Former England manager Fabio Capello believes the timing of this year’s World Cup could help the side achieve success at the tournament.
Speaking to Sky Sports. Capello said: “When I coached the team in September, October and November, we were ready to face the best sides in the world. In March and April, it was so-so because the physical level was dropping, and we then found it very tough in June.”
Fabio Capello Believes a Winter World Cup Could Benefit England
— England (@England) September 20, 2022
Reservations Regarding Mentality
Whilst Capello was optimistic about the positive effect a winter World Cup could have on England’s chances at the World Cup, he did reveal that he was concerned about the mentality of the English players.
The Italian stated: “The only doubt I have is in the players’ heads. The English players feel a sense of responsibility. They get close to success and then feel that sense of responsibility as a weight on their shoulders.
“If we look at the second half of the [Euro 2020] final against Italy after scoring, they stopped playing. And what amazed me is that they were already time-wasting on 30 minutes. They were time-wasting and they didn’t want to play anymore, so they didn’t. That seems to be a mental problem.”
Capello is right and England’s inability to continue to play on the front foot after scoring early on in that final does suggest that these England players do have an overwhelming fear of failure.
Building on the 2020 European Championships
However, Gareth Southgate and his squad have an opportunity to rectify that failure and build upon what was a largely successful Euro 2020 campaign.
Although the tournament had a sour ending, there were many positives to take away from the experience as an England fan. The young stars performed excellently and showed maturity beyond their years, the side was defensively sound and there was a real sense of unity between the players, the staff and the fans. Something that has been missing from the English national team for far too long.
If Southgate’s men can take advantage of what Fabio Capello believes to be the perfectly timed World Cup, and use the disappointment of Euro 2020 to motivate them rather than weigh them down, then England has every chance of success at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.