venerdì 27 giugno 2014
Game over for Capello?
Fabio Capello’s salary is bigger than the salary of the head coaches of Belgium, South Korea and Algeria all combined. It is also almost twice that of his successor with England, Roy Hodgson. It means that Capello is the highest-paid national team head coach in the world. By the way, Capello was unable to lead Russia to get out of the Group H. The knocked stage were unattainable for Russia, once again. Capello’s side underperformed in Brazil during this 2014 World Cup. A 1-1 draw with South Korea in the opener due to a Igor Akinfeev’s mistake generated the first criticisms. Then, the 1-0 defeat against Belgium occurred, contributing to rise up some questions about Capello’s tactics and methods. The final act against Algeria resulted in another mess for Russian fans that quickly stab at Capello. A list of Capello’s mistakes abruptly sorted on Russian newspapers. Is team debacle 100% Capello’s fault, as Sovetsky Sport wrote? Russia failed to create clear scoring chances during its three games. Surely, Roman Shirokov's injury didn’t help as it was a major blow for the midfield and Russia roster wasn’t loaded with talent to compete at the highest level. The fact all Russian players came from the domestic league is a clear disadvantage for Russia because Russian Premier League’s level is not so high compared to Western Europe championships. Key players such as Denis Glushakov or Viktor Fayzulin spent all their careers at home. Russia's national team could be much stronger if their league was better or if their players would make use of play in England or Spain. That said, Capello contributed to this downfall with his decisions. Not starting Alan Dzagoev, the most suited to replace Shirokov, were one of those. Benching Zenit forward Aleksandr Kerzhakov, one of the best offensive options at Capello’s disposal, in favour of inconsistent Maksim Kanunnikov also wasn’t a great idea. Capello also took the blame for the choice of Akinfeev. Once touted as one of the best Russian goalkeepers, the CSKA Moscow’s netminder committed two pivotal mistakes against South Korea and Algeria. Why Capello insisted that he was his goalkeeping number one after Akinfeev first game’s blunder? On defence, problems at full-backs were expected, specially on the right side. Despite that, Capello opted for the inexperienced Aleksey Kozlov and Andrey Eschenko leaving veteran Aleksandr Anyukov at home. He sidelined Yuri Zhirkov and cut Artyom Dzyuba from the final 23-man roster. Capello has now coached in seven World Cup games, winning just one match when he was in charge of England. Former Real Madrid head coach thinks he “did a pretty good job” leading Russia to the World Cup for the first time after 12 years of failed attempts. It is enough for him to keep the job? Capello thinks so and he’s ready to continue as Russia boss, taking on the challenge to build a team for the 2018 World Cup, when Russia will host the tournament. Fans and media’s thoughts are different as none is satisfied with the way the manager coached Russia. Russia’s playing style were less than spectacular under him. Above all, they also judge the Italian manager has still to justify his big salary. At the end a questions remains unsolved: is Capello the coach who can lead Russia to progress?