Thursday, 17 November 2011

Does Capello Finally Have the Three Lions Ready To Roar?

There will undoubtedly be many England fans still harbouring doubts, lingering or otherwise, with regard to Fabio Capello’s stewardship of the England team with memories of last year's World Cup still in mind. However, there will be many more that would applaud the Italian for the way that he has turned the fortunes around since the debacle in South Africa.

Capello has guided the England team to Euro 2012 in Poland/Ukraine next June, with the little or nothing for fans to worry about, finishing top of group G with an unbeaten record whilst at the same time, changing the playing system and introducing a number of young new players to the team.

In essence, the "old guard" of Terry, Ferdinand, Lampard and Gerrard no longer have the same influence on the team as they have had in the past, instead, it is Capello who is clearly in charge and who now makes all the decisions.

Capello’s methodical introduction of "new blood" into the England squad has added plenty of competition for places and it was noticeable how only very few players made themselves unavailable for these last two games of the year which is very refreshing to see!

What most England fans will want to know next of course is exactly what squad Capello will select for Euro 2012.

He will have to pick 23 players prior to the tournament and given that three of them will be goalkeepers, there will be no doubt that a few players, who have made substantial contributions recently or even over the long term will be disappointed when the final squad is announced next May.

It is not long ago that the calls of the media were for the FA to sack Capello on numerous occasions since the World Cup but those calls have become somewhat muted more recently. The FA relented of course when it dawned on them that the compensation package that Capello would be due by taking such an action was embarrassingly high.

Having no alternative, the FA kept their faith in him and he have been rewarded them with a hugely encouraging last 18 months.

England played nine times in 2011 and became the first England team since 1996 to go through a calendar year unbeaten. The year culminated with 1-0 wins over European and World Champions, Spain last weekend and Sweden in midweek.

Those results will have sent out a message to the other 15 teams heading to Euro 2012 that England could be a major force participating in Poland and the Ukraine, whether that will materialise however remains to be seen.

What is know though is that for the first time in many years, the pool of players from which an England manager has to pick from is as wide and deep as most can remember and despite his critics, Capello may just have his Three Lions ready to roar.

Attention will now be turned to Kiev on 2nd December when the draw for the group stage Euro 2012 will be made. England have been seeded in the second pot of seeds, alongside, Germany, Russia and Italy, which means that they will not face any of those three in the first phase but could face Spain or the Netherlands!

The four groups of four for the group stages will be made up from the following seedings.

Pot 1 - Ukraine, Poland, Spain, Netherlands
Pot 2 - Germany, Italy, England, Russia
Pot 3 - Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Sweden
Pot 4 - Denmark, France, Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland

Written by Rod Crowley Best Blogger Tips
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