Saturday, 15 December 2007

Capello's Trunks

Capello's trunks more titillating than his titles
By Russell Brand

I suppose my feelings about the FA's failure to appoint Jose Mourinho expose me as a rather shallow man influenced by the media, hyperbole and sexual charisma. Of course Mourinho is an exceptional coach but my interest in him being the national manager was enhanced dramatically by the convenient legitimisation that the appointment would've given my prurient interest.

I'm trying to get into the spirit of Fabio Capello's coronation but in spite of his incredible success he isn't a titillating choice. Whilst reading about his triumphs across Europe, the facts with which we are all now familiar, having received a crash course as a nation - nine titles at four clubs, one European Cup, he likes the art of Kandinsky and Chagall - made little impression. In fact I was much more interested in the photo of him as a youth diving into the sea.

Ah, the power of the image. He can top as many leagues as he likes and devour modern art with the rapacity of a Shoreditch fire but unless I get a snap of him in his trunks he can eff off. I was aware of Capello as a successful coach of Milan then as an opponent to David Beckham in Castilla. He said Beckham would never again play in the white shirt - people are always saying that to Beckham, he should work for Daz; no matter how much mud people sling at him he turns up a few days later in a pristine white top and saves the world. I hope the Ku Klux Klan don't learn of his abilities, they'll make him a grand wizard and the unity for which we've all toiled will go right down the plug hole as racism is suddenly made to seem fun.

Them briefs he had on were pretty spick and span an' all. With my easily stirred devotion to image he can count himself fortunate that I don't embark on a campaign to have his gorgeous knob made England boss; him sat there all seductive and reclined, his goolies bunched up into a taut smurf hat between his thighs. I think the ad is for the pants but I would query the rationale of promoting a product with an image so arresting that the subject of the advert becomes irrelevant. When I see that ad I don't think "Oooh, I must get myself some pants" I think "Oooh, I wonder if I'm gay." I'd never wear them pants, I'd feel the pants would be judging me - "Well these balls certainly aren't golden, they'd be lucky to get a bronze."

Capello for most of us is as untarnished as David's ballbag; a blank canvas upon which sharp lines of success can be etched or vague, blurred, draws and losses can be rendered. When I first see a beautiful woman my mind floods with expectation and I project a future on to her perfect form; "She could be salvation, a secular saint, the answer to my murmured prayers" then we embark on a journey that can only lead to disappointment just as certainly as the agonising euphoria of birth is death's first klaxon.

What will we and our red-topped spokespeople make of this apparently educated and brilliant man? Will he Fabio-lous or Crappello? I no longer care that he's not English - the idea of an English manager being a prerequisite was ground into the dirt like a dog...#8209;end with kid's knickers in its garage by the God-awful period under Steve McClaren.

Only Paul Ince seems bothered saying "it's a damning endikement of our game" or something but given Ince's "previous" around ties and loyalty - turning up in a United top after making all manner of oaths and pledges to a future at West Ham - we can rinse his comments down the same lavvy my childhood love of him was bitterly flushed.

It's going to be a little while before any of this matters with a barren few years for England but in the Premiership we have an enthralling weekend ahead of us - West Ham will avenge their midweek defeat when Everton come to Upton Park today and tomorrow the "big four" are all at it in an incestuous riot of money and hype.

Plus Joe Cole came and saw me do stand-up the other night, a man who left the Boleyn with his head held high and his integrity unblemished. So let's not get too worked up about Capello for a while, lose ourselves in the national game and use the holidays as an opportunity to ask some pretty searching questions about latent homosexuality. Merry Christmas.

Guardian column

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