England striker Jermain Defoe has backed the Football Association’s decision to stick with manager Fabio Capello despite the team’s dismal performance at the World Cup in South Africa.
England scraped through their group before being taken apart 4-1 by Germany in the last 16 and the poor showing led to calls for Capello to resign or be dismissed. However, the FA have decided to stand by the Italian through the Euro 2012 campaign.
While the players took a lot of the flak, Capello was criticised for sticking too rigidly to his tactical plan, his policy of naming his team just two hours before kick-off and for failing to create a positive atmosphere in the group.
But Tottenham forward Defoe insists it is right that Capello is given the chance to continue his work after proving his capabilities in the club game with AC Milan, Real Madrid and Roma.
He told Sky Sports News: “If you speak to the rest of the players they will all say the same thing, he’s a great manager and his CV speaks for itself.
“He’s got great ideas and he was just a little bit unlucky I think, but he’s a great manager. On record he is one of the best managers in the world and has been for a number of years so I can’t see why we would want to get rid of someone like that, it doesn’t make sense.”
The team were criticised for not showing enough passion for playing for their country, but Defoe is adamant there can be no doubting the players’ desire.
“I’m a football fan, I’ve still got my England flags plastered around my house and all the players are the same, all the players are disappointed, you can tell,” he added.
“I would definitely say the passion of the players has always been there and will never change.”
A number of England’s first-team regulars are over 30 and Defoe admits there will be need to be a period of transition, and hopes he can still have a role to play by the time the 2014 World Cup comes around.
He said: “This season coming up will be a big season for a lot of the players coming through and hopefully they can get in the squad and try and get as many caps as possible before the next World Cup. It happens, players get older and that’s football.
“I’ll keep going, keep looking after myself like I do, keep scoring my goals and you never know.”