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Green and Barry on road to recovery

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Phil McNulty | 13:32 UK time, Monday, 14 June 2010

World Cup 2010: Rustenburg

Robert Green's work was not being done under the icy gaze of an expectant nation - but he was literally the focus of attention as England got back to World Cup business at their Rustenberg base.

Goalkeeper Green spent Sunday taking his frustrations out on a golf ball at the Lost City course at Sun City, the night after the calamitous error that allowed Clint Dempsey to equalise for the United States in England's opener.

Green, as a result, is now a central character in England's World Cup plot and his every move on the training pitch was followed by the cameras perched pitchside.

And a few yards away coach Fabio Capello, who was the subject of the first serious criticism of his reign after the 1-1 draw, was monitoring another member of his squad who he hopes will play a pivotal role in this South African story.

Gareth Barry, virtually Capello's security blanket when it comes to his tactical approach, was stepping up his fitness as he attempts to fight his way into contention for England's next clash with Algeria on Friday evening.

England's goalkeeper for that game will once again be the subject of fevered speculation as Capello shows no signs of ditching the policy of revealing his team to the players only two hours before kick-off.

Capello appears unmoved by the possibility that this waiting game, and his failure to decide on his first-choice keeper, may have resulted in Green being over-anxious amid the pressure of his first World Cup experience.

The feeling around England's camp on Monday was that Capello may be prepared to stick with Green rather than twist against the Algerians.

The logic behind this is that to drop Green now would effectively kill his World Cup stone dead - and put Capello in a position where he might have to do something similar if Joe Hart or David James suffer the same misfortune. In other words, one strike and out.

Goalkeepers, arguably more than anyone else because of the precarious and game-changing nature of their position, benefit from knowing a manager trusts them. Capello's obvious reluctance to declare his preferred choice gave exactly the opposite impression.

For the record, Green's handling was impeccable in the open part of England's training session, working with goalkeeping coach Franco Tancredi. He shared laughs with rivals Hart and James, then received full backing from his team-mates via the words of Jamie Carragher.

Capello will be assessing every aspect of Green's work between now and Friday - and will be doing the same with Manchester City's Barry, a player he has made almost indispensible to his plans.

Barry is hardly going to burst into England's headquarters declaring "The Big Man's Back In Town", as Wayne Rooney did after he was declared fit for the last World Cup - but there is no doubt Capello will rest a lot easier once he has him available for selection.

The Italian's desire to have Barry on board the plane for South Africa was illustrated by his willingess to wait until the last possible moment before confirming his fitness after an ankle injury suffered playing for Manchester City against Spurs last month.

And after England's performance in Saturday's draw, lacking rhythm, tempo and too often careless in possession, Capello will surely recall the player he has made his midfield anchor at the first opportunity.

Owen Hargreaves was the identikit for this role, but in his absence Capello has used Barry as the player who allows his midfield flexibility while also providing a screen for England's occasionally vulnerable defence.

He will give Capello's side the sort of shape he likes. He can then utilise Steven Gerrard elsewhere, probably shifted to the left, and give Frank Lampard more attacking licence.

In a team full of high-profile personalities, it will be the return of one of its more low-key individuals that Capello will hopes sparks England into life after a few mediocre months.

The sight of Rooney retreating from England's main training group to head for the sanctuary of a swimming pool to nurse an ankle injury added to the current sense of deflation - but the problem is not thought to be serious and every indication is he will take his place against Algeria.

The mood within England's camp remains upbeat, despite the failure to start the campaign with a win. Germany's performance in victory against Australia apparently captured much attention within the squad as they swiftly put the usual hints that they are a spent force to bed.

England players are still confident they will qualify from Group C - and rightly so. Capello will be in similar mood, particularly if he can call on his unsung hero Barry.

You can follow me at twitter.com/philmcnulty and join me on Facebook.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    My guess is that he will never play for England again, just as Paul Robinson and Scott Carson did.

  • Comment number 2.

    Dear God (other deities also available) one match in, one unfortunate mistake and 'we're all doomed I tell you, DOOMED. Get a grip for heavens sake (other paradises also available) I hope there is a long way to go yet. I hope Capello backs Green and I predict we will make the semi's if we get past (probably) France. A sense of proportion would be very welcome right now.

  • Comment number 3.

    I can definitely see the logic behind Capello keeping faith with Green. He doesn't want to do what MacClaren did with Robbo and Carson. He turned his back on Robinson and threw Crason in at the deep end. When he made a mistake that was basically it for him. He ended ruining both keepers.

  • Comment number 4.

    How many articles can be written about a mistake from a goalie?

    Yet another example that the English press are just obsessed. Utter mogadon.

    Write about something else please. There is a whole WC going on! Green is good goalie (and they all make mistakes) and really after the weekend where we had stupid headline after headline, leave the guy alone!

  • Comment number 5.

    Blimey! its Algeria next not Brazil! if Rooneys struggling and there are doubts about a few others play some squad men is that not why they were taken in a 23 man squad??, As i understand it crouchie has an awesome goal record against lower level sides and you can play any number of players alongside him, surely its a good game to give Dawson 90 minutes too, the extra pace at the back wouldnt hurt.....either way we should beat them with half a side if we play to our strengths.

  • Comment number 6.

    Rob Green will start.

    Capello doesn't strike me as the kind of man to drop his keeper for one mistake. If we're going on clangers then David James would never play football again.

    We'd of won that game if Heskey had acted like an international striker and taken the ball around the keeper rather than striking it right at him. If Wayne Rooney can't function effectively without the big lump then he is unworthy of your praise.

  • Comment number 7.

    I feel I should also relate a renewed appreciation for Phil. I don't always agree with him but at least he sometimes replies to people who criticise him and explains his opinions.

  • Comment number 8.

    “Robert Green's work was not being done under the icy gaze of an expectant nation...”: merely the icy gaze of the nations expectant press.

  • Comment number 9.

    I agree with what you said here about if Capello drops Green now and replaces him with Hart or god forbid Calamity James then the pressure will be heavily on them to have a perfect performance or else end their dreams to.
    I have since the squad was announced hoped and prayed that it would be Green in goal, and I hope this plays out correct in the next match.
    However Phil I have wandered a heck of a lot why Kirkland wasn't even mentioned for the preliminary squad, he seems to be a truly fantastic keeper when playing club level football and has often been the only plus on a generally strange Wigan side.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    well rob green cannot go any lower so must be totally relaxed...
    ==========================================================================
    --hart--
    --johnson--dawson--terry--cole--
    --barry--
    --lennon-- --lampard --cole
    --gerrrard--
    --rooney--

  • Comment number 12.

    Well I'm not going to criticise the Goalkeeper, I am alone in thinking that he appeared to be better kitted out for the boxing ring in the gloves department. Have any commentators or so called experts picked up on this? How did England prepare, did we have lots of practice with the new ball, did we subject it to any investigation and analysis about the best gloves for the job. What might be OK for a league match in England in December is not necessarily going to be the best for South Africa. Did we as it were send our troops into battle ill equipped. These questions really need asking of the manager and the coaching staff. Anyone in the BBC up for that?

  • Comment number 13.

    time is up! it's over for england already?! unless...
    the squad take things into their own feet - ingore the plays managers taught them as the competitors have studied them too.
    have some confidence in the skill that put them there.
    Get on with it - use intuition, gut insticts.
    Go for glory score a goal.
    Rather than passing the ball round defence.

    otherwise it's boring and again we won't deserve to win

  • Comment number 14.

    Capello is going to cop critisism whaterver he does.

    If he stays with Green and he messes up again he'll be torn to shreds by our media.

