Lippi and Capello get grief for two very different reasons

March 24, 2009

Italy coach Marcello Lippi probably expected to be grilled for again overlooking Antonio Cassano, but England counterpart Fabio Capello may not have foreseen the furore surrounding him actually picking a player.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Ledley King has a chronic knee problem which prevents him training yet Capello still deemed the centre back good enough for an England squad recall for the friendly with Slovakia and World Cup qualifier with Ukraine.

“It’s mad. It’s pointless at best,” blasted Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp in the Sun.

King has now returned to Tottenham and will not be involved in either game.

Capello, whose side were easily beaten by Spain last month, may have been trying to show who was boss by taking a look at King first. The decision, though, does look a little odd.

Lippi, a World Champion, also has the same imperious air as Capello. However, the Italians are not happy that he has ignored Sampdoria’s Cassano despite the cheeky playmaker’s wonderful performances this term.

Being a soccer reporter, I don’t often have to pay to see football but I would certainly buy a ticket to watch Cassano, who is a magician at times.

He got a reputation for being childish at Bari, AS Roma and Real Madrid but he looks more mature in every game. No wonder Juventus and Inter Milan are interested.

Any defeat in Montenegro on Saturday or at home to Ireland will only increase the calls for Cassano’s inclusion after he was also ignored for February’s limp loss to Brazil.

Are Capello and Lippi losing some of their invincibility?

For more blogs on other sports than soccer, check out

PHOTO: Tottenham Hotspur’s Ledley King (L) fights for the ball with Udinese’s Fabio Quagliarella during their UEFA Cup match in Udine, Oct. 23, 2008. REUTERS/Daniel Raunig


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

[…] Source: Mark Meadows […]

Posted by Soccer Camps » Blog Archive » Lippi and Capello get grief for two very different reasons | Report as abusive

Do England need King when there are so many centre-backs queuing up? It’s the eon area where England are very strong so it seems strange to risk him, although I suppose he could be a luxury squad player at a major tournament, available to fill in for one game or a few minutes.

Posted by Jamesy | Report as abusive

King’s call up was especially strange given Glen Johnson is the only right back in the squad.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

[…] here: Lippi and Capello get grief for two very different reasons Tags: antonio cassano, england, fabio-capello, home, italy, ledley king, lippi, picture, Serie […]

Posted by Lippi and Capello get grief for two very different reasons – Everything related to European Football | Report as abusive

Ledley King reminds me of Paul McGrath during the Jack Charlton years with the Republic of Ireland – he could barely train at all but was still a mainstay in the team. Charlton had few other options though, whereas Capello has a multitude, and several better in my opinion than King, so it was a bizarre selection. Maybe it was just to take the heat off his compatriot Lippi? Cassano is surely worth a place in the Italy squad – although like another Italian manager (Trappatoni), it seems Lippi has his own vision of how he wants his team to play, and Cassano just doesn’t fit in.

Posted by Sean | Report as abusive