In 2000 after the closing of the European Championship the disappointment felt by the powers that be with their national team’s result caused a total overhaul of league and national team structure to improve their fortune. This was not the English Football Association however, who simply decided to sack their manager, it was the German Football Association and they had big plans.
Germany saw that they needed more youth who would become quality players and implemented new rules in order to achieve this. German league sides now had to put more effort into developing youth and were backed by the German FA who invested in youth facilities. The results so far have been astounding with Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller, and Marco Reus putting in amazing performances at under 25 years old.
The key here was that the German FA planned for the long term. Germany historically has won three World Cups and three European Championships, but they knew they had to adapt to improve in the modern era. The United States Soccer Federation and Japan Football Association have also begun to use this youth revamp blueprint in recent years. Last August, the Chinese FA made a lot of noises about developing a productive youth system. And, according to Goal.com, Fabio Capello has been offered a $16 million two year deal which would see him put in charge of the national team, revamp all the youth teams below the senior one, and change the scouting network to one that works.
Capello would be quite the catch for the Chinese FA. He is an interesting character and one that may be a better fit for China than other foreign managers. A disciplinarian he has stated on multiple occasions that getting results is more important than style. Whilst this philosophy is debatable, this is what China needs right now to improve on the world stage. Many people have been criticized for employing negative tactics, even Capello himself was fired from Real Madrid for this reason, but everyone loves a trophy. Capello has collected seven Serie A title s(two revoked due to the Juventus scandal), 2 La Liga titles and one UEFA Champions League title.
Although all of Capello’s silverware is from club competition he still could improve China’s results to a respectable level. While youth development in China is restructured Capello would just have to ensure decent results in Asia since they can no longer qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
The changes in the scouting department are also key and if it is indeed true that the Chinese FA wants Capello involved, then this is a reason for optimism. Capello has brought a lot of youth into his squads and has an eye for players who can contribute. If, and this is a very big if, the Chinese FA puts money into building football pitches around the country like has been done with basketball courts, the talent will develop, but without proper scouting these youths will go unnoticed.
Its difficult to get too excited right now about this appointment because as of now it remains a rumor. However it is always fun to wonder what if and this would be a big one for Chinese football.
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