    If he picks James and his knee gives way or he messes up he'll be ripped to shreds for picking "Calamity James" and failing to back Green

    If he picks Hart and he makes a mistake he'll get torn to shreds for picking someone with no proper caps or experiance at international level, and for failing to stick with Green.

    And if he picks Hart/James and they do well he will be ripped on for failing to pick them in the first place.

    Our media really are a pack of vultures.

  • Comment number 15.

    4. At 6:20pm on 14 Jun 2010, Rob04 wrote:
    How many articles can be written about a mistake from a goalie?

    Yet another example that the English press are just obsessed. Utter mogadon.

    Write about something else please. There is a whole WC going on! Green is good goalie (and they all make mistakes) and really after the weekend where we had stupid headline after headline, leave the guy alone!

    _____


    Mate we are in england and rightly should concentrate on England!

  • Comment number 16.

    why is there such a clamour for barry to return? he is an average midfielder who only passes sideways, moreover it makes gerrard wasted on the left wing

  • Comment number 17.

    It's all very well to consider Green's mistake but he's a player who has had a pretty good season and was understandably in the starting line up. Stick with him. After all David James has never made a mistake has he?

    What about our number 2 striker who hammers a ball straight at the opposing keeper with no-one else to beat. If we're being fair that school boy piece of play cost England three points just as much as Green's error did. It's inescusable for an international striker to not even beat the keeper in such a situation.

  • Comment number 18.

    It's a difficult decision for Capello because he has to factor in the affect of a "one strike and your out" policy which could put a debilitating amount of pressure on whoever is chosen as number 1.

    Another factor is who has impressed most in training regardless of Greens error. Strangely by making this mistake he may have played himself into the Algeria game if Capello fears a change would have a negative psychological affect on James and Hart as well. I suspect that this negative affect would be negated by James experience and Harts youthful confidence.

    I think the main issue is, due to media scrutiny, if Green doesn't play, his international career is probably over.

    Personally I would have started with James anyway. Keepers learn from making mistakes and James has been there and done it, is reportedly popular with his teammates and is clearly mentally resolute. Hart will be a great keeper if we can protect him from the media reaction to the type of error Green made, while he develops.

  • Comment number 19.

    To paul_redscouse...it is not really a clamour for Barry to return Paul, it is more about the fact that Capello puts his faith in him totally as his holding midfield man and will want him back as soon as possible.

    I agree with you re. Gerrard. Showed his quality against USA in the centre - have I written before that I think he should play just behind Rooney? I think I might have.

    A couple of days on, the feeling is that Capello will stick with Green for the reasons stated above. Capello, however, will not give clues or hint at his choice.

    Would there be any merit in Capello announcing his keeper now to save a week of speculation/uncertainty?

    Let me know your thoughts on this and all things England. This is your platform as much as it's mine.

  • Comment number 20.

    My first post ever.....I completely agree with Oznaldo. Joe Cole on the left, Lennon on the right, Barry holding, Lampard attacking midfield and Gerrard in behind Rooney. I think we may play quicker and be more fluid this way. If Capello insists on playing 4-4-2, i think Crouch in the group stages will score.
    Also, as bad as the mistake was by Green, it's just the first game and nobody needs to panic. I disagree with some of Capello's decisions on Saturday but he is the Englnad manager and i am not so we must support him and the players.

  • Comment number 21.

    I think everyone realizes that Gerrard NEEDS to be in the centre of the park. Ideally behind Rooney, but if not, as an attacking midfielder in a 4-4-2 shape. I think Capello will bring in Barry on Friday and move Gerrard to the left tucking in. I hope not, but i think he will

  • Comment number 22.

    since when has James Milner been international class? his second touch is usually a tackle cause he cant control a ball. Rob Green is average at best and is nowhere near as competant as Hart. I could of told you Green would of made some form of mistake just by watching Match of the day every saturday night. Joe Cole is the most technically gifted player we have yet he is on the bench?? weird

  • Comment number 23.

    12. At 6:49pm on 14 Jun 2010, neoteric wrote:
    Well I'm not going to criticise the Goalkeeper, I am alone in thinking that he appeared to be better kitted out for the boxing ring in the gloves department. Have any commentators or so called experts picked up on this? How did England prepare, did we have lots of practice with the new ball, did we subject it to any investigation and analysis about the best gloves for the job. What might be OK for a league match in England in December is not necessarily going to be the best for South Africa. Did we as it were send our troops into battle ill equipped. These questions really need asking of the manager and the coaching staff. Anyone in the BBC up for that?

    --------------------------

    The gloves had absolutely nothing to do with it. If Green had taken his gloves off he would have caught that 999 times out of 1000. The foam latex on the glove gives better grip to minimise chance of spilling the ball etc, but also because it makes it a lot easier to catch the ball when it is hit very hard (unlike Dempsey's shot). Thus, practically all professional standard gloves use 4mm foam latex, usually just giving it slightly different names such as 'Hypersoft' or 'Supersoft'. There are different cuts/fittings of gloves - a tight fitting negative cut, a regular flat palm cut and a slightly looser roll finger cut (which is what Green was wearing). They make no difference and are all just as good as each other, it merely depends on what the keeper is most comfortable wearing - like different cricket bats and tennis racquets etc. In fact, the brand of gloves that Green was wearing on the evening are actually regarded by many as the best going around.

  • Comment number 24.

    Rob Green to play on Friday. Simple as.

  • Comment number 25.

    Green is a poor keeper who should not have been put in the situation he was in. Should have been nowhere near the 23, let alone the first 11. Nice guy, but one of the most over-rated players in the Premier League.

  • Comment number 26.

    I never want to see Green play for my country ever again.His error considering the ammount of money he earns was UNFORGIVEABLE!!!!!
    Moreso he makes errors in almost every game he plays and quite frankly he disgraces the England jersey he doesn't deserve to wear.
    If James is fit then play him but please consider Joey Hart he is our future keeper....

  • Comment number 27.

    J. Hart G. Johnson M. Dawson J. Terry A. Cole
    G. Barry F. Lampard J. Cole A. Lennon
    W. Rooney S. Gerrard

    4-1-3-1-1

    Subs:

    J. Defoe - straight swap for Rooney, or 4-3-3 with Rooney & Gerrard
    M. Carrick - only if Barry twists his ankle
    J. Milner - straight swap for Lennon
    M. Upson - straight swap for Dawson
    E. Heskey - as needed when we're ahead
    P. Crouch - only when we're 5-0 up or need someone to dance to the vuvu's
    D. James - not if we don't have to

    Send Home/Wipe Boots/Make-the-Tea:

    S. Wright-Phillips - rubbish
    R. Green - shocking
    J. Carragher - too slow at this level unless we need a replacement RB
    L. King - downhill injured
    S. Warnock - tea boy?

  • Comment number 28.

    As far as i am aware, none of us know Robert Green. I assume he is a tough and strong character. If he is, I think Capello should stick with Green and everyone should get behind him. It's so easy in hindsight to say it was a mistake starting Green, nobody, including Capello can legislate for that kind of error. I have said Hart from day one but that doesn't matter, what matters is who Capello goes with. I think our bigger problems are now at centre back and our lack of pace there, and getting the best out of Rooney and Gerrard. Again, it's still early and everyone needs to relax.

  • Comment number 29.

