Fabio Capello had all the credentials to be the man to "sort out" England, but the national side remains in disarray.

Uncle Fabio. Mr. Bo Selecta himself. The expensive answer to England’s diamante-adorned dreams. He brought with him a wealth of experience, the obligatory slightly broken English, the reputation that the FA always seems to pride over suitability for the role, and an iron fist with which he was going to bring England’s preening, pampered, overpaid children into line. On the face of it, Capello’s reign has been somewhat of a disaster. He failed, unequivocally and unarguably, at the World Cup in South Africa. He didn’t address the egotism that pervades the England dressing room like the hideously expensive perfume their trophy wives and girlfriends splash all over themselves. He didn’t get rid of the big names that have let England down on so many occasions in the past. So what did Fabio Capello actually bring to England?

Firstly, a qualifying record that, no sniggering at the back, is actually extremely impressive. So the qualifying rounds are full to the brim with seaweed and plankton, and against the sharks in South Africa England were about as potent as a United Nations Security Council resolution. But, as the first cliché of this article goes, you can only beat the teams that are put out in front you. And under Capello England did this, comfortably. Furthermore, it wasn’t the Italian’s fault that the FA, in their infinite stupidity, awarded him a rather lucrative contract extension before the World Cup in 2010. While the embittered England fans across the country choked on their corn flakes at this news, Capello wasn’t to blame for the FA’s insanity.

He should have gone after the World Cup, however, he remained in the job and England have performed steadily this year. Had Capello remained in charge, there is even a chance that the team everyone wanted to see (featuring the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Gary Cahill, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kyle Walker) might have found its way to UEFA 2012. It may not have done, but Capello’s reign was too fragmented, too focused on one chance for success (which admittedly the Italian blew, utterly and completely) to be judged as harshly as it has been. And, in the end, he stood up for his beliefs as was dismissed accordingly. His views on John Terry may have been incorrect, and deeply unwise, but it was comforting to know that Capello wasn’t lacking backbone, resoluteness and substance to the same extent as his players did during that 4-1 defeat to the Germans last summer.

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