Guest Author - Alice Jones
Fabio Capello arrived in England, announcing he was “Proud and Honoured!” to be the new England manager, “I am excited and ready for the challenge!” went his confident statement of intent.
With the World Media in attendance and the English and Italian audiences watching eagerly in anticipation, Mr Capello to you was introduced by FA Chief executive Brian Barwick, as a “Winner with a capital W!”
The presentation gave the new England Manager and the Football Association an opportunity to reveal some of their future plans. They played their cards close, and they issued some soundbites, that have sometimes sounded hollow.
This time, they sounded believable. Maybe it was the way Mr Capello subtly revealed a mantra: “faith, hope, pride, good behaviour and belief.”
Brian Barwick called his new appointment “an outstanding man, with an outstanding record.” Indeed he is, the Italian legend has achieved 9 League Titles and a European Champions Trophy through a distinguished career as manager, even before you look at his experience as player, scout, coach it is a superb resume.
Fabio’s arrival is right on time for English hopes that need renewing! A manager who has coached Madrid, Roma, Juventus, Milan to the very top does indeed tick all the boxes that the FA were looking for, and could well be the one to renew those hopes.
That he is a foreign coach is not an issue, and the English coaching system will be looked at in detail by all concerned, including Capello within a “Coaching Framework” so say the Football Association.
The Chief Executive of the Football Association went on to describe how he and Sir Trevor Brooking, Director of Football Development, had identified key attributes that they wanted the next England manager to have.
Barwick pronounced that it was always clear that these attributes would include “World Class Status, a strong personality, ability to handle big players, technically astuteness, technically adaptability” as standard.
“That was the template. This is the man. Fabio Capello.” Barwick beamed.
“We believe it is a significant appointment, we know we owe the fans.”
Fabio Capello does not come cheap, with a 4 ½ year contract, and speculation is that it is thought to be up to $12 million dollars a year, including bonuses, or £6 million in English money.
He begins work on the 7th January 2008, with his first match on Feb 6th a friendly between England and Switzerland.
Barwick defended his famous “root and branch review of English football” by reminding the onlooking journalists that he had started by speaking to leading figures in the game, and that the FA Strategic Review would be published in March 2008.
At first Fabio said a few words in English. “I am very proud and honoured to be the England manager, I have wanted this job for a long time.“
He then proceeded for the rest of the conference with the help of a translator, and spoke with more confidence, seemingly understanding a lot of the questions in English, acknowledging some with a broad smile, even before the translation. Replying in English on occasion, laughing and saying “Good Question.”
When asked later on about communication with the players, and the language issue. Fabio said that in one month, when he meets the players, he will have learned to speak English. He asserts that he will be able to communicate well with all of them, applying himself every day to learn the language.
A confident claim, although one he is entitled to, having learned the Spanish Language in about the same time when he managed Real Madrid.
He went on to say in Italian, “To manage England is a dream come true, everybody wants great expectations, I will work with the Football Association to achieve this.“