    I have never thought Rob Green has handled the ball confidently or well for West Ham (my club) and has ALWAYS made me nervous. He is a good instinctive shot stopper as per his save in the 2nd half, but as for clean handling and any sort of big presence the best goalies have, then no. For these reasons I never wanted him goal for my country too. People are taking the line that it was an unfortunate moment and he deserves a 2nd chance and the team still should have scored another goal. I am sorry these mistakes cannot be afforded in international level and whilst it is not impossible to recover, they plain and simply should not happen. And as I say above I do see it an extension of some of the worries I have had about him. An accident waiting to happen I am afraid.
    'drop Green now would effectively kill his World Cup stone dead ' I am sorry this is the nations World Cup chances here and Rob Green's feelings do not outweight the nation. I see it that Cappello has to be big enough to chance personnel and pick Hart or James. Let's face it they cannot do any worse than Green did.
    AND THE WAITING GAME HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. NOTHING. LAME EXCUSES. As I said above Green's handling has NEVER filled me with confidence. AT ALL.

  • Comment number 30.

    I don't really understand why the BBC are providing links to The Sun and using their claims as source material as if they were absolutely guaranteed to have happened. I am trying to word this so I don't get moderated for libel but erm are you really sure Rooney actually said that?!

    'England players are still confident they will qualify from Group C - and rightly so'

    If they can't qualify from that group it is time for every single one of them to retire from the International scene. Did you see Algeria + Slovenia - woeful just woeful - about as bad as there has been in the WC so far.

  • Comment number 31.

    Gordon Bennett (& no, he's not my choice for goalie)......Green makes one error & faces losing his career. It's only because keeper's are the last line of defence - they probably make fewer mistakes than the rest of the players in the team but are open to closer scrutiny because of their position. How many times has Heskey, Rooney or any other player made a mistake? (In this context it would be not scoring when attempting to). It's little different - if they had done their job & scored when they should have done, this one error by Green wouldn't even be discussed.

    The press need to decide what they want - successful teams or scapegoats, it can't be both. Get behind the team, don't rip them apart at the slightest mishap.

  • Comment number 32.

    why does there seem to be no-one who likes Heskey? yes he has a very poor scoring record but he gives the side much much more to make up for that. also whilst Rooney has been playing with another strike partner with Heskey he has scored the most amount of goals than with any other striker and I am afraid that it's not about one player unless your name is Wayne Rooney, so he Heskey should and needs to be our second striker

  • Comment number 33.

    So one man in the 'TEAM' makes a small mistake, and the game ends in a draw. I would ask what the defence were doing at the time? He's not the first goalie to make a mistake (not the first England goalie to make a mistake either). And the game still wasn't a loss. I can't believe how utterly useless the country have been in supporting our national squad. Every other country is fully behind their teams even when mistakes are made. For gods sake people stop being pathetic.

    Good Luck Green. Hope to see you start against Algeria on Friday.

  • Comment number 34.

    If Phil McNulty is the BBC Sport's chief football writer I hate to see the quality of journalism from the rest of the team.

    Absolute drivel as usual.

  • Comment number 35.

    Re #30 - MuchPreferWinter

    If you think Algeria / Slovenia was bad, you should have tried watching the England game...it was diabolical - the gameplan - if there was one, was two-fold - pass it back to the Keeper or hoof it up the field. England are so predictable it's laughable - pity it's not the lottery. The games against Algeria and Slovenia are not going to be as one-sided as people on here seem to think. This team needs to start playing with some intelligence and purpose - quickly - if they want to extend their stay in SA

  • Comment number 36.

    I don't think Green's mistake will hurt England overall, he was lucky it was not in a knockout game. But he shouldn't have been there in the first place, he has the worst record for his club than the other keepers this season and to me he has always looked nervous. Joe Hart was brilliant last season and strikes me as someone with confidence in what he does. People go on about his lack of international experience but Green doesn't have much either.

  • Comment number 37.

    Fabio is becoming to be found out now!!!!!! ie Green? King? Carrick? Heskey? SWP?
    Furthermore BeckhamsNo1fan --- ROONEY? ONE GOAL IN NINE GAMES??????????

  • Comment number 38.

    When David James was earning his 'calamity James' label everybody was slaughtering him and calling for his head Ha Robert Green is far worse yet now these same type of fans are defending him hmmmmmmm double standards and the postings are probably from West Ham fans so what do we expect?

  • Comment number 39.

    'So one man in the 'TEAM' makes a small mistake'

    SMALL MISTAKE!
    It was not small and it let the US back in. We now HAVE to beat Algeria because of it and the idea is not to win each game you can to make things easier and not do things like this. How often do you see the biggest World Cup team do something like that? Never. We should not stand for it.
    It is a huge mistake from a goalie who should never have been in the England squad.

  • Comment number 40.

    False expectations once again. The reality is that this is the same squad of players that didn't qualify for the last European Championships for a reason. Despite winning their WC qualification group (the minimum requirement), nothing has essentially changed. Capello was incorrectly viewed as a master tactician and the solution to England's problems, however, until there is a comprehensive change from grass roots all the way through the development process, with sufficient resources dedicated to overhauling the entire system, then performances and results at this level will remain the same, with the occasional bright moment to lift the old english spirit and the all too familiar let-downs to keep things in their proper perspective. Golden generation my left foot.

  • Comment number 41.

    HATE HATE HATE that trumpet noise thing -

    does anyone else agree?

    It's TOTALLY spoiling my enjoyment of watching the matches.....

    Sounds like a swarm of Bees all the time.

  • Comment number 42.

    39. At 8:59pm on 14 Jun 2010, cs15hammer wrote:

    'So one man in the 'TEAM' makes a small mistake'

    SMALL MISTAKE!
    It was not small and it let the US back in. We now HAVE to beat Algeria because of it and the idea is not to win each game you can to make things easier and not do things like this. How often do you see the biggest World Cup team do something like that? Never. We should not stand for it.
    It is a huge mistake from a goalie who should never have been in the England squad.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    England had 50 minutes after the Dempsey goal to go on and try to win the game. I would be more concerned about why they failed to do so.

    Anyway, if England can't beat Algeria and Slovenia then they don't deserve to go through. Simple as.

  • Comment number 43.

    Interesting view Phil referring to the nerves Robert Green may have been feeling due to Capello's late announcement of the team.

    I don't think Capello should change his goalkeeper, but I think he will, as the Italian has the mental strength to make that switch. David James is his only option as Joe Hart has no experience (a problem created by the manager as the Man City stopper should have had more game time against Egypt, Mexico and Japan).

  • Comment number 44.

    We are missing a determined and high quality ball winner and water carrier with versatility (Hargreaves), a pacy and high-quality CB (Rio), a winger with end-product and a Plan B (Beckham), and a good goalkeeper (we don't have one).

    Still, if Rooney grows into the player we know he can be when he wants ...

  • Comment number 45.

    41. At 9:14pm on 14 Jun 2010, jps wrote:

    HATE HATE HATE that trumpet noise thing -

    does anyone else agree?

    It's TOTALLY spoiling my enjoyment of watching the matches.....

    Sounds like a swarm of Bees all the time.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    No. Anything that drowns out the commentators is fine by me.

  • Comment number 46.

    Dear Lord, football journalists are a breed apart. Not good enough to be a pro-footballer and not good enough to be a proper journalist.

  • Comment number 47.

    To u46...talking a lot ourselves about Chris Kirkland today, but his record of injury is so poor that Capello clearly felt he could not risk him. The selection of Ledley King carried similar risks, but I suppose the selection of goalkeeper is more limited.

    On the subject of criticism after one game, I think there were certain aspects that deserved criticism (Green's mistake, some of Capello's calls) but I did add - in my own defence I suppose here - that plenty of campaigns have started badly and ended in success, so the result needed to be put in perspective. I was not as negative/pessimistic as some have suggested.

