Friday, August 13, 2010


This week's perspective from Joe Chidley:

What is it with soccer coaches? Just a few weeks after the self-destructive debacle of the French World Cup team—whose terrible on-field performance was surpassed in negativity by the acrimony in the dressing room—the infection of bad management and sloppy communications seems to have crossed the Channel. This week, Fabio Capello, the manager of the English squad, announced that superstar David Beckham , who is perhaps the most recognizable athlete in the world, was at age 35 too old to play on the national team again. Fair enough, I guess. Maybe some people who know football better than I will say that’s the right call. But it’s the way Capello did it that stinks. First, it was in a televised interview aired after a friendly game against Hungary. Second, and worse, that was the first time Beckham heard that his days of competitive play for his country were officially over. Apparently, the team’s GM had informed Beckham of the interview beforehand but told him that Capello would be talking about the need for younger players—not putting a superstar in the remainder bin. Later, Capello did allow that he tried to speak with Beckham before the interview, and that he would like the star to play in the next friendly game at Wembley stadium (once an Achilles tendon injury healed) so he could “say goodbye and thank you very much to the crowd.” Classy? Not so much. Beckham, to his credit, has snubbed Capello’s lame and insulting offer. The damage to the reputation and credibility of England team management is done.

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