Capello tipped to succeed as England football manager

( AFP ) - Fabio Capello, amidst reports he would be flying into London on Wednesday, was tipped to succeed as England manager by two of the Premier League's best imports.

Gianfranco Zola became a fans' favourite during his seven-year spell with Chelsea which ended four years ago.

Meanwhilse Chelsea's London rivals Arsenal, the current Premier League leaders, have been under the wise guidance of French manager Arsene Wenger since 1997.

Both men are convinced that Capello has all the credentials required to be England manager even though Frenchman Wenger has, in the past, ruled himself out of the job because he isn't English.

Capello, 61, became the favourite to replace Steve McClaren after Portuguese former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho ruled himself out of the running on Monday.

Although he has never worked with Capello, reports suggest Zola would form part of a new backroom staff if his fellow Italian, formerly in charge of Milan, Real Madrid, Roma and Juventus got the England job.

"Fabio Capello possesses the ideal pedigree to create a new era of success for England," Zola told the London Evening Standard on Tuesday.

"Even when Jose Mourinho was in the running I believed that Capello had even more charisma, talent and experience for a challenging job like this one."

There is a vacancy because McClaren, in charge of the so-called 'golden generation', was sacked last month after England failed to qualify for the Euro 2008 finals following a 3-2 defeat against Croatia at Wembley.

Capello's son, who is also his agent, indicated on Tuesday his father would be interested in becoming the new England manager although neither of them had then heard from the Football Association.

"The England job is really special," Pierfilippo Capello told Sky Sports. "When the FA wants to speak to you, you have to listen, no contact has been made yet but we are waiting."

Wenger was one of several influential figures to be consulted by FA chief executive Brian Barwick before he began the search for McClaren's successor.

"I have known Fabio for a long time and the quality of the candidate is outstanding," Wenger said.

A fluent English speaker himself, Wenger added: "The only problem I think he could have is with the language. I do not know how good his English is because a big part of the job is to deal with the media, which is a massive part.

"However, he can deal with the media pressure as he has done that before."

The FA have made it clear they are looking for a world-class coach and Capello would appear to fit the bill.

In 16 years as a coach Capello has won nine league titles and one Champions League. He made his managerial reputation at AC Milan, whom he guided to four domestic championships and European glory in the 1990s.

He later steered Roma and Juventus to the Serie A title and twice topped the table in Spain with Real Madrid.

Capello, capped 32 times by Italy, has already had a role in English football history.

In 1973 he scored the winner in Italy's 1-0 win over England at Wembley and helped hasten the end of Bobby Moore's international career.

That match marked the 108th and final international appearance by Moore, England's 1966 World Cup-winning captain.

England's next match is a February 6 friendly international against Switzerland at Wembley where midfielder David Beckham, who forced his way back into Capello's title-winning Real Madrid side last season before leaving the Spanish giants for LA Galaxy, could win his 100th cap.

However, England don't have a competitive fixture until the start of their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign in September.

Capello, out of work since leading Real to the La Liga title in June, is renowned for his ability to deal with 'big name' players and Wenger was adamant he would have no problem in deflating the egos within the England squad for the greater good of a winning team.

"I believe a manager is strong when he swims against the tide. I feel he can do that and that is quite a needed quality in this country."

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