Before the game, the pundits were all saying that man for man, our players were more experienced and better players than the young German team.
But that is exactly the issue – we were a bunch of highly talented individuals – and they were a team.
Different people have their views as to what went wrong. For me, the tremendous potential of Rooney, Lampard and all the other brilliant players who have inspired us all through the domestic and European championships was never realised. And it has to rest with the manager.
Management theory suggests the greatest potential is achieved when everyone is focused on the same goal, people are treated with respect in the team, and people know what they have to do.
Whilst we may never know what really happened behind closed doors, the body language and odd comments (esp Stephen Gerrard’s press conference) suggests it was not a united team.
Capello is an old fashioned manager who seems locked in his own issues of dominance. His style may demand respect (fear) but he does not demonstrate respect for his players or support staff. He demands ‘headmaster like’ discipline, where he is blindly closed to alternate suggestions (seeing it as some power attack). He thus has alienated his team and made some crass decisions.
Compare that with Maradona – on paper a much less accomplished manager but he loves (not just respects) his players. And the players respond. We have all had managers we love and would walk over coals for. And the managers we have not liked, we have ‘spiked’ in whatever subversive way we could.
Furthermore, there seemed no communciation going on. Capello ‘told’ people what to do – treat them like mindless monkeys and they act like that. These are not 12 years old school boys – everyone of them needs to be treated as world class professionals and then surprise surprise, they will live up to expectations.
For me, there is a silver lining to all this. Such an appalling result means that serious questions have to be asked and dramatic action taken. It may take 8 years to rebuild a cracking team, but we will get it back – eventually!
Paul Arnold is a freelance consultant/trainer specialising in the area of building effective relationships in and across organisations.