FIFA World Cup Today Matches

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Capello Effect Sways Russia

Capello Effect Sways Russia

Shortly after Fabio Capello helped Russia secure its World Cup berth, he was immediately asked to extend his stay in the Russian squad. Once again, the veteran coach is asked to lead the team in the 2018 World Cup matches.


A not so warm welcome

Capello’s entry barely received a warm welcome. The (disaster) that England went through during the 2010 World Cup generated plenty of questions rather than support. Many were hesitant with the plan for the fear that Russia might just fall into a bitter disgrace.


However, despite the understandable reasons of his detractors, this did not prevent the bold Capello from taking the job. And after a 2-year stay, Capello proved all his critics wrong.


From a minnow to a heavy favorite

Like Capello, Russia was not really a favorite in its group. Joined by Portugal where the talismanic Cristiano Ronaldo plays, Russia chances of qualifying were immediately downplayed.


But then again, what happened in the group was rather unexpected. Russia did not only make a strong finish, it also topped its group and earned its direct passage to this year’s World Cup tournament. As for Portugal, it was forced to endure a 2-legged playoff against Sweden, much to the dismay of their supporters.


The “Capello Model

Capello’s success in Russia is not just a result of sheer luck.


Capello works on the philosophy of finding the appropriate, if not the perfect, playing style for the squad and knowing what the players can offer. For Capello there is no such thing as a “one size fits all approach” in football.


With Russia, his main strategy revolved around using a sole striker, rapid counterattacks and a focused midfield. And indeed, it worked well for the Italian tactician.


The approach saw the Russian squad concede a relatively low number of conceded goals. During the qualifiers, it conceded 5 mere goals. And evidently, such performance speaks well of its impressive defence.


But Russia was not merely parking the bus. While it is true that they have a seemingly impenetrable defence wall, its dedicated midfield enabled them to respond quickly to lose balls and create immediate scoring opportunities.


Capello’s entry may not necessarily be the answer to Russia’s World Cup title drought. Only time can decide on this one. But one thing is evident and this argument is readily supported by how the squad performed during the qualifier— Capello has been Russia’s best coach so far.


Image Source: Express

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