    And of course, we've just watched holders Italy only draw with Paraguay, so it can happen to anyone.

    Keep the views coming. All welcome - whether you disagree or agree.

  • Comment number 48.

    Here is an interesting scenario for all you arm chair football managers to get your heads round:

    Capello drops Robert Green after his mistake against the USA and replaces him with the nation's favourite goalkeeper Joe Hart against Algeria. He flaps at a corner and pushes the ball into the back of his own net. England go on to win however.

    The newspapers lead with "Hand of Clod 2" headlines and people stream on to these boards to say he should never have been in the team and David James is the best goalkeeper we have and should have been playing from the get go.

    Fabio listens to the media again and drops Joe Hart and puts David James in goal for the Slovenia match whereupon he has an absolute nightmare rushes out of the box and gets sent off for bringing down their no 10. England win however and qualify from the group stages

    Now here is the question - who plays in goal for the next game?

  • Comment number 49.

    This may sound terrifically uncharitable, and I do feel bad for Green as we all make mistakes and he seems like a nice guy, but playing anything better involves learning from mistakes. He was chosen not because he was a better keeper than Hart, but because it seemed likelier he wouldn't melt down. Well, he melted down. Logic would indicate Hart (my choice) or James for the next game. Just as disturbing as the blunder was the poor way he handled Altidore's shot. He winced backwards, and was lucky the shot hit the post. Keeping someone in because the blunder he made was so egregious strikes me as very strange reasoning, which surely deserves to be rewarded with defeat.


    I also think Gerrard on the left is an awful idea. England were actually fairly good, overall, in terms of maintaining possession (at least by their standards.) The biggest problem, if you ask me, was that neither Milner nor SWP provided any width on the left. Well, Gerrard will provide less. Besides, he looked effective as he was. The best move, I think would be to replace Lampard with Barry, and put Cole on the left.

    I see the logic behind the 4-5-1, incidentally. But it's too late in the day to change, I'd say. If England were going to change formation, they had to do it months ago, if not years.

  • Comment number 50.

    To Six_Of_Diamonds...agree re. Hart. Capello, once he decided he was taking Hart to South Africa, should have given him more game time in friendlies.

    Not preparation for a World Cup admittedly, but time in the shirt might have persuaded Capello that he was cut out for the job here in South Africa.

  • Comment number 51.

    50. At 9:49pm on 14 Jun 2010, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To Six_Of_Diamonds...agree re. Hart. Capello, once he decided he was taking Hart to South Africa, should have given him more game time in friendlies.

    Not preparation for a World Cup admittedly, but time in the shirt might have persuaded Capello that he was cut out for the job here in South Africa.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    When was the last time the 3rd choice goal keeper for any country played in a World Cup finals match?

  • Comment number 52.

    As I said in my first comment after saturdays game, Green needs to stay in the team. The other choices are a guy thats earned a nickname by messing up, and another guy with only 3 (half) caps.

    People slating Capello for picking Ledley King now, are probably the same ones that were praising him for selecting the most talented centre back England have. He is getting panned for taking risks, 4 and 8 years after Eriksson was getting panned for taking no risks whatsoever.

    Although I initially said that Heskey should stay in the team, when you step back a bit you realise that Peter Crouch needs to be on from the start. That international goalscoring record didnt happen by accident.

  • Comment number 53.

    I disagree with the comment in this article that England's performance was 'lacking rhythm, tempo and too often careless in possession'. This performance was far superior to any that we saw in 2006. England controlled the game for large periods particularly in the second half. The only thing missing was the final result. The press slaughtered England after a boring 0-0 draw in their opening game against Uraguay in 66' and look what happened then.
    You media people should think yourself lucky that Fabio will speak to you, Alf Ramsey wouldn't and well I think I can understand why!

  • Comment number 54.

    Why is there such, completely unfounded, media hype over the England team all the time? This is a team about which the following needs to be remembered:
    1. Did not qualify for the Euros two years ago? Blame Steve Mclaren all you want, the players were the ones that did not deliver.
    2. In the last 10 years, I can remember England beating two top 10 teams - 5-1 against Germany (during the 2002 WC qualifiers) and 1-0 against Argentina in the 2002 WC. Every other game against a top 10 team has resulted in a draw or a loss. Even in the drawn games, they were comprehensively outplayed by the opposition.
    3. Point # 2 is being proven in every tournament including this one.
    4. The most important point - the team has very, very good players - not world class and all the other cliches (golden generation, genius, can walk into any eleven, envy of other teams, feared by defenders, etc.). For all the hype in the English media, Wayne Rooney is not in the same league as Messi. It is the failure to acknowledge this fact that has led to mass hysteria every time England fails. In fact, the one player who is the nucleus of this team and is a cut above the rest is Gerrard (and I am an Arsenal fan).

    Of course, once England are knocked out of the tournament the post-mortem cliches will start to flow - bad luck, poor managerial decisions, bad refereeing, sheer luck for the opponent (one of my personal favourites), etc. A good example of the last excuse is how it is still believed that Ronaldinho did not aim for goal in the WC 2002 quarterfinals. It is this lack of imagination that has kept the England team from making any reasonable progress. Phil is probably the top culprit when it comes to manufacturing this hype, which is completely detached from reality. Why can't we accept the team for what they are, sit back and enjoy the game and root for the best teams that play free-flowing attacking football? England has plenty of world-class talent in the world of sport - Lewis Hamilton being one of them. In fact, for all their faillings, the English cricket team has beaten Australia in two facets of the game - Test (with the Ashes) and the T20 world cup. There are teams and individuals that need to be celebrated for true talent and accomplishment, not ones based on hype.

  • Comment number 55.

    I'm no sports psychologist but wouldn't Green or any England keeper be a more imposing and dominating figure in a brighter, luminous colour, red or traditional yellow jersey than the grass green kit he was wearing? Playing against that green colour, you would think him just part of the pitch. He can't have felt that invincible wearing it. Tim Howard's top certainly put Heskey off!

  • Comment number 56.

    Of more interest, I would say, is why we have such rubbish goalies these days. Ok, I exaggerate a bit, but, more specifically, why, since the retirement of Seaman, there's been no automatic no.1 for any length of time?

    I blame it on the pretty boy syndrome. Seaman, Shilton, Clemence, Banks were ugly looking or at least disturbing looking sorts, who'd give you a scare on a dark night, but who commanded that penalty area in a way David James, Robert Green and their like don't. They look good, but they don't inspire confidence, largely because they don't possess much confidence themselves. To be a great goalie you have to be an ugly looking brute who cares not a jot for everyone else in the stadium, or whether you look good in your latest kit, and who knows that all goalies make mistakes but that your own mistakes are just acts of God, and that that penalty area belongs to you.

    Is Hart an ugly bloke? If so get him in there!!

    :-)

  • Comment number 57.

    41. At 9:14pm on 14 Jun 2010, jps wrote:

    HATE HATE HATE that trumpet noise thing -

    --------------------------------

    Watch the crowd scenes, nobody is blowing long plastic things, it is in fact the Public Address system playing a recording of England fans blowing their noses after the (insert year) penalty shootout loss

  • Comment number 58.

