Lippi and Capello get grief for two very different reasons
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?
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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