FIFA World Cup 2010 : Can Capello Learn From Eriksson's Carrick Mistake?

peter hannonContributor IJune 21, 2010

HERTFORD, ENGLAND - JUNE 02: In this handout image supplied by the FA, the England World Cup 2010 squad, wearing their official Marks & Spencer suits (L-R back row) Jermain Defoe, Joe Cole, James Milner, Joe Hart, Michael Carrick, Ledley King and Stephen Warnock, (L-R centre row) Aaron Lennon, Gareth Barry, Robert Green, Matthew Upson, Jamie Carragher, Glen Johnson, Emile Heskey and Shaun Wright-Phillips (L-R front row) Ashley Cole, Peter Crouch, Frank Lampard, captain Rio Ferdinand, manager Fabio Capello, vice-captain Steven Gerrard, John Terry, David James and Wayne Rooney pose for a team photograph as they prepare to leave for South Africa at The Grove Hotel on June 2, 2010 in Hertford, England. (Photo by The FA via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Two well meaning England fans sneaked into the England dressing room after the draw with Algeria on Friday. They spouted the usual uninformed rubbish that we've come to expect, but unfortunately only one could be ejected because the other was Fabio Capello. If I wanted to crucify the guy I would, but I won't because I don't think he's lacking the skills required to guide England to this world cup, I simply think he's been lazy with his research. "How hard can it be?" he said to his own reflection in his trophy cabinet as he skimmed over Sven's dossier, paying particularly low attention to the final pages.

Friday night was a terrible night. I found and lost god in 90 minutes. I asked god for an ace from the deck and he gave it to me. It wasn't the first time. I prayed for Carrick to come on and we saw him, for an instant, warming up on the sidelines. So I started to believe - that there might be a god, that the most undervalued football genius of modern times might be given his chance, but it didn't happen.

As the final desperate substitution happened, I went for a cigarette, and cast away the last ten minutes of the match - something I've never done before. I've watched the whole of every England match I could watch. I couldn't bear to watch more of the the grey, witless huff and move that had preceded it.

No one is more tired of me talking about Michael Carrick than me girlfriend, and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank her for putting up with it. And indeed anyone who has listened to me and perhaps tried to understand what it is that Michael Carrick brings that could never be described in an article. It has to be seen to be understood.

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The guy has won three premier league titles and been runner up once. He's won the champions league, the world club cup and several domestic cups. He's scholes' successor, and England's chance of winning this world cup. If you understand nothing else absorb that Alex Ferguson has chosen from all the players in the world to play Carrick at the heart of his team.

David Moyes, Harry Redknapp, Xavi Alonso, a significant but still minority number of fans and journalists are calling for Capello to put him in the team. Is it Capello's old fashioned view of the game, his lack of knowledge of English football, or misjudgement of Carrick's set-up-to-fail Capello's- England performances that are keeping him from playing Carrick? Might he be thinking about it already?

There are now two days for Capello to deliver for England, like he did when he brought Beckham in at the final hour for real Madrid. I remain optimistic, that something somehow will bring this about. Perhaps Gary Barry will play it so safe that he is dropped so that he can be dressing room door monitor?

Sven waited until his penultimate game to bring Carrick into the side and as we watched we started to believe England could win the world cup again. In Sven's darkest ever moment he decided to drop Carrick for the following game, and we went out. Capello must learn before Wednesday or its going to be another four years of hurt.

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