Outside the Box: Capello's legacy in safe hands thanks to Wilshere and Co
Sunday 03 April 2011
For a man due to leave his job in Olympic year, it is appropriate that England's manager Fabio Capello should be thinking of the legacy he might leave behind.
A trophy would be the best one, of course, but we have grown out of expecting that. The best that most England followers would realistically hope for would be a cadre of accomplished younger players, which on the evidence of last week's matches against Wales and Ghana, plus some individual performances in Stuart Pearce's Under-21 side, may be emerging.
After the Ghana game, Capello spoke about his legacy for the first time when he said: "I'll be really happy [if] I read that these players started with me and I helped [them] and England win the World Cup and other titles."
As to how he would like to be remembered: "A really professional manager, and my job was to find new players for the future."
There are plenty of battles to be fought before that, high among them persuading Arsène Wenger and Kenny Dalglish that their respective starlets Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll should go to the European Under-21 finals in Denmark, which begin seven days after England's one remaining full international this season, at home to Switzerland on 4 June.
Millers merrier with no Moore
Changing managers often has a positive effect, in the short term at least, although rarely in such dramatic fashion as when Rotherham United dispensed with Ronnie Moore.
Once voted the club's greatest player, he was sacked a fortnight ago after a 5-0 defeat by League Two leaders Chesterfield slowed the promotion push. Four days later the team went to Lincoln City and won 6-0, with a hat-trick from Moore's son Ian Thomas-Moore, who was making a rare start.
Perhaps Dad should have ignored accusations of nepotism and played the striker more often; he did, however, have sufficient faith to back him as first goalscorer at Lincoln and collected.
Reo-Coker's life in fast lane
Aston Villa's disciplinary problems, highlighted in the fracas involving Richard Dunne and James Collins during a recent team-bonding exercise, have continued with Nigel Reo-Coker due in court for allegedly clocking 114mph on the M40.
Even if banned from driving, he should still be able to enjoy life in the fast lane: according to Birmingham's Sunday Mercury, the former England Under-21 captain is "business consultant" for a friend's luxury car and chauffeur firm.
Still buzzing over Paint final
Brentford's appearance in today's Johnstone's Paint Trophy final against Carlisle United brings back memories of the first such final at Wembley, in 1985, for the Freight Rover Trophy.
The Football League, concerned about how many people would turn up for Brentford versus Wigan Athletic, encouraged London radio station LBC to stage an all-star match before kick-off. Names like Bobby Moore, George Best, Bobby Charlton, Martin Peters, Pat Jennings and Rod Stewart were enlisted (as well as Best's agent, who demanded a place in the team if his client was to appear) and, to the organisers' delight, a crowd of 40,000 turned up.
The competition, in all its various guises, has never looked back.
Drawn to Revie illustration
Memories were stirred of a colourful episode in Leeds United's history when Paul Trevillion, creator of the classic cartoon strip You Are The Ref, attended the Soccerex forum in Manchester to present an illustration of Don Revie to his son Duncan, the event's CEO.
Trevillion was behind the 1972 PR offensive to make "Dirty Leeds" more fan-friendly – with gimmicks from US sport such as the team waving to the crowd before matches and throwing sock tags to supporters. The former Roy of the Rovers illustrator began drawing Revie in his office one day but never finished the portrait. He rediscovered it when seeking items of memorabilia to raise money for a planned Revie statue, and said Duncan Revie was delighted with the end result.
"He told me, 'That's the smile I saw – it's my dad, not the football manager'," said Trevillion, who has sketched sporting greats such as Pele, Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan. His forthcoming autobiography, Drawn To Life (Great Northern Books), should make interesting reading.
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