    'Capello appears unmoved by the possibility that this waiting game, and his failure to decide on his first-choice keeper, may have resulted in Green being over-anxious'
    you seem to be hinting that green not being told till late on he was in the team affected him, and capello has not picke up on this. That's ridculous. I don't see how you can hint at that when capello works with the players trains with the players and knows their mentallity before the game. You also neglect to mention the fact that raga benitez has done the same down the years (and last season apart has had good success) and many other managers follow similar methods. If you think green wasn't mentally prepared to go into a world cup game because of capellos selection methods then you also neglect the fact he did actually have a solidish game ignoring a literal freak occurence that very rarely happens. If he had a game of coming from the wrong balls when he should stay on his line and being stuck to his line when he should come for the ball you may have a point, but as it is he made one bad mistake but otherwise had a pretty solid game. An if you think that his one bad mistake was down to capellos selection methods then that's pretty comical. I previously thought that BBC blogs were among the most rational out there but based on today's blogs from yourself and mr bond I'm not so sure

  • Comment number 59.

    Let's think about the 'Big Man up Front' thing. How many goals has Rooney scored for Man Utd? Do they play with a 'big target man'? Do Lamphard and co hit long balls to a 'big man up front' to knock down to a striker? No. Every Saturday they play fluid football through the midfield. If you have talents like that then surely your team should be structured to play to their strengths.

    PLEASE don't put Gerrard out on a wing, I've never seen him play his best there.

    Villa have such a small squad theat every one of their players has to play just about every game and is just plain worn out by this time of year. Subs only please for those poor guys.

    Oznaldo has it right. Get the true talent off the bench (Joe Cole)and let them play their game. I think you have to let Green stay in goal though.

  • Comment number 60.

    Enke died. Adler is injured. Neuer is good, so is Wiese. Butt is consistent. Lehmann still did a good job for Stuttgart this season. Weidenfeller for Dortmund. So how come Germany has got 3 above average goalie's whereas England are blessed with flappers, weakhands and misjudgers?

  • Comment number 61.

    48. At 9:47pm on 14 Jun 2010, Keith wrote:
    Here is an interesting scenario for all you arm chair football managers to get your heads round:

    Capello drops Robert Green after his mistake against the USA and replaces him with the nation's favourite goalkeeper Joe Hart against Algeria. He flaps at a corner and pushes the ball into the back of his own net. England go on to win however.

    The newspapers lead with "Hand of Clod 2" headlines and people stream on to these boards to say he should never have been in the team and David James is the best goalkeeper we have and should have been playing from the get go.

    Fabio listens to the media again and drops Joe Hart and puts David James in goal for the Slovenia match whereupon he has an absolute nightmare rushes out of the box and gets sent off for bringing down their no 10. England win however and qualify from the group stages

    Now here is the question - who plays in goal for the next game?

    --------------------------

    Perfectly put...that is Green's only big blunder in an England shirt that I can recall (sending of vs Ukraine was unfortunate, and really Ferdiand's fault for selling him short with a backpass). If you are going on the basis that you must drop a keeper after a big blunder then you will be going through them like wildfire...Robinson, Green, James, Hart, Kirkland, Foster...there would be no keepers left! If Green makes consistently bad errors it would be fair enough, but after one would be awful management IMO. Search on youtube and the best in the world have made equally as bad if not worse blunders. Casillas, Buffon, Cech, Reina, Schmeichal, Khan, Seaman...you name it they have done it.

  • Comment number 62.

    Capello is "forced" to play him next game to show being fair to Green..if Capello doesn't play Green on the 3rd game due to any minor error that doesn't change the score in the next game, then we know that all along he had decided on not using Green after the goal by USA. Just hope Capello is reasonable and understands that any goalkeeper can make such a mistake.Would be like a striker not scoring a goal on a situation without the goalkeeper being in place: do you immediately substitute him in the next game?...or do you continue placing you trust in him knowing that it's just a slip, nothing else..( in Green's case most likely due to a lack of concentration due to the easy ball in appearance, spin of the ball or whatever the case...)

  • Comment number 63.

    'That' moment on saturday could have one of two effects on Green.

    1.Cripple him with nerves and a crisis of self belief so deep his confidence may be shot for years.
    2.Focus his concentration totally.

    His 2nd half performance and imparticularly his save from Altidore is testimony that the latter is the most likely outcome. Take any of our keepers, those not in SA included, and ability is not in question.Its mental toughness and exposure to the most pressurised situations sports can throw at them.

    Fabio should accept its happened and back him publically. If Green is not England's long term soloution change when the Euro's start.

  • Comment number 64.

    Firstly, it wouldn't be england if something controversial didn't happen in the first game to get us all debating wrong tactics and costly errors. Like every england fan, i was astonished when Green made that clanger, but, not surprised. It seems to be the England way. But, i for one, said all along that out of all three keepers 'Joe Hart' had to start....if Capello was to follow one of his goldon principles..The best players in each position start. Consistency is key, and although i do rate Rob Green as a keeper, his confidence must have been deflated throughout the season playing for a struggling West Ham who were leaking goals for fun. Joe Hart on the other hand kept 10 clean sheets and was by a country mile, the best keeper in the premiership out of every nation. I also believe, like many, that surely Capello's main error was deciding his time 2 hours before kick-off. I don't mind him keeping his starting 11 until a few hours before, however, the goalkeeper is a vital position and to me, it was pivotal that he picked his number 1, which no doubt he knew would be green for some-time, and told him 5 days prior to the first game just to give him plenty of time to be prepared. I think the way Capello done it had an adverse effect because all that waiting to know or not know you could be number one, then to find out a few hours before..Rob Green probably thought, actually am i ready and doubting himself. Wasn't the best move by Capello...nor was picking James Milner to start...(and im a villa fan). Even if he didn't have the virus he picked up a few days before, it would have shown more of a statement to start with a man of experience in Joe Cole, who like Rooney can win a match in a moment of individual brilliance. However, i am only giving my opinion..I'm sure Fabla knows what he's doing. I am all for sticking someone with creativity behind Rooney..whether that be Gerrard or Cole. However, i'd prefer Gerrard...if playing anywhere other than the middle, to play in the hole...He has the class, he does it for liverpool effectively and quite frankly a player of Gerrards ability is wasted on the left flank. Also, i do feel Capello missed a massive trick with not choosing to go for Adam Johnson..People/players/the media were all raving about him and perhaps he could have been our naturally left footed trump card that all england fans have always craved...But, what does he do...he gives him 5 mins to proves himself against Mexico in which he managed to create a chance for himself..His day will come, but he should have been picked at the expense of SWP. I'll tell you this much, if he was on the end of that ball from Rooney on Saturday...He would have drilled the ball through the back on the net...Unlike SWP's tame effort..Again, though...Capello knows what he's doing...But its all about opinions. During the game on Saturday, it was clear to see the problem lied in-between the defence and midfield...Barry was definitely missed. I'd just like to see Capello take a gamble in his selection..I am sure he will stick with Green. I wouldn't but im not the manager. lol. Joe Hart would come in, he doesn't lack confidence...and we would be in safe hands with Hart...That i am sure. If i was to choose i team this is how i would go..can only dream

    Hart
    Johnson Dawson Terry A.Cole

    Barry

    Lennon Lampard J.Cole

    Gerrard

    Rooney

    COME ON ENGLAND 5-0 friday

  • Comment number 65.

    Football is mental in a high percentage, given the skills to do the job. Green has the skills, no doubt, as do others. Capello must reinforce his trust in Green and not make him feel as if he will be judged differently from now on, even on errors that don't affect the next games result. Business as usual, and surely Green will do very well. The fact is that England could only score 1 goal in 90 minutes with USA, regardless of Green's mistake. Not a great performance. The team must improve, not just Green.

  • Comment number 66.

