Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Not So Fabio, Capello

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Not So Fabio, Capello

Article excerpt

I woke up in the night with a splitting headache. Too much red wine? That stupid new TV? It takes forever just to switch on--state of the art, state of my arse ...

Then I remembered. England gave me the headache, specially Rob Green, and most of all Capello. I had gone to bed hating him, blaming him for everything. Normally, sleep cleans, sleep clears away. If you are a fan, not actually on the pitch and in the dressing room, life moves on. But after England's first game, I continued to feel so depressed, deflated.

A nation's team doing well does perk up the nation. You get out of bed and smile, are optimistic, bright and keen. Defeat, or a rubbish performance, and you think, what the fuck, why should I bother, I'm going back to bed? Yes, it's childish. But following football is.

I blame Capello because he ruined Green's confidence. He told us he knew all along his first choice, so why didn't he tell the rest of us and most of all Green? He could have been playing Green in all the friendlies, giving him support and confidence, not making him worried and nervous. Giving James the No 1 shirt was a slap at Green.

There is a theory that goalies are extroverts, big people, big personalities, but in my observations, they can be the most nervous. Pat Jennings came into the dressing room after every game with a headache--even when he had played well. I watched Green walk out on to the pitch and he looked worried before he had begun. It is Capello's job to give him confidence, big him up. …

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