Our problems lie deeper than knee-jerk reactions

Trevor Steven
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THE Football Association has not always been correct in its decision-making in the past, but its response to the criticism of Fabio Capello after a dismal World Cup campaign is common sense prevailing.

It would have easy to make a rash decision in the heat of the moment after England’s woeful display against the Germans, but I think it’s a sensible move to step back, let the dust settle and reflect over a two-week period, taking everything into account.

I’m sure the FA would not have foreseen the World Cup going quite so badly, so even after the disappointing group stage results, I doubt there was ever a time when uncertainty over Capello’s future entered officials’ heads.

First and foremost, the FA will need to sit down and assess Capello’s tactics in South Africa – and they won’t make good reading.

We looked old, tired, unimaginative and predictable, playing a rigid 4-4-2 with no width and no Plan B if, like against Germany, it went awry.

But although Capello got it horribly wrong, the players themselves just weren’t technically good enough not to be stagnated by tactics.

Look at Holland, Brazil, Argentina and Germany. All four have technically gifted players in their side, we do not, and that comes down to how we coach the game at grass-roots level.

Capello has also made the point that his players looked tired after a long, hard season and that a winter break could help prepare us better for major tournaments.

I think he’s got a point. The Germans break for six weeks and the French for three, and although that doesn’t disguise the fact we are technically not good enough to compete, I think there’s room in our game to at least consider it, if it’s going to help spare us another campaign like this.