Fabio Capello has risked incurring the ire of FA officials by allowing his ‘Index’ on England’s World Cup players to be published on his website.
The Capello Index is a rankings system that shows how the Italian manager scores his players out of 100 per cent – and by making it public he could cause yet more frictions in a divided camp ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifiers.
After his howler against the USA, it is perhaps of little shock that Robert Green receives the lowliest ranking – a mark of 51.67.
West Ham United will hope the assessment won’t damage the player’s confidence ahead of their opening Premier League match away to Aston Villa, which the Hammers are 8/13 to lose.
Capello doesn’t sugar coat Wayne Rooney’s poor displays either, awarding him a mark of 53.1 for the match against Algeria, and an overall score of 58.87.
Sir Alex Ferguson has asserted the Manchester United striker will be back to his brutal best when the season starts again, and he’ll need to be – United are 7/4 second-favourites to win the league title.
As the scores rise so will people’s eyebrows – Jermain Defoe (62.47) comes out on top, with Shaun Wright-Phillips (61.09) and newly-retired Emile Heskey (60.15) not too far behind.
Perhaps Heskey played better than most people realised at the World Cup, and Martin O’Neill will hope the international exile can be reinvigorated for his club this year – Villa are 9/1 to finish in the top four.
The fact this ranking scheme has found its way on to the internet while Capello is still at the England helm will surprise many at FA headquarters.
When the Italian first unveiled it at a glitzy launch in May he was hauled into a meeting at Wembley and agreed to postpone the project.
That it has now come to light could cause serious consternation among his players – particularly Defoe, whose first name is spelt incorrectly on the site – and give a more settled side a chance of topping England’s Euro 2012 qualifying group.