Thursday, January 11, 2007

Don Fabio's greatest challenge

Even in the great career of Fabio Capello he can scarcely have faced a tougher challenge. To transform Real Madrid from a bunch of gifted, skilful, overpaid, headless chickens into a winning football team. Think of all the ingredients working against him.

1) Being in Spain. The diffidence/hostility of La Liga towards all things Italian is the stuff of legend. They don't like to see one of their top teams being run by a man from the land of "catenaccio". Nonetheless, it needs a man of Capello's strength to solve the club's problems.

2) The Galacticos. The club seems to have been run for years as if by a primary school pupil. Buying up every player possible with no real concept of building a "team" or strengthening positions where you are weak. At least he has weeded out David "Becksy Boy" Beckham by the looks of it.

3) Antonio Cassano. Even the Don must have run out of patience with the boy from Bari. OK, he is the only manager so far to manage to tame him but just the same, he must drive him nuts.

4) Fan expectation. Real have been much more competitive this season but they have had a bad run of results of late. If he fails to deliver something this season just how much time will he be given? Probably not much.

I've got a lot of time for Fabio because he scored the first ever goal to beat England at Wembley AND he took over Sacchi's Milan and made them even better. If anyone can do the job, he can. If not, I hope he comes back home. We miss him.


martinobhoy said...

When it comes to Spain I've always been a Barca Bhoy so I'm happy to see them struggle.

But I think point 2 is the most pertinent. Every year it seemed to be strikers or attacking midfielders they bought. Even when they did sign a defender it was the treatment table's favourite Jonathon Woodgate.

Venezian said...

I'm not sure much of Italy shares your sympathy for Capello, Ginkers. Yes, he made Milan even better, but for the last few years his teams have tended to play a dour, dare I say it, defensive game. Juve were wretched to watch the past two years, especially in Europe, and it sounds like he's doing the same to Real.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like him to succeed because of your point 1 - he's Italian in the land of the anti-Italian. But I think his style of play is now looking a bit outdated, and I don't think he has the squad he needs to play as he wants anyway.

The laugh is I saw him saying how he was surprised Emerson was playing so poorly - I've rarely seen that old man have a good game, so I don't know why it's a surprise.

For me, the real disappointment is that Cannavaro has played poorly since he went there. If he wasn't the captain of Italy, I think there would be questions as to whether he should be playing...

ginkers said...

Fair points from both of you, boys. Maybe Capello's fortunes are in decline but I wouldn't rule out a resurgence from the old devil yet.

It's true Juve were poor in Europe but maybe Mr Moggi's meddling had a lot to do with their apparent Jekyll and Hyde performances between league and Champions League. Still, it is an intriguing battle to see Fabio test himself out in a league which wants to see him fail.

Spangly Princess said...

I have to say - and not only because of how he left us - that I find Capello antipaticissimo. And I think many people agree, not just romanisti.

But having said that he has been a winner everywhere he's gone and it is certainly interesting as a spectator to see how he's doing in Spain. insofar as it's a genuine test given the structural and political issues in operation at Real. and you only have to look at the total car crash of a situation currently in operation at Valencia to see how damaging these situations can be.

ginkers said...

I don't find Capello all that simpatico myself but it's mostly about rooting for the Italian abroad. And, also, as you say, like him or loathe him he is a proven winner...

TrentToffee said...

I think point 4 of your post summed up Capello's biggest test - will he be given the time ? With all of the tabloid tittle-tattle surrounding Mourinho at the moment I doubt it very much. I fancy that the RM board really do fancy bringing a Galactico manager onto the scene. Also, I personally think that the old boy is losing his marbles (a bit). Twice last season Arsenal played Juve off the park yet Don Fabio claimed that Juve were the better team in both matches. His transfer policy looks a bit odd as well - Emerson !! I'm with the venezian on that one. Wither next for Capello ? The EPL :oD ?

ginkers said...

I was interested to see the normally calm Fabio lost the rag during Real's win at the weekend, giving the finger to some of his own fans. Maybe he has lost the plot after all.

Nonetheless, he has still put them in with a shout of winning la Liga at this stage of the season.