Football

Fabio Capello – right or wrong?

Fabio Capello wants to pick John Terry (©GettyImages)
Fabio Capello wants to pick John Terry (©GettyImages).

Fabio Capello has come out in defence of John Terry after the Chelsea defender was stripped of the England captaincy by the FA.

This has caused much debate in the press today, so GMF has decided to hear both sides of the opinion divide.

GMF writers Pete South and Brendan Simpson will be putting forward the arguments as to why Capello was correct in publicly supporting Terry, or indeed why he was wrong to do so.


Capello was right - Pete South

The last time I checked, Fabio Capello was the manager of England, and as such has certain privileges.

 

He can, for example, pick the players who represent England, and gets to sit in the comfiest seat in the dugout whenever they play.

 

Best of all though, he gets to decide who will captain the team he choses to play for England as he has done throughout his entire time in charge of this nation obsessed equally with scandal as it is the faux importance of a football captain.

 

So why is he being admonished for telling the world what most of us already knew, that he disagreed with the F.A’s decision to remove John Terry as England captain?

 

Capello had little to do with the decision making process, as was made abundantly clear in the various press releases and videos put out by the F.A.

 

It is the F.A who have made a mess in their handling of the situation, not Capello, so he is well within his rights to air his grievances at a decision that will directly impact upon his chances on guiding England to glory at the European Championships.

 

Capello proved before with the removal of Terry as captain that he is not prone to favouritism or having his judgment clouded by emotion, so the fact the decision was taken out of his hands was rightly met by his public remarks that distanced himself from the whole debacle. After all, he’ll be unemployed by the summer, and who would want that PR disaster on their CV?

 

What is wrong with Capello being honest that the decision wasn’t his? Most people knew already this wasn’t the case and surely the Italian is 100% correct in his assumption that no man should be punished before he is found guilty in court?

 

That is not to say I do agree or disagree with the decision to remove Terry, merely that it is surely Capello who should have the final say when it is his neck on the line? And when it is perfectly clear he is frustrated at such a key issue going over his head a few months before a major tournament, why shouldn’t he be able to express himself?

 

Capello’s stubborn resoluteness is one of the chief traits of his character that have made him successful over the years. It may not be to everyone’s liking, but he has gone about his business in the only manner he knows how, and in the process given a refreshingly honest insight into how he saw things as England manager. Since when did that become a bad thing?

 


Capello was wrong - Brendan Simpson

Fabio Capello was wrong to publicly come out in support of John Terry.

 

He was wrong not only in deciding to tell a TV station his belief that the FA had made the incorrect decision, but also with his interpretation of their decision.

 

Capello is not alone in his misinterpretation; many have voiced similar feelings to him over the decision by English football’s governing body.

 

The FA said that they were stripping Terry of the captaincy until his court case is resolved on July 9 this year.

 

Capello’s backing of Terry is based around the justice principle that states all those accused of a crime are innocent until proven guilty.

 

While this is not something that can be criticised, goodness knows it should be the case, the Italian has made a mistake in using this principle as a criticism of the FA’s decision.

 

“No, absolutely not. I spoke with the chairman and I told him I don’t think someone can be punished unless it [the charge] is proven,” he told Italian television station Rai 1.

 

“The court will decide. It is going to be civil justice, not sports justice, to decide if John Terry committed the crime that he is accused of.

 

“I thought it was fair that John Terry should keep the captain’s armband.”

 

What punishment? What ‘sports justice’, as he calls it, has decided Terry has committed the crime? There has been nothing of the sort.

 

Capello has gotten lost in the hyperbole that surrounds this issue and has fallen in the same trap as many others.

 

Terry has not been condemned by the FA, nor has been deemed guilty of the alleged offence. In fact, the FA explicitly said in their statement that the decision was in no way reflective of a belief that he may be guilty.

 

This is because he is innocent until proven guilty and it is why they have merely said to him that they do not think it appropriate he should be the leader of a team while still being charged with an offence that could seriously damage the atmosphere of the England dressing room.

 

Innocent until proven guilty is a principle that should be saved for law and liberty, not for an argument over who should wear a red or yellow elasticated band around their arm while playing a football match.

 

If a person is accused of racially abusing another in a workplace, management in most companies would almost certainly decide to suspend the accused pending an investigation.

 

This would be perfectly normal in most other walks of life but it seems reality is suspended when it comes to football.

 

The fact that the England captaincy is such a high profile and revered position in this country (and not many others at that) makes the FA decision even more sensible.

 

Capello has set out his stall on unstable foundations and has compounded the seriousness of him openly defying his employers.

 

This says nothing about the mood in the dressing room, where some players could be uncomfortable having someone who is accused of such a serious offence being appointed as their chosen leader.

 

After the debacle of World Cup 2010 you would think the former Juventus boss would be keen to have as much harmony in the England camp as possible – a harmony that could be jeopardised by his stance

 

Capello should be praised for standing by his convictions and giving an honest opinion, which is something that many in the modern game are reluctant to do.

 

However, his convictions in this case are based around an indisputable, essential axiom of civil liberty and therefore misplaced.

Topics:
Football
John Terry
Chelsea
Premier League

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