Money is the reason we performed so badly at the world cup. Put simply, neither the manager nor the players have any financial incentive to shine.
Why the FA agreed to give Capello a new contract which means it will be even more expensive to fire him is beyond comprehension. He, like the rest of us apart from the FA, must have seen how unconvincing England were in their warm up games and thought, “unlikely to get very far with this lot…I’ll probably get the sack…I’ll see if the FA are daft enough to agree to keep me on longer so it costs more to fire me.”
Foreign managers don’t take their teams to world cup success because the national pride is not there to motivate them. They understand that money is what drives their players to perform so well at club level, and share with them almost an indifference about how well they succeed on an international stage.
English football is dominated, and will be dominated, by the big clubs that can afford to pay, or think they can afford to pay, their players obscenely huge wages. Smaller clubs who try to compete are now in financial crises or are the playthings of foreign billionaires.
After their holidays, the England players will come back to their clubs, their paymasters who will treat them like Gods. They won’t complain of being bored while serving their country or the manager being too strict in the hope that they might put in a half decent performance if focused on winning a few games.
No, once the domestic seasons starts, Rooney, Lampard, Terry, Cole(s) etc will be feted by their club fans, their world cup failures forgotten and forgiven.
The corrosive commitment-sapping effect of being financially over-rewarded can also be seen in the French and Italian teams’ failure, while the opposite – pride for playing for your country and desire for recognition on the international stage – is probably why the smaller South American countries and the Asian/Australasian teams have over-achieved.
While money is at the heart of English football, and the big clubs have more power and influence than the FA, we won’t get very far in international competitions against players whose motivation is to win for their countries and not their bank accounts.
It is not an accident that player for player, the English team is worth, in financial terms, several times that of the German team that so comprehensively outfought and outplayed them. You can’t buy passion and you can’t buy commitment.