Thursday, January 31, 2008

Why Capello is Right Not to Pick Beckham

And why McClaren was wrong to drop him after the World Cup. Fabio Capello, the new coach of the English national team, has not selected David Beckham for the upcoming friendly against Switzerland. Golden Balls therefore misses the chance to gain his hundredth cap for England, missing out on joining a select band of players to have done so. They said Capello was tough and this decision shows just how strong-minded he is. It is absolutely the right thing to do. Beckham has not played a competitive game since November. He is, no doubt, retaining his extraordinary fitness by working out with Arsenal but he cannot be match fit. Capello has promised Beckham he will continue to fit into his plans once he gets some games under his belt in the MLS season. What a contrast with McClaren, the previous coach. McClaren, in a pattern he would go on to consistently display, dropped Becks after the World Cup because the media needed a scapegoat for England's poor performance. Beckham was actually one of the better England players in that tournament and did not deserve such treatment. It's great to have Capello at the helm even if it's a couple of years too late.
I also really like his appointment of Stuart Pearce as assistant. Pearce will continue to concentrate on the U-21 team but will also be involved in the senior games. That should shut the Little Englanders up for a while. Pearce has the talent and the desire to be a national team coach and his involvement should be warmly welcomed.

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