That may be the case but I gave us zero chance going into Sunday this time around. Apparently Olazabal's pre-singles speech was both rousing and rallying, and while it does come down to putting (and the yanks are statistically better at that than us, especially on home turf, hence Davis Love's "long course, no rough, putting comp" layout), you're not telling me that speech was not worth something.
Aparently Azinger was the same (and like Olazabal would be quoting Seve, Azinger quoted Payne Stewart) and got his guys fired up and ready to do the business. Whereas Nick Faldo's persona (or certainly came across that way during the painful TV interviews) was one of: "Hey guys, been there done that. Most European majors, blah, blah, blah..." - so where was the fire there? Apart from Wildcard Poulter, there wasn't any.
So while the Captaincy may be viewed as irrelevant I'm sure that players perform better when they respect (and like) their Captain when compared to one who they think a buffoon (a'la Hal "Fred Flinstone" Sutton) or aloof/up themselves (a'la Faldo).
Don't get me wrong, Faldo is my favourite European golfer (of the "Big 5" era) purely because of his Hoganesque work ethic and commitment to detail, but he was a sh!te Ryder Cup Captain. Woosie on the other hand (who is a miserable trout-faced g!t IMO) was an excellent Captain.
I can't see any member of the US team not striving their utmost to provide the legend Tom Watson with another victory.