Fabio Capello: Top 6 Mistakes of His England Tenure
Fabio Capello's departure from the England manager's post should be of no great surprise to anybody.
The Italian had made it clear that he was to step down after the European Championships in the summer, and an early departure merely brings forward the inevitable.
Capello has struggled to maintain a strong relationship with the England fans and players since his appointment in December 2007, and he has made a number of questionable decisions which he may look back upon with regret.
Here are 6 mistakes which had a profoundly negative effect on his tenure as England boss.
Retiring David Beckham
After England's disappointing showing at the 2010 World Cup, many England fans were looking for dramatic changes to be made to ensure the embarrassment in South Africa was not repeated.
Capello felt this pressure and as a result made a decision that did nothing to generate confidence in his abilities to lead the Three Lions.
The Italian announced that David Beckham would no longer be selected for competition for his country. While Beckham was no longer seen as an automatic starter, his experience at the highest level meant he was an asset in the dressing room.
The most shocking aspect of this was that Beckham was not made aware of this before the press conference took place.
Beckham was a fantastic ambassador for the England national team and the manner in which he was treated by Capello did nothing to strengthen the Italian's already weakened relationship with the fans and his squad.
Overlooking Michael Owen
Michael Owen has not worn the white of England since March 2008. Owen's case is not too dissimilar to Beckham's except that Capello did not publicly call time on the forward's international career.
Owen has voiced his disappointment at his England omission and has said that he hopes to one day represent England again.
He has scored 40 international goals and, despite a career that has been constantly hampered by injury, he has amassed an impressive 89 caps.
Owen is currently fourth on the list of all-time top goal scorers for England and before Capello was appointed he was widely expected to eventually top the list.
The decision to overlook Owen, especially when fully fit, was a mistake as Owen guarantees goals and surely warranted a place in the squad over Emile Heskey.
England Captaincy Debacle
The debacle surrounding the England captaincy made Capello look more like a joker rather than a figure of authority.
It was clear that the Italian viewed Terry as the perfect captain for England and that his decision to strip him of the armband in 2009 was one he wished he could avoid.
Things came to a head before England's Euro 2012 qualifier with Wales when Capello announced that Terry would take the armband in place of the injured Ferdinand. While Rio was assured of his future as captain, it soon became clear that he would be replaced by Terry, without so much as telephone call from the manager.
Capello claimed that he did not call Ferdinand as he preferred to meet him face-to-face. This never materialised and the whole episode was an embarrassment for English football.
Lack of Control over Senior Players
Andre Villas-Boas and Sir Alex Ferguson have installed their authority on their clubs and the suggestion that such antics could happen under their management is laughable.
Capello almost swept these incidents under the carpet. While he did criticise Terry's outburst in South Africa, the general feeling was that the Italian was losing the support of some of his key players.
The England squad is full of egos and Capello struggled to keep them all in line.
The Capello Index
The Capello Index was launched shortly before the World Cup in 2010 as an assessment of players performances in South Africa.
The publishing of England ratings had the potential to damage morale within the squad and it was the last thing the struggling England manager should have had to deal with.
While Capello's name was featured, the results were not picked by the Italian and he demanded the England ratings be removed, but the damage had already been done.
Capello's job was to focus on the England team and this provided an unneeded distraction.
The media focused on the index to suggest Capello was not taking the England job as seriously as he should have been.
Capello's press conferences failed to generate any confidence in fans.
I cannot recall a time when he held his hands up and said he had made a mistake or that a performance was not good enough.
This could be because he had some trouble understanding and speaking English. While over time his English improved, he struggled to express himself freely in the language
Becoming fluent in English is something you would expect to be at the top of his list of things to do following his appointment.
The language barrier presented problems between Capello and the press and surely had a negative role on his time in the dressing room.