England coach Fabio Capello is confused by his sudden transformation from a “god” to a “monster” since his team faltered at the World Cup.
Preparing for European Championship qualifying, a combative Capello fought back against claims by pundits and columnists in England that he is a clueless coach lacking the tactical ability to turn the team into title winners.
Ahead of the World Cup, when the Italian presided over nine out of ten victories in qualifying, comparisons were being drawn with Alf Ramsey, who led England to their only world title in 1966.
However, the team was inert throughout the tournament in South Africa and went home after being outclassed by Germany in a 4-1 second-round loss.
Capello may have clung onto his lucrative England contract, which runs through to Euro 2012, but the hostile headlines have persisted as the team prepared for its first competitive match since the World Cup against Bulgaria last night.
The former AC Milan and Real Madrid coach accepts he is unable to control public perceptions of him, preferring instead to remember the past achievements before the media turned on him.
“You create the god, and you create the monster,” Capello quipped in broken English at a briefing on Thursday. “We lost one game in the World Cup against Germany after one big mistake for the referee [disallowing a goal]. You don’t remember this. I think so.”
“But after this, your opinion about me changed completely. You wrote a lot of things different, but I live with this situation,” he said.
“It’s no problem for me. I remember what you wrote about me a short time before this period. I live the same moment when you write well of me as when you write badly of me. It’s my job. You have to live with the pressure,” the Italian said.
Many critics have denounced the 64-year-old Capello for being a tactical dinosaur for rigidly retaining a 4-4-2 formation and FIFA’s tactical study of the tournament, which was released on Thursday, concluded that “the most successful teams were flexible and able to adapt their style of play to the match situation.”
Capello’s critics maintain that such flexibility is lacking in his game plan, but the coach hit back when a reporter started to ask whether the FIFA comments applied to England.
“You are a lot of managers, a lot of managers. I’ve read that,” Capello said. “Where is the different style? 9-1? Teams play 9-1.”
“Where is the different style? Is there a difference between 4-4-2, 4-5-1 or 9-1? You are happy to write different numbers. One forward, nine defenders. Five attacking? Five defending? That’s the modern style,” he said.
“You can see Barcelona, other teams. All the players have to defend, all the players have to go forward. That’s the modern style, and we played this style, always,” Capello said. “When you win you play the perfect style. When you lose you question positions on the pitch. Why, why, why? That’s good. It’s your job. It’s my job to find the best solution.”
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas’ burgeoning career, but he remains philosophical about the tennis shutdown. The world No. 6 would have been preparing for the French Open that was originally scheduled to start this weekend, but was postponed to September. While he is missing life on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas believes that the lockdown has given the planet a breather. “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year — it’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet,” Tsitsipas said in an Instagram Live conversation for At Home With Babsi on Eurosport’s Instagram page. “I
PANDEMIC HYGIENE: Players had their temperatures checked, carried their own equipment and towels, and tapped rackets to congratulate the match winners Alison Riske and Danielle Collins of the US and Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic were among the winners on Friday, the opening day of a women’s tennis mini-tournament in Florida that offered professional players an opportunity to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The WTA women’s tennis tour canceled four more events this week and is not to resume until at least July 20. However, four women ranked in the top 60 in the world turned out for the UTR Pro Match Series event in Palm Beach, which followed a similar event for men two weeks ago. World No. 51 Collins toppled 28th-ranked compatriot Amanda Anisimova