Mumbling Capello never really settled

Fabio Capello arrived in London four years ago with a sparkling CV, but for all his club success he departed still barely able to speak English and with his adopted country rent with division and long shots for success at Euro 2012.

It is ironic that the his tenure was effectively ended by an interview given in his native Italian, when he said he disagreed completely with the FA's decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy.

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Capello, rich beyond dreams, with trophies and titles galore and looking forward to retirement as he turns 66 this year, felt undermined and betrayed.

The FA seemingly felt the same way and England fans, unanimously if the phone-ins and social media are any indication, were left pleading for an English manager who they, and the players, can understand.

In these days of multinational Premier League players and managers it seems a petty point, and one that would no doubt have been conveniently overlooked if he had found success at the 2010 World Cup.

But Capello's inability to master even the most basic vocabulary required for a manager's post-match press conference eventually came to symbolise his failure to get to grips with the English game and mentality.

Vastly experienced in the political machinations of Serie A and La Liga, he nevertheless seemed out on a limb when forced to deal with the vast baggage that comes with the job of England manager and was regularly left completely bemused by questions from journalists with a multitude of agendas.

Over-inflated expectation, deeply-entrenched media opinions, off-pitch distractions - more often than not related to John Terry - were part of the job that even his world-leading six million pounds a year salary seemingly left him ill-equipped to deal with.

"Rubbish," his supporters could cry. "Look at everything he won with AC Milan, Juventus, AS Roma and Real Madrid - he is undoubtedly a great manager. Look at his extraordinary qualification record."

England fans are used to that, though, not least under their first foreign manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, who also shone in the dress rehearsals only to suffer crippling stage fright when things got serious.

Like most of his predecessors, Capello enjoyed a lengthy honeymoon period as, in what seems almost laughable now, the no-nosense boss brought a new sense of discipline to the squad that failed so miserably to make the Euro 2008 finals under Steve McClaren.

A hugely impressive 4-1 away win over Croatia set the tone in their qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup as they went on to win nine of their 10 games, finishing as Europe's leading scorers by a distance and were then handed a dream draw in South Africa alongside the United States, Algeria and Slovenia.

It all went horribly wrong, however, and Capello was just as culpable as the multi-millionaires of the Premier League who were made to look decidedly ordinary by some of the lowest-ranked opponents they had ever faced in a tournament.