Fabio Capello Resigns: 5 Reasons This Kills England's Chances at Euro 2012
Not many people really thought England were likely to win at Euro 2012. With all the scandals, suspensions and disharmony in the squad, there were many obstacles to a successful tournament for the English.
Capello's resignation comes after the Italian manager openly voiced his opposition to the FA's decision to supersede his authority and remove John Terry as captain of the England national team.
Many have debated whether Capello or the FA were in the right on this issue, with big names like Sir Alex Ferguson coming out in support of England's manager.
But now the debate is inconsequential, as a meeting between Capello and the FA failed to resolve the differences between the two sides, and now England's national team is on the hunt for a new manager to guide the team to success in this summer's competition.
Why does Capello's firing matter so much for England's chances at Euro 2012? Read on to find out.
Club Management vs. International Management
International team management is not like club management. At a club, a manager can come in with the right staff and impose his system and tactics on a team and have them playing well in that system in a matter of two-to-three weeks.
Furthermore, said manager usually benefits from what is known as the "new manager boost"—The club experiences positive results in its first few games just by virtue of an up-shoot in team morale that comes from the idea of the new manager bringing a "new beginning" or "new era" with him.
None of this exists in international management.
In international management, it takes at least three or four games before the team begins to even grasp a new manager's style. They do not train together regularly, so their learning process is much slower and they must learn how to play together in addition to playing in a manager's system.
Actually mastering that style and being successful with it can take much, much longer.
Furthermore, there is no "new manager boost." Because the team meets so infrequently, there is no collective upshot of morale in most cases, and especially in this scenario, where Capello was removed because of disagreement and not because of bad performances, no one is really looking ahead to a "new era" or "new beginning."
With Harry Redknapp being heavily favored to take over as "part-time head coach" of the England national team until after Euro 2012, these are two factors that will work greatly against him.
Redknapp experienced great success when he took over for Juande Ramos at Tottenham, but because of the differences between international management and club management, he's unlikely to experience the same same success with England.
Not Enough Time
I already talked a bit about time in my previous slide, but here I'll elaborate on the issues it creates.
England have only three scheduled friendlies between now and Euro 2012. There is a friendly at the end of February against the Netherlands, and then two after the EPL season ends and just prior to Euro 2012 (one at the end of May and one at the start of June).
As I've already mentioned, three games is barely enough for England's players to start playing in Redknapp's system.
Redknapp isn't much for tactics, so the learning process in that department won't be too difficult, but they'll have to make the transition from Capello's defensive style, which was very tactical, to Redknapp's freer, more offensive style.
This transition could take more time than the England national team has to spare. And of course, if Redknapp isn't the man chosen to take over, whichever coach does come in will surely have more complicated tactics than Redknapp since the Spurs' gaffer has admitted he doesn't really care for tactics.
Capello Was England's Winningest Manager Ever
You wouldn't know it from all the criticism Fabio Capello has gotten from the English media, but Fabio Capello was England's most successful manager ever, in terms of win percentage.
His 28 wins, eight draws and six losses gave him a win percentage of 66.7. Want to take a guess at second place? It was Alf Ramsey, the manager who brought England their one and only World Cup triumph. Even so, his win percentage was a somewhat distant 61.1.
To put Capello's win percentage in perspective, he was able to achieve such consistency despite replacing a manager who was unable to even qualify England for the last Euro competition.
Capello's England underachieved at the World Cup—there's no denying that. But as I explained earlier, it takes a great deal of time for a manager to impose his style and system on a team.
Even the great Alf Ramsey failed to even qualify for Euro 64 before guiding England to success in '66. Given Capello's superior win percentage, there's a high chance that history could've repeated itself for England and that Capello could've led England to a strong performance at Euro 2012.
Capello Is Gone, but the Turmoil Continues
The one thing you could rely on with Capello was that his strict disciplinarian attitude ensured that things never got out of hand with the England national team, despite whatever scandal was being perpetuated and circulated by the media.
Even if you disagreed with his decisions, you couldn't really disagree with how he went about making them. Capello made a decision, offered his reasoning and then it was back to football.
Judging by the team's performance, it worked.
Despite the continuous John Terry media circus, Rio Ferdinand's displeasure with not being made captain, Wayne Rooney's suspension, David Beckham wanting to return to the national team, Frank Lampard being in and out of the national team, etc., England were undefeated in Euro 2012 qualification and put the icing on the cake afterwards with an unexpected 1-0 gritty win over Spain.
Will another manager be able to replicate that success?
Take Harry Redknapp for example. As much as I love Redknapp for what he's done for Spurs, he simply does not have the ego-managing skills that the best managers possess.
Even after Rafael van der Vaart openly questioned his manager in the media, Harry Redknapp's response was only a slight slap on the wrist in the form of a mild warning. There was no meeting, the player wasn't dropped, nothing.
In that instance it seemed to work, but will that attitude work with a whole cast of egocentric England stars who have a tremendously long list of scandals, suspensions, disciplinary issues and more? Maybe, but I doubt it.
Capello Was Liked by His Players
John Terry has questioned Capello in the past, but even after his resignation, most of Capello's players have come out to compliment their former manager and expressed their disappointment with him leaving the team.
On Twitter, Jack Wilshere and Kyle Walker both tweeted on Capello's resignation, saying:
Shocked about news on Fabio Capello ... gutted to be honest, gave me my 1st cap and believed in me! Thank you Mr Capello! #GreatManager.
People have there [sic] own judgement on Capello but for a young player who was given the chance to play for my country at such a young age...
He has shown great belief and trust in me so I can only thank him....massive influence on my career so far! Sad to see him go!
Gutted to see Fabio Capello go he put a lot of trust in me and gave me my first cap just want to say a big thanks really..
It's not going to be an easy job replacing a manager so well-liked and supported by his players.
Capello wasn't perfect, and as I said at the start, chances are that England weren't going to do well at Euro 2012 anyway.
Simply put, the players at England's disposal are getting old, and if I'm being truly honest, only Ashley Cole and Wayne Rooney can still be called "world-class" (and I'm sure I'll get flack for putting that label on Ashley Cole).
Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have suffered from fitness and injury issues and are past their prime, meaning that England won't have a strong central midfielder to partner with Scott Parker at Euro 2012.
John Terry and Rio Ferdinand are also past their prime and suffering with fitness and injury issues. They've looked poor on numerous occasions for their respective teams this season, meaning England won't have a strong central defense partnership at Euro 2012.
And, possibly the biggest issue: England still don't have a good strike partner for Wayne Rooney. There are many candidates, but as to who is the best, the answer is still yet to be discovered.
There is a small chance that England will find a manager who magically invigorates the England team to quickly adopt his system, solve the aforementioned problems within the squad, overcome the recent John Terry drama and carry their success into Euro 2012.
But with the timing of Capello's firing, the chances of this happening are very, very slim, and I believe all these tasks will prove too much to do in too little time.
I would be very surprised to see England go any farther than the quarterfinals at this summer's Euro 2012.