The English press love a good story. Whether it’s a kiss and tell, an incriminating photo or a scandal-generating secretly taped conversation.
The so called ‘Wags’ always provide a media frenzy during an international campaign. Who could forget the controversy caused by the England players’ significant others at Baden-Baden in 2006?
England’s boss during the Germany World Cup debacle was Sven-Goran Eriksson. And arguably, the Swede graced the gossip sections of the tabloids more frequently than the back pages.
Over the years he became infamous for his reputation as a bit of a player with the ladies. He seemed unfazed by the papers taking intrusive photos of him and his partner on holiday in sunnier climates.
Perhaps he received such intense scrutiny from the media on the topic of his private life due to the criticisms of the England team on the pitch?
Steve McClaren was never subjected to such paparazzi treatment. That is probably because his reign as the England gaffer was as miserable as the country’s weather.
The fact that Fabio Capello has been left in relative peace thus far speaks volumes for the respect that the nation’s media holds for him. That was however, until the recent publication of photos by The News of the World andThe Daily Mail of Capello on a break with his wife.
The two papers had been informed by the Press Association of the Italian’s wish for privacy, but the photos went to print much to the annoyance of Capello.
However following complaints the NOTW and the Mail have apologised to the England manager. In addition on the request of Capello, they made a donation to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
It’s clear he means business.
The Wags have already been issued their marching orders. The Italian has already made it clear that the wives of the England players won’t be afforded the same liberties as during the Eriksson Era.
No Wags and a no-nonsense manager. England may still stand a chance of winning South Africa 2010 yet.