Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Alan Green: Look to failures on the pitch before just blaming Capello

England manager Fabio Capello arrives for the England Press Conference at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus on June 28, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa
England manager Fabio Capello arrives for the England Press Conference at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus on June 28, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa
Miroslav Klose of Germany celebrates scoring the opening goal during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
Manuel Neuer of Germany watches the ball bounce over the line from a shot that hit the crossbar from Frank Lampard of England, but referee Jorge Larrionda judges the ball did not cross the line during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa
Manuel Neuer of Germany watches the ball bounce over the line from a shot that hit the crossbar from Frank Lampard of England, but referee Jorge Larrionda judged the ball did not cross the line during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa
Manuel Neuer of Germany watches the ball bounce over the line from a shot that hit the crossbar from Frank Lampard of England, but referee Jorge Larrionda judged the ball did not cross the line during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
Germany v England, World Cup 2010
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger signs autographs at the England v Germany second round match, World Cup 2010
TV pundit Chris Kamara with fans ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
Germany v England, World Cup 2010
Bastian Schweinsteiger's girlfriend Sarah Brandner (C) and Silvia Meichel, girlfriend of Mario Gomez of Germany, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa
Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger pictured at the England v Germany second round match, World Cup 2010
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
TV presenter Christine Bleakley ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa
TV presenter Christine Bleakley ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
Toni Poole, wife of John Terry, ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
Germany v England, World Cup 2010
TV presenter Christine Bleakley ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa
TV presenter Christine Bleakley ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
England v Germany, World Cup 2010
Melanie (L) girlfriend of Piotr Trochowski, Silvia Meichel (C), girlfriend of Mario Gomez, and Anna Maria Lagerblom, girlfriend of Mesut Oezil attend the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa
Germany v England, World Cup 2010

Where to start? I think Chris Waddle summed it up perfectly when he said to me that he felt England had played well for 45 minutes during this World Cup, most of those against the might of Slovenia, the other five, the opening minutes against the United States.

So how must those thousands of England fans feel having spent thousands of pounds facing that utterly pitiful return from four games of football? They’re the people I feel sorry for, not the coach nor his players.

I think it’s irrational though to demand Fabio Capello’s scalp even if he plainly made mistakes. Perhaps his regime was too harsh; perhaps he indulged certain key players who let him as well as everyone else down; perhaps he turned to substitutes like Emile Heskey and Shaun Wright-Phillips when no one else saw the sense.

But his ‘percentage of culpability’ is far less than those who played for him.

I’m absolutely certain, for example, that the Italian didn’t coach the Sunday league defending that John Terry and Matthew Upson displayed against Germany.

Think about that first goal: it was a typical (English) punt up the field that two supposed international defenders allowed to bounce between them.

Then David James, who hardly ever gets through a game without making a mistake, came, stopped and was beaten by a striker that can’t get into the Bayern Munich team. Laughable.

Now we can all go on about the injustice of the referee and the linesman not recognising that Frank Lampard’s shot bounced down off the crossbar at least a foot OVER the goal line.

Officials make mistakes and I’d rather point to FIFA for their continuing and scandalous refusal to allow technology to eradicate such errors.

So, yes, 2-2 might have swung the game but could anyone honestly say Germany weren’t far better than England?

No. Who played remotely well? Maybe Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole, but we had the same old chief culprits — Gareth Barry and, particularly Wayne Rooney.

Rooney is such a player for his club but he had a pathetic World Cup. He can’t go back to England still believing he remotely deserves being mentioned in the same breath as Lionel Messi.

Sir Alex Ferguson will no doubt put his arm around Rooney’s shoulders and tell him not to worry but England fans will find it hard to forgive and forget such a lame contribution.

I wouldn’t have opposed seeing him substituted on Sunday. Maybe that would have been the kick up the backside he deserves.

The players let their country down and many in the media should hold their hands up too because they encouraged people to overrate this England team.

Indeed they’ve done that in tournament after tournament. England never go to a World Cup or a European Championship with anything other than the most unrealistic expectations. The truth? England are just not very good, at best second-rate.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre