Capello Will Continue as England Soccer Coach After Team's World Cup Flop
Fabio Capello kept his job as England soccer coach even after the national team crashed out of the World Cup with its worst defeat in tournament history.
Capello, 64, was told June 28 that his future would be settled in two weeks, a day after the 4-1 loss to Germany ended a campaign in which England won one game and was jeered by its own supporters. The Football Association said today the Italian, whose contract runs through 2012, would remain in the role.
“We are all still extremely disappointed at our performance in South Africa,” Dave Richards, chairman of Club England, which runs the national team, said in statement. “We believed it was important that we took some time to reflect on everything in a calm and considered manner back in England.”
Capello is still the “best man for the job,” added Richards, who is also chairman of the English Premier League.
Club England, created earlier this year to oversee all of England’s national teams, agreed “unanimously” to stick by Capello, the F.A. said in a statement on its website.
“I am more determined than ever to succeed with the England team,” Capello said in the statement.
Capello’s future was in doubt following the loss to Germany, a team that has surpassed England’s World Cup performance at every tournament since losing their 1966 final. He was asked five times after that game if would step down.
U.K. newspapers including the Daily Mail called for him to quit, while bookmakers released odds on his successor minutes after the final whistle in Bloemfontein.
The former Real Madrid, AC Milan and Juventus coach was hired in January 2008 to revitalize a team that hasn’t won a trophy since lifting the World Cup 44 years ago.
Before the tournament in South Africa, Capello said he was confident his team would be among the contenders after topping its qualifying pool and getting what he said was a favorable group stage draw.
Robert Green’s fumble allowed the U.S. to tie the first match 1-1, before a 0-0 draw against Algeria that prompted booing from England fans at Cape Town’s Green Point Stadium. The team then scraped into the last 16 with a 1-0 win over Slovenia, a nation whose population is one-thirtieth of the U.K.’s.
Capello tried to blame the loss to Germany on the failure by Uruguayan match officials to give a goal that would have tied the game at 2-2. Frank Lampard’s shot crashed off the crossbar and clearly bounced over the goal line.
“The game would have been different,” Capello said after the match.
Some of his players disagreed, with midfielder Joe Cole saying England’s failure was down to a lack of talent.
“My personal opinion is English footballers, maybe when it comes to the international level, we are a little lower technically than the other nations,” he said.
The English starters were on average about four years older than their German counterparts. Capello said he plans to freshen up the squad before qualifying for the 2012 European Championship begins in September.
“We will look to introduce new players to give the team new energy and I will use all my experience to take England forward,” he said.