The first signs that Fab was mixed up in a business he’d never truly understand came almost immediately.
Would he, they wondered, be making Beckham captain for his 100th cap?
Of course Capello could be accused of making less than inspired selections for the job. It was unfortunate that Brave JT, stripped to the waist save for a band of nylon, became an emblem of his reign.
It was a sign, maybe, of how little regard Capello had for the symbol. Like most of the civilised world. But, of course, once he saw how important it was to them, Fabio wanted his say.
Perhaps the only ones as exercised as the English by the largely ceremonial role of captaincy are GAA folk. The call has often gone up that the old-fashioned way of allowing county champions choose a leader be abandoned. Many counties have.
Ironic then that the GAA way could have saved England a lot of hassle. While there’s still the odd Englishman involved, let the Premier League champions have the honour.
Whether Wayne Rooney, Gareth Barry or even, God bless him, Theo Walcott handles the duties, is it really worth arguing the toss over?