Clumsy Capello Trips Up Over England Captaincy Issue

England manager Fabio Capello

If you thought Fabio Capello has put his managerial mistakes behind him with the successful start to England’s European championship qualification efforts think again.

He managed to pull yet another massive blunder out from that magic hat of his ahead of England’s qualifier against Wales.

Telegraph article ‘Fabio Capello’s sorry display raises more doubts about Italian’s leadership style.html

His decision to reinstate John Terry as captain of the England team has split opinion, with many feeling sympathetic towards Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard who have lost the opportunity to take up the role due to injury.  Even Frank Lampard has received his share with many seeing him as a viable leader and a deserved choice as opposed to the troublesome Terry.

Capello’s decision to hand the armband back to John Terry perhaps signifies a desire for stability, Terry is an experienced captain and from that point of view it made sense to give him the captaincy back.  It initially seemed weak from Capello, the manager without any conviction, but understandably he doesn’t want to take a risk regarding the team’s leadership on the field.

At his first media conference as reinstated captain, John Terry said that the team seemed to be behind him and no player had voiced disapproval at the decision. It’s all very well to believe that they are all unmoved by this, but spare a thought for Rio Ferdiand and the other players under Capello’s management.

Capello revealed that he had yet to speak to Rio Ferdinand following the decision to take the captaincy away from him.
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La Liga title race heats up with a little help from the fiery Spanish media

Spanish heatwaves from NASA satellite

There has been a huge uproar in the Spanish media over the past week involving radio station COPE (the full title of which translates as People’s Radiowaves of Spain Network) and the top 3 teams in La Liga – Barcelona, Real Madrid and Valencia.

Juan Antonio Alcalá, a journalist at the station reported that some higher-ups at Real Madrid have suspicions of doping at Barcelona and Valencia, allegations which are unfounded but still hugely serious, as much so for Real.

Just the merest mention of drugs in relation to football brings great consequence, even more so at the top tier of the game as with the clubs involved in this situation.  Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said that whoever is behind the story is ‘playing with fire.’

Thus far the journalist has not revealed his sources which adds a great deal of skepticism to the accusation. Yet he remains adamant that it has come from someone at executive level at Real Madrid.  Barcelona are now to take legal action claiming libel against the station as the suggestions of drug could damage their reputation.

For the teams involved this is certainly a stressful and unwanted distraction from this season’s crunch time domestically and in the European competitions.

That this situation is unsavoury goes without saying. It is interesting to note, however, the media involvement in the allegations and how this reflects upon the Spanish football press as a whole.

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Sir Alex Ferguson’s media meltdown

Alex Ferguson

We know Alex Ferguson doesn’t like the media. We are reminded every week during Match of The Day when assistant Mike Phelan gives the post-match interview instead of Sir Alex.

We don’t give him a hard time of it. As arguably the greatest football manager in history who are we to question his methods?  We think of him as an old-fashioned sort of guy, he’s weary of the media and it’s prying eyes. He doesn’t revel in its attention like the narcissistic Jose Mourinho and other high profile managers do. 

Even his players seem to share his mentality. Which current players aside from Wayne Rooney succumb to media attention the way half of the Chelsea team do?

The BBC is the most renowned example of Fergie’s distrust of the media and he has boycotted the broadcaster for years.

Ferguson has a famously rocky relationship with the media. Incidents from the past 6 months provide just a snippet of Fergie’s disdain for the football press. 

In September 2010 Ferguson blamed the media attention for Wayne Rooney’s poor form – read the ESPN article here, while last month he blamed an ‘aggressive press’ for the Premier League’s sack culture, about which you can read here.

But following Manchester United’s first successive defeats in over 70 games Fergie’s media conspiracy seems to have spiralled out of control.

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FA’s social media guidelines seek to curb player online outbursts

Smashed computer monitor

Social media has been causing the football association a mild but steady headache for a while now but last week the FA finally released its ‘Social networking clarification’ document.

Read the FA’s official statement here

The footballer most infamous as a misuser of social media is perhaps Ryan Babel, the ex-Liverpool player. After one of his final games for the club, an FA cup tie between Liverpool and Manchester United, he edited a picture of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester Utd shirt which he tweeted as a sign of disatisfaction with a penalty decision early in the match. The image was accompanied by a caption which read “And they call him one of the best referees. That’s a joke.” Following the outburst he was fined £10,000 and charged with improper conduct.

Ryan Babel fined

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Put your money where your mouth is: The transfer window


Last Monday saw the English Premier League transfer record shattered among a media furore.  The sports pages dedicated article upon article judging the value of these players and debates continue about the value of the deals.  What wasn’t up for discussion however, was that plenty of money was spent.

Chelsea were the biggest spenders, their £75m spent on two players an effort to reassert their Premier league credentials, both on the pitch and in the market.  Although their title challenge for this season appears to be over, they are not yet ready to give up. Chelsea are preparing their challenge for next season as owner Roman Abramovich opens that large wallet of his – as if financial muscle is synonymous with victory.

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Benitez misses the target despite Club World Cup win

Rafael Benitez

Rafael Benitez has been struggling at Inter Milan since taking up the post at the start of this season.  Anyone would struggle to fill the cocky yet charming shoes of his predecessor Jose Mourinho, the man who won a spate of trophies during his time with the Italian club.

Football management has become an increasingly precarious job in recent years as owners seek instant success. Long-term investment and patience are no longer cared for in the modern game and in this climate it is the manager who is first to receive the blame. Continue reading

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