In a move that is rarely advisable while still playing, Theo Walcott has “written” a book. An autobiography, to be precise, entitled “Growing Up Fast” (which Theo certainly did). In the book, Theo explains that Fabio Capello is a big fat meany and that Theo himself is a sensitive soul with a penchant for crying.
Like he did when Capello left him off the 2010 England World Cup squad. Crushing disappointment can bring a guy to tears, especially when he’s on the golf course.
I was on the fairway on the fourth hole when Mr Capello rang me on my mobile. He was short and to the point. He said he was sorry but I hadn’t made the squad and I wouldn’t be going to the World Cup.
I was stunned. I had a bit of a cry. I respected Mr Capello’s decision but I went through a whole mix of emotions in just a few days – I was numb, shocked, upset, angry, confused.
Understandable, really. Hardly Capello’s fault that Theo broke down over being left out of the team. The hardest part of a manager’s job, etc. and so forth.
But what about the time Capello threatened to kill Theo during a pre-World Cup training session? What about that?
Before the World Cup we headed out to a training camp in the Austrian Alps before we left for South Africa. Something happened out there that shook my confidence.
It was the second day, and I made a run inside from my position out wide on the right. Suddenly Mr Capello started screaming at me at the top of his voice. Training stopped and everyone stared at their feet and looked embarrassed.
“Theo,” he was yelling. “I will kill you if you come inside like that again.” Despite Mr Capello’s outburst, I never quite knew what was required of me. I was confused.
I had been injured so much that season that my confidence was fragile, but no one ever helped me. If you are the boss, surely you want everyone playing well and you want to encourage everyone. It killed me and I felt it wasn’t fair.
There’s an amazing “that’s what she said” somewhere in there, but this is a family show. I understand that perhaps Don Fabio’s English isn’t the best and that he must rely on what phrases he knows to get his point across in training. But “I will kill you”? Seems a bit harsh. Theo, naturally, cried (we assume).
And yet, Capello’s powers of intimidation extend far beyond mere words. A silent Capello is just as frightening as a Capello threatening to end your life.
On an earlier occasion I was woken by the phone ringing in my hotel room at The Grove – the England team’s Hertfordshire training base for home games. It was one of the England staff and he sounded nervous. He said I’d missed a team meeting and that I’d better come and sort it out with Mr Capello.
I’d thought the meeting was at 7.30pm but it turned out it had been half an hour earlier. I’d had an afternoon nap, set my alarm too late and slept through the meeting. I could feel my heart thumping. I had never missed a team meeting before. I was in trouble.
I stood in front of his door for a few seconds, my heart thumping. I knocked and there was a brief wait that seemed like a lifetime. Then Mr Capello opened the door. He stood there, looking at me.
‘”Boss,” I said, “I’m so sorry I missed the meeting. I misread the time.”‘
Mr Capello’s expression stayed the same. He shrugged his shoulders, then let the door swing shut in my face. He hadn’t said a word.
‘”Oh, f*** me,” I thought. It was much worse than getting a severe bollocking. It was seriously scary.
And Theo cried (we assume).
Other scary stuff that probably makes Theo cry includes Wayne Rooney when he’s losing at snooker and snaps a cue in a fit of rage.
It was close but when JT sank the winning pot, Wayne lost his rag and snapped the cue with his hands. It put the fear of God into me.
No worries about Theo sabotaging his England career with this book, though (just in case you were concerned). Theo goes on to explain that things are different now, that the National Team is a happy place full of sweetness and light and Don Fabio is no longer a scary Italian bastard that makes his players (or just Theo) cry.
‘The atmosphere with England is much more relaxed now. There are more smiles around the camp these days. Mr Capello has changed, lots of things have changed. He is more approachable.
Nice save, Theo.
Source: Daily Mail