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Fabio Capello's decision to quit as England coach might just be another example of the pragmatism that has defined his managerial career. And England may be forced to enter this year's European Championship with an unhappy and unsettled squad.
After England failed to reach the final stage of the 2008 European Championships at the end of 2007, the team hired Capello. And he was proving to be worth the record high 9 million US dollars a year he was making. The Italian led his team to a 28-6-and 8 record in 42 international A level games.
Despite qualifying for the 2010 World Cup with a perfect campaign, England could not advance past the last 16 in South Africa. Suddenly Capello's position in charge became unstable.
Fabio Capello, the former England coach. [File photo]
With four months until the Euro 2012 begins, England has been thrust back into a period of transition and uncertainty. Former Football Association CEO Brian Barwick says Capello would have been too proud to sit back and let the FA strip John Terry of the England captaincy.
Brian Barwick, former FA Chief Executive, said "Well, he's a proud man, a man of integrity. And I would've thought this would've been an issue he woud've thought a line had been crossed. My understanding is that the meeting itself was civil. And that David Bernstein and Fabio Capello shook hands at the end. So you can read into that what you wish to."
Barwick says England has time to find another manager before Euro 2012 with the FA likely to move fast in seeking Capello's successor.
Brian Barwick, former FA Chief Executive, also said "Well, they've got a game this month against Holland so someone will have to pay in charge for that. And I'd imagine in the next 24-48 hours they'll tell us who that will be. And then they have two warm up games before Euro 2012 so they have some time.
But whoever is going to be the person in charge at Euro 2012 will probably want to be watching players and seeing the form of players in the opposition of players they're going to face. So it's going to be an interesting two or three months and one I will watch with a certain amount of interest having been there before."
England goalkeeper Joe Hart has been named as one of the favourites to take over as captain, despite the 24-year-old holding just 16 international caps. Former captain Rio Ferdinand ruled himself out of contention for the captaincy.
England's next match is a friendly against the Netherlands at the end of this month.