    I honestly think that if England had harbored any thoughts of winning the World Cup they should crushed the US like Germany did to Australia. Yes, Green dropped a clanger, but really should the US even been in the game at that point? It should have been 4 or 5 - 1 if we are looking at player pedigree. If you look at the Australian squad and the US squad they are very similar (US some players in the EPL and the MLS, Aussies have some EPL players and A league players) Germany came to play and were ruthless about it. England probably needs to worry more about how they play once they get out of the group because it's one loss and your on your way home. very tepid display by the English for the quality of the players and the heights they aspire too.

  • Comment number 67.

    To be fair to Robert Green he did a good save towards the end of the game, but that is the limit of his abilities..

    The fact is, people can defend him to the hilt, but a mistake like that and he shouldnt be in the squad.. Simple as.

    Joe Hart, Paul Robsinson and David James should have been the 3 Keepers of choice, Paul Robsinson has been fantastic for Blackburn considering there Lineup, Esp defensively.

    Cant understand why as England Managers we pick players based on 1 game form or Reputation..

    Get Rid Of Heskey for a start, he doesnt even deserve to wear a England Cap, nevermind the shirt..

  • Comment number 68.

    Every England world cup campaign must spawn a million Ph.Ds in Hindsight and a few Nobel laureates too. Personally I wouldn't put Green back in. Despite what he says I think he'll be more worried about making another mistake than keeping a good goal (and he was fortunate with the second save on Saturday). I'm not sure why most people seem to regard such a move as the end of Green's international career.

    I'd play James because he is more experienced. Yeah he may make a blunder but the odds are well against it. Play him and if the worst happens just put it down to fantastically bad luck. We should still be able to win regardless. Any goalkeeper can make a blunder but James can pull off saves that will keep you in a game or allow you to win it.

    We should be able to beat Algeria and Slovenia even with blunders (but only one per game!). If we can't, well I won't state the obvious cliche.

  • Comment number 69.

    @ sathya

    We beat Argentina again in a friendly before the world cup in 2006.

    I also don't think your arguemtn that we should just support the countrys best teams and sportsmen is ridiculous. Does this mean everyone who supports lower level football teams should stop supporting there football teams and go and watch cricket?

    End of the day football is the most popular sport in the country. Rugby, cricket, formula one, tennis will never get the level of support country wide that the football team does. And thats not just because of the media. Its simply because as a country our favourite sport is football. So don't be a killjoy, its only natural to inflate your teams chances of victory (ask any liverpool or arsenal fan wether they can win the league) so lets sit back enjoy the tournament and wait until that inevitable day when we loose in the knockout stages on penalties.

    As for the keeping position the only choice is to keep Green on. You cant take him out now as itll only destroy the confidence of not just him but Hart and James too

  • Comment number 70.

    I know that this began about Robert Green. However, goalkeeping errors aside I was hugely underwhelmed by Englands performance against a hard working, but essentially limited USA side

    Forget tactics(although it seemed bizarre to include a half fit, central /right sided midfield player on the left)
    Forget goalkeeping inadequacies(although as a bit of an old timer it grieves me to see how weak we now are in general in that area)
    Simply, are we good enough to trouble the top sides.
    I'm afraid my answer would be 'no'. Quite simply the talent is too thinly spread throughout the team
    We have a right back who cant defend.
    A central defence that lacks pace
    A striker who never scores
    Not exactly inspiring is it?
    Of course, strange things can happen in World Cups. No one would have put their money on Italy in 2006 after their Group performances. One interesting 'post' was the one which suggested players taking more charge themselves...as , one is led to believe, happened in 1990. Unfortunately I think that thats unlikely with Capello in charge..the weakness in an 'authoritarian 'regime?
    I hope I'm wrong but

  • Comment number 71.

    Somehow my 'post was sent before I'd finished it!
    What I was going to conclude by saying is that its very difficult to see England going beyond their 'usual' quarter final slot..though I'd love to be wrong!

  • Comment number 72.

    hi phil first time poster here just wondering why rob green was flown to south africa two hours before kick off to face the USA surely he should have gone with the rest of the squad and trained with them before the game........ this comment is as stupid as your assumption that any player needs more than two hours to prepare for a game that they have been training for for over two years
    the rest of the squad played ok for a sunday league team

  • Comment number 73.

    I think all this England bashing is a bit much. Some people going on about Green being a disgrace and shouldn't wear the England shirt is utter rubbish. That remark only applies to Nicky Butt.

    Anyway England will do well if not just for the fact we have an 'easier' route to the semis then most teams. Green is a good keeper or he wouldn't be there, any team would love to have Capello in charge and anyone who mentions Sir Alf and '66 should be ashamed of themselves because it's the attitude of people like you that is the main reason why we haven't won anything since.

  • Comment number 74.

    =>canyoneromikos

    "We beat Argentina again in a friendly before the world cup in 2006." - I stand corrected, thank you for pointing that out.

    "most popular sport" - I buy that. I am from India but live in the US now. It is no different from the kind of hysteria that the Indian public have towards the Indian cricket team (there, I have opened another can of worms!).

    "So don't be a killjoy," - That was not my intention, I am a huge football fan with Formula one being a close second. Apologies if it came across like that. My gripe is actually with the media and most of my comments were directed at over-the-top opinions (in Blogs and reports). I had said in another post, that if anything I would want to be an England footballer for the kind of unwavering support that they receive time and again.

    Here is hoping that an attacking team that plays with flair, lifts the trophy on 06/11.

  • Comment number 75.

    16. At 7:03pm on 14 Jun 2010, paul_redscouse wrote:
    why is there such a clamour for barry to return? he is an average midfielder who only passes sideways, moreover it makes gerrard wasted on the left wing

    As a Man United fan, i hate to say this, but he's exactly what england need. The space behind gerrard and lampard was completely exposed against the USA and allowed them to get at our defence. I'd rather have carrick or hargreaves in the holding position, but Carricks had a shocker of a season and hargreaves is injured. Barrys had a good season.

    And you don't play gerrard on the left. You get rid of that lumbering donkey Heskey, and place gerrard behind rooney. Lampard plays with barry in the centre, but can go forward knowing barry can cover him. Lennon on the right, cole on the left. Simple.

    Would rather of had hart in goal to start, but now hes played green, Capello's got to keep him.

  • Comment number 76.

    #15

    Mate we are in england and rightly should concentrate on England!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well done you on finding yourself in geographical space! Now did someone tell you the answer!?

    Next time you can have a shot at discussing the issue as well: the story has been done to death! Teckle..

  • Comment number 77.

    Got to agree that this 2 hour thing is a massive red herring. They all (goalkeepers and outfielders) should have been ready to play at any given moment. What if the starting goalie had been injured after 10 minutes? That's notice of 2 minutes, never mind 2 hours.

  • Comment number 78.

    I can't believe what I am reading on here.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    Reccy "The fact is, people can defend him to the hilt, but a mistake like that and he shouldnt be in the squad.. Simple as.

    Joe Hart, Paul Robsinson and David James should have been the 3 Keepers of choice, Paul Robsinson has been fantastic for Blackburn considering there Lineup, Esp defensively."
    _________________________________________________________________________
    So Green makes a mistake and he shouldn't be in the squad? Are you nuts? Robinson has made mistakes in the past, remember this
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/6043818.stm
    Never played for England since.

    David James, there are so many errors where do I start? A few to mention.
    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-sport/article-23597600-calamity-for-pompey-after-david-james-error.do

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1260568/Calamity-David-James--air-shot-Chelsea-shocker-annals-goalkeeper-errors-VIDEO-SPECIAL.html

    FACT- We have no World Class goal keepers. We have good goal keepers but they are prone to errors, some more than others! Stick with Green, maybe if Harte had played more in the world cup build up. Certainly one for the future.

  • Comment number 79.

