Capello Understands Rather Better

…than Hugh Muir gives him credit for.

Setting aside for a moment whether using racist language should be a criminal offence (it shouldn’t), John Terry has been charged with a criminal offence. He is awaiting trial. Fabio Capello is upset that his authority was undermined by the FA when they stripped Terry of his captaincy of the national side without recourse to him. Having been publicly undermined myself in the past, I sympathise and was likewise livid.

In a condescending article from Muir we get the “poor little Eytie doesn’t understand British culture” argument. As an aside, I wonder sometimes whether the Guardianista will ever appreciate that they are caricatures of the very thing they rail against; an example of real life surpassing parody. Anyway, it seems to me that Mr Capello understands an important British principle rather better than his detractors. A principle that underpins the British legal system. A principle that neither the FA nor the right-on Muir have grasped: Innocent until proven guilty.

8 comments for “Capello Understands Rather Better

  1. john in cheshire
    February 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I know nothing about football and care even less. But from what I have read and heard, it is my opinion that both Mr Terry and Mr Capello have been badly served by people in our country. As far as I can see neither of them has done anything wrong, yet both are being vilified in the media. What on earth is the matter with us that a footballer is faced with a criminal record for allegedly saying on a sports ground things that are best left on said ground. I’m sick to death of hearing the word racist. If it was in my power I’d tell all the howlers in this story to eff off.

    • February 10, 2012 at 7:58 am

      I know nothing about football and care even less.

      Likewise. Consequently, the comments below regarding his erstwhile efforts to create a silk purse from a sow’s ear fall on stony ground as far as I am concerned. It’s a monotonous, tedious game not worthy of the attention it receives.

      No, what interests me here is the human factor, the righteous getting themselves whipped up into a paroxysm of indignant fury at the mere whisper of “racism”. Thought crime is obscene and the righteous love it. A witch hunt is on and they are up for the chase. Innocent until proven guilty bypasses the righteous. The accusation has been made, therefore he is guilty and must be punished.

      Sure, Dave G has a point below about Terry resigning honourably, pending the outcome of the trial. But is isn’t a requirement and Capello was perfectly right to be outraged at the behaviour of the FA – one of the most pompous, self-important, yet irrelevant organisations on the planet, frankly.

  2. Robert Edwards
    February 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    “The board saw the big picture…”

    Huh? What? The FA board? Seeing the big picture? Oh, fuck off.

    In Capello’s position, I (albeit a bit Flashman-like) would have buggered off as fast as my bandy legs could carry me. The golden opportunity offered to him by the total confusion of the FA board as to what to do (oh, God! – racism, Eek!) allowed him the opportunity to fold his tent and steal away. Good luck to him – the job of England “Coach” is the shirt of Nessus at best.

    I wish him well, but he must know (or, at least, he should by now) that managing English National Football is, as Stanley Baldwin put it in another context, akin to driving pigs to market.

    But the raw material of the England squad is massively compromised by the fact that very few of them have ever played footie on the same side as each other. The performance in South Africa said it all – as someone who knows more that I put it:

    “A pub side playing on a Sunday morning with a hangover…”

    So, he’s well out of it: bricks/straw, etc….

  3. Dave_G
    February 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    If John Terry had any moral stature he would have voluntarily stepped down pending the outcome of the trial. As it is he’s put the England manager in an unsupportable position and effectively been the cause of Capello’s ‘downfall’. No-one would have thought less of Terry had he made such a voluntary gesture – in fact I suspect the general consensus would have been approval of such a move – but, like many in his position he regards himself as above any form of criticism.

    • February 10, 2012 at 10:48 am

      Even a totally ginned-up, politically-correct form of criticism?

      Well, I’m with him then! 😀

  4. Robert Edwards
    February 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I hold no brief for Mr. Terry, (a disagreeable oik of the first water) but as I understand it (and I am sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong) the complaint which has led to this was made by someone who was not even present at the game involved. If that is so, then the FA board are simply gutless and Capello saw his chance…

    Or perhaps he is more honourable that I…

  5. February 10, 2012 at 5:04 am

    It’s odd that people in the public eye do get treated a bit differently and there’s often some punishment meted out before anything’s proven purely on the strength of the accusation. Chris Huhne is another example: no problem if he’d been sacked/resigned for being a shit minister, and since I think he was getting him out was kind of a result, but the fact remains that as of right now he’s not been found guilty of perjury yet and is therefore innocent of anything.

    Okay, we might say that Ministers of the Crown should conduct themselves to such a high standard that they avoid even the taint of accusation – I’ll just wait for everyone to stop laughing – but sports people? Why should they be treated differently from anyone else? Why should they be sackable, which might make them look more guilty and prejudice any eventual trial? We had a case here last year where an Aussie Rules player had been charged with rape and almost immediately suspended by the club (for which he’d never even played a game, having been traded at the end of the 09 season and been accused before the 10 season began) and eventually dumped altogether. When the trial was held more than a year later he was acquitted, but his AFL career was already over by then. I think he got an out of court settlement from the club over the sacking but it doesn’t change the fact that he could still have been playing league footy today and maybe for another 2-3 years if ‘innocent until proven guilty’ had applied as much to him as to any other defendant.

  6. Mudplugger
    February 10, 2012 at 8:48 am

    As yet another who is willingly ignorant of the ways of football, I see it quite simply.

    The primary role of the FA, with reference to the national team, is to take whatever steps are deemed appropriate to win the greatest number of international games. That’s it.
    It is not the role of the FA to act as any sort of agent of social engineering.

    Therefore, it shouldn’t matter if any particular player is gay or straight, honest or crooked, young or old, faithful or adulterer, fascist or socialist – it’s about their playing skill as part of the objective to win games. Same is true of the manager – his (or her !) role is simply to orchestrate that best-of-breed skill-group to deliver the victories on the pitch – that’s all.

    But yet again, we encounter the PC world of social-engineering taking precedence over the key performance objective. Until that is reversed, all those sad and obsessive team-strip buyers can wave goodbye to any international success.

Comments are closed.