'Don Fabio' and the taming of the three lions: the discursive construction of a foreign England manager's identity in the sports online written media


  • Dermot Brendan Heaney Università 'Tor Vergata', Rome




discursive identity construction, narrative identity, transitivity, lexis


This article considers the appointment of a foreign manager to coach a national football team from the perspective of discursive identity construction. The data is comprised of three corpora of online versions of newspaper articles, each corresponding to a phase in Fabio Capello’s first two years of tenure. Reflecting current trends in Critical Discourse Analysis, qualitative close analysis is carried out on two articles from each corpus while quantitative analysis is extended across each corpus to identify salient and consistent aspects of discursive identity construction. Exploiting the multi-disciplinary basis of CDA, the data is examined in terms of transitivity, lexis (comprising vocabulary, collocation, deixis, and intertextuality), and narrative identity construction. Micro-analysis of grammatical and linguistic patterns is applied to indicate patterns in press coverage in each phase, and a corresponding overview considers how aspects of identity work diffused through each corpus cohere into general storylines.

Author Biography

Dermot Brendan Heaney, Università 'Tor Vergata', Rome

Dipartimento di studi filologici, linguistici e letterari.





How to Cite

Heaney, D. B. (2013). ’Don Fabio’ and the taming of the three lions: the discursive construction of a foreign England manager’s identity in the sports online written media. MedieKultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research, 29(54), 22 p. https://doi.org/10.7146/mediekultur.v29i54.5725