With Fabio Capello’s recent statements to the Italian media concerning John Terry’s fatal reign as England captain, he has once again displayed his most obvious characteristic as England manager. Although no-one has tipped England to succeed later this year, Euro 2012 betting markets have become less murky in recent days – why would you bet on a team that can’t win?
As a squad devoid of leadership, England can’t win anything.
The Italian General has said he has little regard for who wears the England armband. His most public statements to that effect were two years ago after he removed Terry from the captaincy in the aftermath of the Wayne Bridge affair. Capello has since backtracked on that decision, reinstating Terry only thirteen months later – a period in which the player attempted a poorly-marshalled coup d’etat during the 2010 World Cup.
As soon as this occurred, Capello lost much of his credibility as England’s leader. What little repute remained has since evaporated. To openly disagree with the FA’s decision smacks of a double-standard: he removed Terry because he thought him “divisive” – seemingly failing to understand the gravitas of the current allegations thrown Terry’s way.
Now it appears he sacked Terry from a leadership position two years ago because he had transgressed Fabio’s moral code. Terry now faces a charge arguably far worse than the allegations of early 2010, meaning Capello has flip-flopped like a revolving door. An appropriate term, because it also describes his selection policy.
Capello has been uniformly inconsistent almost since arriving on English shores. It has been his greatest failing and has undermined his leadership to the point where now there is an enormous void at the top of the English coaching tree.
In his great book “The Coach: Managing for Success”, master-manager Ric Charlesworth lists the five traits that a coach simply must display. He says that a manager must be knowledgeable; diligent; open and flexible; honest and consistent. While scoring highly for many of these characteristics, Capello fails miserably on the last. In so doing, his entire role has been negated. Players look to a manager for dependability - the England mob has failed to receive.
This has never been more apparent than in the curious case of the captaincy. One moment he cares about who is captain and the next he does not. At any point John Terry could be integral to the team or irrelevant. His team selections have vacillated between the uber-experienced and the untested. There has been little discernible method to Capello’s war-room, but simply reactionary moves that don’t behove his status as a coaching great.
In simplest terms, inconsistency from above indicates an absence of leadership. Because of this, England will splutter and drown at Euro 2012.