HARTY: On Capello, George Dowell and Chipps

WHETHER it is yet time to write the final obituary on David Beckham's England career is still, in my opinion, in the balance, despite his apparent retirement announcement by Fabio Capello last week.

I'm actually struggling to think of a manager, at any level, who has gone from hero to zero in a matter of months.

Prior to the World Cup, Capello was perhaps one of the hottest management properties in world football.

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There is now a school of thought that he has well and truly lost the plot. To my mind, his treatment of Beckham showed all the man management skills of the late Robert Maxwell and no player, especially someone like Beckham, who has served this country so well, deserved to be treated like that.

The reason I cannot write Beckham off is that, at 35, there could still be time for him to be recalled after the manager has gone, because I'm of the opinion that Capello could be out, albeit with 12million in his pocket, before Beckham blows out his 36 candles next April.

It's not the first time a national treasure has been retired in controversial circumstances.

Back in September, 1982, Kevin Keegan's England career was ended, unfortunately without the late Bobby Robson ringing him to tell him, it was left to the press to break the news.

Not the best way and to his credit, long before he died, Sir Bobby admitted he'd made a gaffe and apologised to Keegan. Capello is that clueless, I don't think he has even realised he's made an error.

I firmly believe that with the Michael Carrick Charity Shield saga, the Ashley Cole non-handshake and the ludicrous "retirements" of Paul Robinson and Wes Brown after they'd been called up, it almost looks like there is a conspiracy by the senior players in this country '“ some might say who hold the power to get rid of Capello by fair means or foul. Time will tell if that is the case.

Thanks to everyone who turned up, both players and spectators, on Sunday for the George Dowell benefit game at Worthing United.

A cracking day was had by all and a 5-5 draw, not contrived in any way, shape, or form, between my Spare Parts and the former United youth team, raised more than 2,700.

I've forged an albeit part-time career having too much to say for myself but I have to say meeting George for the first time since his accident was a truly humbling experience and put everything else into perspective.

He was a great lad before this terrible accident, and he is now an inspiration to everyone. I don't think he stopped smiling all day and couldn't stop thanking everyone for what they've done for him.

And, finally, good luck to Chippingdale CC for their inaugural Tenty10ty tournament this weekend.

The action kicks off on Friday night with a special game between the club and a Sussex XI, before an action-packed weekend of fast and furious colts' cricket.

With fingers crossed for the weather, I'm sure the event will be a success.

That, in no small way, will be a testament to the drive and enthusiasm of everyone at the club but none more so than Paul Baker and Paul Wood.


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