world cup final so that in itself adds 15% to their performance and meant King had to find another 5% from his body to match them, he could not do this. Imagine having to find an extra few percent against Messi or Robben…….

So it was 2 forced changes within 45 minutes and a howler from your chosen number 1, not a good start to any competition. I have to admit resilience was shown and there was some great performances from John Terry, Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard in particular and I still believe we will win the group and progress to the semi finals where we will have our world cup final against Brazil. We will get this far through true bulldog spirit and a bit of luck from the draw, not because of tactical nous from a fearful Italian.



  1. 3donksonashirt

    June 14, 2010 at 9:55 am

    what a load of rubbish,kings unlucky with his injury could have happend to anyone,apart from his goal old stevieg thought he was a yank as he passed to them all the way through the game,mediocre yes sums up terry and johstone.this was the easy game in group,and the keeper is the best in england by a mile so why put a donkey in to change him,free speech is great but should only be used by people with brains

    • Billy

      June 14, 2010 at 12:30 pm

      What game were you watching?

      Yes Stevie had a couple of wayward passes but then so did lampard, phillps, lenon and crouch. Or was it that the USA team were treying so hard to get the ball back they made a point of cutting out passes.

      Most these wayward/cutout passes were when a player had time to pick out his pass, when England were snapping the ball around with 1 & 2 touch passing the US team were found to be wanting.

  2. Brendan

    June 14, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I agree with your comment about Joe Cole, he was the blindingly obvious choice to start the match in my eyes. So goodness knows what Capello was thinking when he chose SWP to replace Milner. Moving on King’s injury as un-knee related, could have happened to anyone, plus he was the best option at Capello’s disposal after the injury to Rio, so no mistake there in my view. I believe that the biggest mistake lies in picking Rob Green in goal, during the warm up games Joe Hart was the only ‘keeper that seemed to be on form. Now you may point to lack of experience as a reason he was left on the bench, but how many World Cup games have James and Green (before Sat) played between them? I think I am right in saying the answer is 0. Plus the fearlessness of youth can sometimes be beneficial in a tournament like this.

  3. rich cheltenham

    June 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    rooney was totally rubbish.even heskey gave an was unlucky but if rooney would of delivered then it would be a diff story

  4. Fab4

    June 14, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    When fit King is the best English CB, but his injury was an accident waiting to happen. He was never going to be able to play an intensive tournament like a World Cup without picking up an injury of some sort.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise is either stupid or a Spurs fan (same thing really).

    Joe Cole should definately have started, no doubt. Milner wasn’t fit and unproven at international level, and SWP is a poor left winger. Lennon was average on the right as well.

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