Tag Archives: David James

FIFA and English football still in the Dark Ages

By Mark Duckworth

Fabio Capello is one of the most successful managers of the past decade. He was successful in Italy and Spain, but now his CV is blotted by his time managing the England national side. And it’s not just an insignificant blot, it’s England’s heaviest defeat in a World Cup and a last 16 knock-out. Even Sven made the quarter-finals. So, is it all Capello’s fault or has he just become another victim of the English game and the false promise of talent and success?

Everyone seems to know the score, they’ve seen it all before, and in Bloemfontein Fabio Capello realised what it means to be the England team manager as Germany ran riot over his sorry side.

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Capello out-foxed in Cape Town

Courtesy Celebrity Cartoons Picasaweb

By Mark Duckworth of The National Game


“We’ve seen it all before” the famous line from the England football song Three Lions, and on Friday night that is what we got as England stumbled to a nil-nil draw with Algeria in Cape Town.

The impressive table mountain provides the back drop to Cape Town and with the flanking peaks of Devils Peak and Lions Head you would have thought England would have wanted to play football to match its surroundings. Instead it stuttered out onto the pristine pitch of the Green Point Stadium and simply bottled-it in front of almost a full house in Cape Town. The draw doesn’t mark the end of England’s World Cup campaign, but it looks mighty close.

The pre- and post-match talk was dominated by Capello’s team selection and his handling of the Robert Green situation. With regard to Green, if Capello thinks he isn’t mentally tough enough then he was right to drop him, and with the rumors of another blunder in training then it seems Capello got that right. David James was also arguably England’s best player on the night; he looked calm under pressure and saved England from what could have been the end of a World Cup dream as he cleared what was a terrible back pass from John Terry.

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Capello Finalizes England's Squad

By Cameron Dickinson of The National Game

All the speculation finally ended at 3 p.m. yesterday when Fabio Capello put the nation out of its misery by naming the 2010 World Cup squad.

Gone were the shock call-ups of the past (Theo Walcott in 2006 anyone?) as the manager appears to be placing his faith in those that have experience at the international level, rather than those with fewer caps.

Already some are willing to write off the tournament as they do not agree with some of the choices made by the Italian, but then this would be the case no matter who was in the final 23. At least the questions can stop for now, and we can now look forward to the greatest event in the world — which kicks off in just nine days.

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Chelsea Makes History But Wembley Makes the News

Courtesy John Dobbo Flickr

By Mark Duckworth of The National Game

Carlo Ancelotti may have made history on Saturday when his Chelsea side won their first ever league and cup double, but even as John Terry was lifting the coveted cup above his head, the famous pitch was taking criticism. And this time it was plain for all to see as ITV’s pitch camera showed a surface that was cut up and at best a bit bobbly, it’s just a good thing it didn’t spoil the game too much.

Never has there been so much pressure on two teams to deliver a final of decent quality, with the FA facing crisis on and off the field it was, left to the stars of Portsmouth and Chelsea to put on a show worthy of matching past finals. And as Frank Lampard tested the Wembley goal-frame and David James did his usual superman impression to deny Drogba, they looked like doing just that. But for the three times Chelsea cracked the bar and the countless saves and last ditch tackles Pompey made, the standard of the game was disappointing and as the second half mirrored into a boring blur of past finals, the attention turned to the Wembley surface that once again failed to deliver.

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Capello Still Has Decisions To Make

By Mark Duckworth of The National Game

So the dust has settled on another Premier League campaign, and the attention will turn to South Africa and England as they look for glory. But before we get to June 11,  Fabio Capello has some choices to make and with the announcement of Capello’s 30 man squad today, Mark Duckworth takes a look at some of the old and new faces trying to get a seat on the plane to South Africa.

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