Come June, the English national Squad will make their regular bi-annual (well, most of the time) jaunt upon the European Football Championships - to be held jointly in Poland and Ukraine. As usual we shall all grow in excitement as the tournament builds up to it's beginning; purchasing copious amount of Shirts, Flags, and Mars Believe Bars. And, after the inevitably embarrassing opening performances, become hopeful once again when England scrape through the group stages, only to be knocked out by a group of ageing Italians. After thirty years of let-down upon let-down, you begin to realise history does indeed, repeat itself.
Speaking of Ageing Italians, unless you have lived under a rock for the past four years, or your name is Michael Owen, I have no need to create an introduction toward the current England manager, and former Italian international footballer, Fabio Capello. Capello is, in my view, one of the all time greats of football management - his record speaks for itself; Seven Scudettos (The Italian Premier League) with three different clubs, two La Liga crowns (The Spanish Primera Division), four Italian Super Cups, a European Super Cup, and an infamous Champions League success as coach of AC Milan. He is also the creator of the holding-midfielder position - which in itself may surpass all other achievements. In essence, Capello is a coaching general; pragmatic, ruthless, iron-willed, and my view, far too professional for the nation he currently manages. Or, more to the point, the nations media he has to constantly operate around.
Currently, there is an engagement of disagreement between Capello and his employees, the Football Association. The F.A have stripped captain John Terry of the coveted armband - due to allegations of racism, and Capello seems vehemently against a sporting decision, made from a civil case which does not go to trial until after the championships are over. Regardless of personal opinion, the issue is no one else's business besides those involved, and serves no positive purpose for anyone outside to even know, much less dissect and discuss.
Yet again, the media have begun the classic attempt to destroy English chances of any international Football success, while sharpening the knives of blame at the squads failure, born from the pressure and negativity of the wedge they place between the players and the fans - who both deep down desire the same outcome of national success. It happened in 2010 with the John Terry/Wayne Bridge affair. 2006 with Wayne Rooney's love of GILF prostitutes. 2002 with Sven's Swedish meatballs. 2000 with King Kevs ever ready pink slip in his pocket. 1998 with Glenn Hoddles faith healers (He should have used Uri Gellar), 1996 with the Dentist Chair. The list runs back all the way to 1970, and the record since then is, in simple terms, shit; worse than Senegal and Uruguay.
And this is the media down to a tee; creating or exacerbating issues which are not really there, until the non-existent issue becomes discussed so often, it eventually turns into reality. The Terry racism story hardly exposes a deep-rooted taboo of British Football; most fans could care less about a players race, as long as they perform on a regular basis. Endlessly talking and writing about it only gives the notion of racism more power than the amount it deserves, which is none. It goes in place with the constant stream of negativity they promote. Newspapers, magazines, TV reports, all forms of media will interview one hundred people on Capello - or any other form of story they seek propaganda from, ignore the ninety-nine upbeat general responses, take the one solitary knee-jerk criticism from the collection, then play it over and over, until convincing the public this extreme exception is in fact, the rule; and they wonder why the kids today are so cynical.
I feel sympathy for Fabio Capello. He must have taken the job on, assured of his abilities as a manager. But I imagine he never imagined his greatest competitor, would be a collection of money grabbing, depressing, negative newspaper dogs, and ambitious football writers who feed off destroying something beautiful, then laying the blame on those it passively destroyed. The media constantly talk about being England greatest fan and ally. If you ask me, they are the social equivalent of fifty Howard Webb's refereeing a Manchester United match... we all know where the penalties are going.