In typical English fashion, the national soccer team is in disarray just four months before it enters the biggest soccer tournament in Europe as it’s without a captain and a manager. John Terry had the captaincy stripped from him on Feb. 3 by the English FA and that action led to the resignation of manager Fabio Capello (pictured to the right) on Feb. 8. The FA didn’t consult with Capello when it punished Terry and he didn’t agree with that or the fact that he was left with no captain while preparing for Euro 2012.
Terry, who is the captain of Chelsea, has been charged with racially abusing Anton Ferdinand of Queens Park Rangers in an English Premier League game back in October. Terry is scheduled to go to court over the issue on July 9, but the European Championships take place from June 8 to July 1 in Poland and Ukraine. The FA didn’t want Terry to lead the squad while there was a legal issue hanging over his head, but Capello stood up for him by telling Italian television station RAI that he should be presumed innocent until found guilty.
Capello met with the FA on Feb. 8 and they both decided it would be best if he stepped down from his position. He was supposed to guide the team through the Euro 2012 event and retire at the end of it after four years on the job. Ironically, Capello decided himself to strip Terry of the English team’s captaincy in 2010 when the player was accused of having an affair with the girlfriend of his England and Chelsea teammate Wayne Bridge. However, it turned out it was just a former companion of Bridge’s and Terry was given the captain’s armband back by Capello.
David Bernstein, chairman of the FA, said Capello made the right decision to resign and the organization thanked him for his work with the national team and wished him luck in the future. In another coincidence, Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp, who was favored to take over from Capello after Euro 2012, was found not-guilty of tax evasion by a London court approximately the same time Capello was handing in his resignation.
After Capello quit, many national team members posted Twitter remarks saying they liked Capello, but hoped the next manager would be English. Capello, an Italian, was just the second foreigner to hold England’s managerial job with Sweden’s Sven Goran Eriksson being the first. Many fans and people in general felt Capello had a good point when claiming that Terry shouldn’t be punished until he's proven guilty, but the FA didn’t see it that way and was angered that he made his feelings public. Some experts even claimed Capello, who formerly managed Roma, Real Madrid, Juventus, and AC Milan, breached his contract by sticking up for what he believes in.
Capello’s record with England was 28 wins, six losses, and eight draws. Redknapp is still favored to take over the job, but there are several other candidates such as Stuart Pearce, Guus Hiddink, Jose Mourinho, Alan Pardew, and even David Beckham. Pearce is the manager of England’s Under 21 team and will also coach the Great Britain team at this summer’s Olympics in London. It’s been reported that Pearce and Sir Trevor Brooking will manage England when they take to the field against Holland on Feb. 29.