    England played a mediocre game...couldn't score more than 1 goal on USA, a team that doenst't show much and hasn't in many decades.So Green makes a major blunder...and deflects all criticisms of the team performance towards himself.Of course Capello will watch him like a hawk in the next game, but, Englands future in this cup doesn't depend that much only on the goalkeeper...early in the next game (say 30 minutes) Green will either do well or have problems...so Capello must decide, should this happen (hope not).The capacity to deal with big problems is what advances the better teams in world cups...Green's scenario can either be viewed as a bad-start for the team or, as something to be improved upon in a team-sport that presents challenges(blunders , injuries, red cards, easy goals not-scored,defenders blunders etc)..which will England choose?

  • Comment number 80.

    Major blunder by the goalkeeper...perhaps England should consider withdrawing from the World Cup? (!!!...point made?)

  • Comment number 81.

    72 elliott_m. I am assuming that your comment is a sarcastic one....as anyone with any sense would realise that ( 'just wondering why rob green was flown to south africa two hours before kick off to face the USA surely he should have gone with the rest of the squad and trained with them before the game.') would never happen...and would be stupid and quite naive to think otherwise. Moreover, if it was a feeble remark to question 'phils' assumpton that Green would have been more anxious not knowing until 2 hours prior to the game...makes your argument even more futile and senseless. Im sorry, but in no-way could it have helped matters for Green to only find out two hours before kick-off. If he was told 5 days before the game, he could've prepared mentally a lot more, and eased his nerves. No-way would it have helped finding out so close to kick-off.. Having said that i agree, that players should be ready for aa big tournament...but no matter how experienced you are....Nerves can play a part, especially for a keeper. I don't have a problem with him keeping his starting 11 close to his chest until a few hours before kick-off..But for a keeper to find out so close to the match..for me, only had an adverse effect...And it showed quite clearly that Capello made a fatal mistake...And that could cost Green his number one spot! Doesn't matter how much he prepares now, and gets his confidence back..Come Friday, he will be thinking about that mistake he made, and that risk cannot be taken on a tournament that comes round every four years. Sorry Green, but you've be victim of one of Mr Capello's only incorrect decision making.

  • Comment number 82.

    I think we might need to put things into perspective.

    Let's consider just for one minute the human errors that caused loss of life and the damage caused by the crude oil spilling relentlessly into the Gulf of Mexico...maybe we should be getting wound up about this ecological catastrophe instead. Come to think of it there seem to be quite a few problems going on all around the world not least in our own backyard.

    But atleast old Greeny's 'gloves of god' can make us all laugh a bit (not least of all, old Diego Maradona). Because right now a lot of people are pissing themselves laughing all around the globe at English football rather than getting pissed off at BP. So let's not take ourselves too seriously. It's just going make it even funnier and there's far more important things to be getting angry about.

    So cheer up lads. The world cup will soon be all over but the damage being done else where is going be aroung for an awful lot longer.

  • Comment number 83.

    The clue will be how the team perceives Green now, not just Capello.If Green thinks some of the players don't trust him anymore re goalkeeping under pressure, then sadly Capello will make a decision, most likely not based on fairness but on team pressure.

  • Comment number 84.

    Its hardly "England bashing", and I'd rather avoid tabloid cliches anyway, to be underwhelmed by the strilty of much of Englands play and the hugely overexaggerated media hype accompanying England

    Capello has turned a very average side into a decent one, by dint of getting them more disciplined and organised. They probably just about deserve their current FIFA ranking, but they simply lack depth of talent.
    Too much depends on a few players being on the top of their game after a long season and there are very clear weaknesses...see my last post...and I could add 'wide players who cant cross"!

    Temper hope with realism

  • Comment number 85.

    I'm sorry but the media have been far too critical of Rob Green. Yes it was a bad mistake but on the whole it was a poor England performance. The media have made him a scapegoat. If we had won then the criticism wouldn’t have been so bad, but we did so the blame game started. If Green is to be dropped because of the mistake then surely David James should have been dropped years ago.

    Rob Green is a good keeper. But as Phil said, what if James or Hart make a similar mistake, will they receive the shocking criticism that Green received. Because he is a keeper the mistake has been scrutinised even more so. What if Rooney misses an open-goal? Does that make the front pages slagging him off?...No.

    The performance against the USA was poor but we still have a good chance of qualifying. Capello's team selection was a strange one but Green should still remain as number one. So why doesn't the media (and still some England fans) actually start to get behind the team rather than focusing on the negatives.

  • Comment number 86.

    capello has gone for a long without due criticism you cant leave out footballers who play football on the ground and go for heskey because long balls wont win you the world cup.Bent should be in south africa compare him to heskey.If he plays captain Gerrard on the left on friday that would be suicide.the best keeper is hart experience or no experience.friday best team hart johnson a cole terry dawson gerard barry j cole lennon rooney and defoe.lamps on the bench time for trying to fit personalities is long gone a balanced team is requiered

  • Comment number 87.

    Oh yeah just one last thing. Living out here in France, you can't even begin to imagine how Greeny's blunder has been played and replayed ad nauseum across national tv. The bloke's a living legend out here, if not the world over. Of course he'll be playing against Algeria. Who else would dare take his place now?

  • Comment number 88.

    The reason the English team did not win is very simple. They are just not good enough!
    Ever wonder why about 65% of the players in the premier league are foreigners? Simple Einstein.
    The Brits are only good in the mind of the British scribes-only so that they have something to write about!
    The problem doubled when the Brits failed to play (goalie) Joe Hart.
    So long as the Brits filed a team that only please the reporters, they will never do anything-certainly not this year.
    Get new scribes, then new players!
    Should we send a tyteam from Canada?

  • Comment number 89.

    seems like this Italian manager missing a trick or too huh? long ball up to Heskey, concentrate on chasing the ball back instead of keeping it. we played like that vs spain few months back, and looked second rate, England been playing that way too many long years. the england footie public knows the score.... gerrard in the middle with rooney, cole left side, lennon right-side, barry and lampard (?), in the middle, Dawson for better pace in defence. waiting the manager to play catch-up. we need to start playing possession football from now, before we confirmed once again as the donkeys of the world stage....

  • Comment number 90.

    Loved the headline of McNulty's article.
    Dear Phillip, Green is not on the way to recovery.
    I would classify Green as "road-kill."
    And road-kill does not have a secnd life-England are so lousy that they won't make it past the 1st round of th eknock-out competition.
    As far as Capello being a great tactician-wait to see if he plays Green again.
    Bet you won't find him a great tacticain after he decides to play Green again.
    By the way why are the Brits paying Green over a million pounds a year to play a kiddies game?

  • Comment number 91.

    In my opinion, opportunities come only once and if not taken, should be given to others to grab.

    We have a great keeper in Hart and Green has made a really bad mistake - first, how he lost his concentration with such a powerless ball is beyond me - second, his save which hit the cross bar was due to his misjudged flight of the ball (if you watch the replay, you see that his hands were not at the right position). You can argue that people make mistakes, but Green has made too many errors on the biggest stage possible which requires world class performances.

    However huge a mistake is, is still a mistake; and however poor a save is still but a save though - and he should still be given the credit that we weren't 2-1 down.

    I never rated Green as anything more than a decent keeper - as in James. I would have taken Kirkland, Robinson and Hart based on the performances. Green has not been excellent either.

    However, having said all those - I will stand by whatever Capello's decision is. Of course, it's just my opinion that Hart is statstically better and of having better compositions of being a great keeper.

  • Comment number 92.

