Tag Archives: Capello

Crying for Argentina.

The exaggerated outpourings of national fervour that are the World Cup are captured by the television cameras  through the teams, predictable shots of delirious fans and the ubiquitous managers. Their every facial expression and gesture framed on our screens.  


 For Argentinians, for whom football is a deep part of the national pschye, it must have been some consolation to know that their manager, the almost magical Maradonna, felt the pain as deeply as they did. An Argentinian crying for Argentina.


 Now try sharing a  national sense of grief with this pair. One a cool undemonstrative Swede, the other a hot demonstrative Italian. One already moving on from the unlucky (to have chosen him) Ivory Coast, the other, lucky for him not us, to continue in his post, too expensive to fire.


How much better if we felt the manager cared, really cared, as we do, and that he was motivated more by patriotism  than money.  Whether we fail  next time or, who knows, succeed, it will be so much more satisfying with a Harry Redknapp or a Roy Hodgson.

Winning and losing body language!

When the pressure is really on body language is usually an accurate indicator of who is really up for it and who is not.  We saw this last week!

Winners include  David Cameron  and George Osborne. Both have visibly grown into their new roles. Cameron already looks and acts the part on the world stage, exuding confidence. Osborne handled the toughest of budgets, the speech and the interviews, with genuine poise and control. Impressive.


Two relatively unknown tennis players, Iszner and Mahut, handled eleven hours of unbelievable competitive pressure, one with a deliberate high energy demonstration, the other in energy conservation mode.  But both, as the close-ups showed, were  in their own  zones of focused unyielding determination. Unreal!

Compare this with the week’s (very big) losers.


Capello a few short weeka ago looked like a winner. Strong, silent, standing tall with arms folded, a man in command. Since arriving in South Africa he has been a changed man. Angry words, increasingly manic, and mystified, body language. He no longer looked a winner.

Much the same happened to the team. They never looked as if they were thrilled or delighted to be taking part and that was before they went on the pitch. The words spoken were either unpleasant petulance, Terry, or subdued mumbles, Lampard. The only one who looked positive was James once reinstated!

On the pitch you did not need to know the score to tell they were losers.

Should BP send for Capello?

 Two stories have dominated front pages over the last few weeks. BP’s attempts to stem the oil and England’s preparation for the World Cup. One is about a disaster that is real. The other about a possible disaster that is not. 


This is the face of the man who is trying to reassure the world, particularly America, that things will be alright. He is not succeeding. Partly, of course, because no-one knows yet what will work. But partly because he simply does not look the part. He does not inspire confidence  and some ill-chosen words have not helped.


This is the face of the man who is trying to reassure us that, despite Rio’s Knee, things will be alright. He is succeeding. Wisely, he  says little so that there are few ill-chosen words. But, as Hugh McIvanney writes in the Sunday Times, “he has an aura of the formidable…” Against our better judgement we are reassured.

Such is the power of body language. Capello is paid some 50% more than Hayward, but now that Inter have dropped out perhaps BP should make him an offer.

Confidence Capello style

Starting in  September, confidence, the ‘sine qua non’ of successful pitches, has been a  regular topic.  During those few weeks Gordon has gone from ‘cow’rin’, tim’rous’ to roaring ‘beastie’, giving us more confidence in the process.

Something similiar is happening with the English football team.  Give or take, it’s the same bunch of players, same old skills, same formations, same tactics but now winning and winning well.  Why?  In one word, confidence.

“Capello gives players ring of confidence on path to higher ground” A headline in the Times which says Capello believes England’s rapid improvement is largely down to increased confidence, with the Italian eradicating a climate of fear and beginning the process of instilling a winning mentality.

” We have the confidence”, Capello said.  “Sometimes there have been moments when we have not played so well, but we are always confident of scoring goals to win the game.  Confidence is the most important thing for a team”.

As it is for any team pitching. And the key role for management, mentor or coach in the lead-up to the pitch is one of boosting confidence.  Not last-minute nitpicking.

Capello’s command of English may not be that great, but the body language, the crossed arms and those spectacles shout confidence in any language!