The Capello Index

England’s World Cup flops have this week been removed from the infamous «Capello Index», an on-line tool that uses statistical analysis to rate players performances against each other. The tool was designed by Capello who has manager Roma, Juventus and Real Madrid with the help of an Italian gambling expert called Chicco Merighi. On Saturday their scores out of 100 based on their World Cup performances were made public which was met with immediate outcry, particularly from the media which claimed it was damaging to player coach relationships and would be detrimental to player confidence, likely to already be on the edge after the disappointing summer tournament. The index still stands but is bare of any England players.

Before the Three Lions squad were removed, we took a look at the results of Capello’s statistical formula’s for evaluating players and the results are startling. An earlier version was based on the Premier League performances of the top English clubs. Interestingly Capello’s first choice central defensive partnership of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand did not top the charts, Sol Campbell, Ledley King and Michael Dawson all out scoring the first choice centre backs. Whilst Campbell did not go to South Africa, King and Dawson did with King starting in Ferdinand’s absence, so was Capello listening to the formula?

Moving on to the World Cup results of the Index, England’s highest index achiever was Jermaine Defoe, a bit player in the tournament who scored England’s goal against Slovenia that assisted their qualification to the knock out stage. Defoe ranked in at 62.47 out of a possible 100. Interestingly, at the end of the group stage (immediately following Defoe’s goal) captain Steven Gerrard was England’s top rated player with a miserable score of 65 so either Defoe had an extremely poor match in the knock out stages or Gerrard had a good match, given that England lost that match 4-1 to a rampant Germany it is unlikely to be the second option. Other noticeable rankings are that of Robert Green, the goalkeeper who was dropped by Capello after just one match and a horrendous mistake was rated at a measly 51.67. The majority of England fans rated Ashley Cole as the stand out performer of the summer, solid in defence but keen to get forward and often England’s best attacking outlet. However Capello’s index does not agree, in fact Cole is not even in the top 100 World Cup players, the only English players to feature in the top 100 being Steven Gerrard, John Terry and Matthew Upson.

Unsurprisingly Capello has moved quickly to distance himself from these critical ratings, insistence has been made that whist Capello was involved in designing the system its application is at the hands of mathematical professors and experts. A disclaimer on the site reads «The Capello Index cannot, and must not, be summarised as ‘The vote given by Capello’ to the players but is the result of a system which is capable of analysing and evaluating the actual performance adding various scientific variables» Quite what those variables are is unclear but what is clear is that the publication of these results is sure to create more uncertainty in a squad needing to recover from a World Cup disaster story.

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