England remains Fab-ulous until 2012

England coach Fabio Capello will keep his job until at least the end of 2012, the Football...

England coach Fabio Capello will keep his job until at least the end of 2012, the Football Association announced Friday. (AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:42 PM ET

PORT ELIZABETH -- Some wanted Becks. What they got was more Fabs.

Admittedly, the announcement Friday by the FA that manager Fabio Capello would be sticking around until at least the conclusion of 2012 might not sit well with some of the more zealous England supporters who wanted to escort him to Heathrow and kick him onto the first plane to Milan.

Indeed, there have been no shortage of critics who wanted him voted off the island.

According to a poll taken by the Independent, the English publication that employs QMI correspondent James Lawton, 52% of the 552 who responded called for Capello to get the heave ho.

One of the more popular notions going around was for David Beckham to take over from Capello, an idea Victoria Spice's famous hubby quickly shot down.

"While I am flattered to be talked about as a coach and am always available for my country, whenever I am needed, I still see myself as a player and remain supportive of the manager," Beckham told Yahoo! Sport.

That's a good thing. Because there is no evidence out there that Beckham can even manage.

Once again, here we see what happens when fans get overcome by disappointment and emotion and talk from their hearts, not with their heads.

Whether you like Capello's tactics or not, the man has shown an ability to manage. No one from London to Liverpool seemed to be complaining when Capello's English side were mowing down almost any and all comers during qualifying games for South Africa 2010.

Of course, once he and his underachieving squad got down here, they were hugely disappointing, a moribund performance for which Capello must absorb some blame.

At the same time, would Becks have done any different had he been in control? Sure, he'd have looked great on all the magazine covers, decked out in a spiffy suit while he patrolled the sideline. But there are no guarantees he could have led England deeper into the tournament.

If your choice was to have Capello given the boot, fine. But, invariably, it was the shortcoming of the players themselves that cost England.

Up until the 4-1 elimination at the hands of rival Germany, Frank Lampard struggled to get any offensive flow going. Steven Gerrard never did. They could never regularly get the ball to Wayne Rooney in space. And the rare times it did happen, Rooney could not convert.

And John Terry? No need to dig up that soap opera any more.

In the end, the FA had no better candidate to go to as manager. So they stuck with what they knew.

"We are all still extremely disappointed at our performance in South Africa, and we believed it was important that we took some time to reflect on everything in a calm and considered manner back in England," Club England chairman David Richards said on the club's web site.

"After fully discussing our performance, we remain convinced that Fabio is the best man for the job. He went into the World Cup with a reputation as one of world football's finest managers and we are confident Fabio will benefit from (the South African) experience."

Of all those in and around the English camp who bitched, complained and moaned about their fate in South Africa, there never was such a peep from Beckham. Give him credit for that.

Nor was there any passing the blame other than where it belonged -- on the pitch.

"We (England) didn't play at the level we knew that we were capable of (at the World Cup)," Beckham said. "Over the four matches, we weren't good enough and regardless of the goal that never was, Germany played better than we did over the 90 minutes and deserved to go through.

"Having seen the lads in training, the spirit was good, everyone trained at a really high level. It was just disappointing we couldn't transfer that onto the pitch. As a team, we have to learn from everything that's happened, come back stronger and play to our potential."

Like it or not, they'll be doing that under Fabio Capello's watch.

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca


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