Fabio Capello’s impressive managerial achievements have all been attained through ruling with an iron rod. It is his way or the highway, a stone-faced martinet who demands total respect from his players and if respect isn’t always possible he is perfectly happy to settle for fear instead.

Even working beneath the megalomaniacal Berlusconi at Milan there was always an undeniable autonomy to his decisions and though the Silvio fox liked to regard AC as a family Capello always insisted upon distance between himself and the players who brought him titles and silverware in abundance.

When he arrived on British shores – with a hefty pay packet that garnered most of the headlines and still does – these austere traits were viewed largely as a positive. There was little chance of the Italian referring to his midfield as ‘Stevie G’ and ‘Lamps’, an over-familiarity that did for his predecessor and left training camps resembling a glorified youth club.

Discipline was perceived to be required – the carrot and stick approach with the carrot not entirely necessary – and to that end at least he has not disappointed.

Whatever your thoughts on Capello’s reign as England boss – and there can be few who could put forward a cohesive case that it’s been even remotely successful so far – the fact remains that this unapproachable figure with his pidgin English and propensity for archaic ABC tactics, has taken a decent but unspectacular national side to another major championships following an unbeaten qualifying campaign. So with just months to go before we embark on what will presumably be another glorious failure in Poland and the Ukraine is this really a sensible time to alienate this stubborn, proud man who is in sole charge of our hopes?

This is precisely what the F.A is in danger of doing in their response to Capello’s criticism of them stripping his captain of the armband without his say-so. Former FA executive David Davies has today revealed that the organisation are regarding his actions – where he merely gave his opinion on Italian television on a matter that very much concerns him – as a possible ‘breach of contract’ and are taking his insubordination very seriously.

“There is a view” said Davies, “that this sort of matter shouldn’t be aired in this sort of way.”

This is by no means a defence of Capello for I’m hardly a fan of the man or his methods.

Perhaps he has a point even if his condemnation is probably grounded in a starchy English tradition of sweeping things under the carpet. Perhaps Capello was ill-considered to air his grievances. But they were exactly within character of an outspoken man who refuses to bow to reputation or authority and such characteristics were once precisely those coveted by the F.A when they headhunted the 65-year old in the first place.

This is by no means a defence of Capello for I’m hardly a fan of the man or his methods. And it is certainly not an apologia of the odious Terry and his cretinous behaviour – it wouldn’t be a run up to a major tournament without some form of national controversy but oh for the days when it took the form of Gazza and the boys getting trollied in a dentist’s chair rather than our skipper allegedly calling a fellow professional a ‘fucking black cunt.’

I am fully in agreement with the F.A’s decision to deprive the Chelsea reptile of emblematic leadership and would personally prefer that they took the sanctions further still and banish him from the squad.

But now that the powers-that-be have showed uncharacteristic backbone in their ruling they must now equally display a previously untapped capacity for savvy and diplomacy in their dealings with the national boss. Because he is the man who – it is hoped – has learnt from the brutal lessons in South Africa and who has meticulously prepared for our summer assault against the cream of Europe.

For better or worse our vague hopes of glory lies with him and him alone and it would be extreme folly to send the man with the frosty demeanour out into the cold.