    Because of the finite nature of Green's (lack of) action its been highlighted beyond Heskey's blatant failure in front of goal. He could have salvaged the game and confined Green's mistake to an untimely mishap. Both players failed to do their prescribed jobs properly....yet Green is the pilloried one. For that matter out of the 14 or 15 chances England created why shouldn't the rest of the team also bear the brunt of our collective ire. The fact is mistakes were made and we must not make the same ones again against Algeria. So does Capello pick a team least likely to make mistakes or a team most likely to win? If you think the latter, I suggest the only changes will be the inclusion of Barry for Milner and Carragher for the injured King. Who would be a WC manager?

  • Comment number 93.

    England played a mediocre game...couldn't score more than 1 goal on USA, a team that doenst't show much and hasn't in many decades.


    --
    Riiight. So beating Spain 2-0 recently was a fluke? Or going 2 nil up against Brazil? Reaching the final of the Confederations' Cup?

    The US are a decent side - and well motivated. They're now a test for any side in the World Cup. They're certainly better than any of the sides the 'top teams' have managed to beat so far..

  • Comment number 94.

    Staggered to find nobody mentioning the sunday-morning pub team defending that was Gerrard's attempt to "close down" Dempsey 3 times!!!!! I find it difficult to imagine an Italian/ German midfielder exhibiting the same lack of composure when defending at the edge of their box.

  • Comment number 95.

    Personally I think Capello is to blame for the US match, he got his team selection completely wrong;

    Firstly he chose Green, a keeper with a record of gifting goals to the opposition, last year in the premiership his mistakes leading to goals stats were the worst in the league and his team only just finished above the relegation zone. James's club finished bottom but that was following administration, massive financial problems and an exodus of players and admittiedly, James' career of blunders makes him more adept at recovering from a mistake than any other. Joe Hart on the other hand led Birmingham city to 8th in the league and although he is only 23 I would like to point out that Iker Casillas was just 19 when he made his Spain debut and was number one during WC 2002 and by Hart's current age he was Spain's undisputed number one, Buffon was just 24 when he was Italy's number one, Petr Cech was number one by 22 years old so why do we insist on wrapping our young goalkeepers up in cotton wool until they are 'ready' Surely the only reason for a young keeper not to become number one is if there is somebody better between the sticks and, in England's case there isn't.

    Secondly, Capello chose Ledley King to partner Terry in defence, a player with a permanent knee injury who cannot train and can't play games in quick succession. Granted, Capello's alternatives are Jamie Carragher who is slow, easily caught in possession and didn't enjoy a particualary good season at the floundering Liverpool and, Michael Dawson who had a fantastic season at Spurs alongside King but is young and inexperienced, but, as I pointed out with Joe Hart, why should inexperience stop a professional from doing his job efficiently? If Dawson can read the game and hold his own against the forwards (as a defender should) then why not give him the nod?

    Thirdly, Lennon was started on the right and Milner was started on the left. Where is the logic? Lennon is a player with pace and relatively good ball control but is totally lacking in an end product, Milner has a decent cross on him but he is better on the right hand side which brings me to what I believe to be the biggest error in Capello's judgement, keeping Joe Cole on the bench. Cole is fast, skillful, a fantastic crosser of the ball, he can pass, he can take on and unlock defences and he can finish and he is also very consistent when playing for England, he is the type of player we need on the pitch. And so, when Capello subbed off the yellow carded Milner, who did he replace him with? Shaun Wright-Phillips, a player who has been forced out of his starting role at Man City by a gifted natural left winger Capello omitted from his final squad yet SWP made the cut. He is ineffectual, too slow, too small to hold his own and he shouldn't be in the squad yet he was chosen, not Joe Cole, to replace Milner. Where is the logic in that?

    Fourthly, Emile Heskey. What does he contribute (on a regular basis, a rare assist against USA not withstanding) to the team? He falls over a lot, perhaps distracting the defenders who fall into fits of laughter at the sight of this lumbering donkey hitting the deck time after time. He is a poor player and a poor excuse for an international footballer, especially playing for a nation ranked 8th in the world. 59 caps to seven goals, a record of almost one goal per 8.5 games whereas Peter Crouch, a striker with a good touch, ball control, some trickery and an excellent goal scoring record at international level (standing at 21 goals in 39 appearances) is overlooked time after time by Capello and not only did Heskey get the nod ahead of him, Crouch had to wait until the 79th minute, forty minutes after USA had scored and we were in dire need of a winner, to finally come in to the match, not enough time, especially with two poor wingers on the pitch, to make an impact! Crouch scored thirteen goals in all domestic competions last season to Heskey's five and Jermain Defoe, also on the bench, scored 24. two players with a combined goal tally of thirty seven last season were overlooked by a player who got 5 and yet we were forced to watch on, desperate for a goal as Heskey fired straight at the goalkeeper. Wayne Rooney didn't play well with Heskey at his side against the USA, did he?

    Rant over.

  • Comment number 96.

    Three points: Fabio should give me a call to play against Algeria. I am great at hoofing it under pressure as I am technically inept. Second, Heskey is England's leading striker after Rooney yet he wouldn't make it into Man Utd's, Chelsea or Arsenal's starting 11. It would be a traversty if England fluked it & Heskey, Wright Phillips & Milner were to get their hands on the World Cup.

  • Comment number 97.

    @ Jim54
    "Playing against that green colour, you would think him just part of the pitch. He can't have felt that invincible wearing it. Tim Howard's top certainly put Heskey off!"

    I like your 'logical' line of thought. Part of the pitch indeed. Thats what Dempsey took him for, and rightly went through unstopped. Clearly Heskey is a traffic dunderhead.

    Suspecting Green's gloves may be slippery? You have some instant glue in mind? Or a velcro perhaps? Though Rob didn't say so, may be the Jabulani indeed is funny.

    Wonderful to be english! one drawn game and we are already at our 3rd choice keeper and farther.. Kirkland.

    Cricket is better. If a batsman on debut makes a duck first innings he cannot be ejected. Second innings ton establishes him. Altidore will hate Green forever, being so in his way to WC glory. Now that we have so many results 1-1 against USA is nothing to be sniffed at.

    In the box, Heskey goes around with a service tray to hand. One never asks him to take a chair and embarrass.

    Of course we have the choice between JC and SWP. While JC can go from journeyman to genius any time, SWP will dish out the same insipid stuff, prancing about. It will be one in 20 games for him to shine. May be the 20th. We do not have that many here.

    Barry is our manufactured Messiah. Lets play him, the raison d'etre for taking him along on a stretcher.

    Play Crouch if our formation ends with the fig. 2; Rooney alone if it ends with 1.

    Finally, there are drawbacks in Capello keeping his cards close to his chest till the 11th hour; it doesn't help a player to be in suspense. But if Capello announced it any earlier he will not survive the media vultures ever ahover.

  • Comment number 98.

    I generally disagree when folk say foreign player influx is bad for the england team but when it comes to GKs, it has to if only 4 or 5 PL GKs are eligible. in 1982 we had shilton clemence parkes rimmer corrigan bailey etc in 1996 seaman nigel martyn ian walker, flowers, james etc AAALLL of whom are far safer than this lot

  • Comment number 99.

    As usual the media has to have someone to "blame" when England do not perform, or "eulogise" when they do. Green seemed pretty phlegmatic after the game which is not where the media wanted him to be. It wasn't "a what happened next" moment for all the hype but it was a simple error of not getting everything behind the ball.

    Of course, had the England team scored a second goal it wouldn't have mattered, and, instead of a "international career ending mistake", it would have been "a bad mistake". Was it a case of how fickle international football can be or more a demonstration of how desperate the media are for a story?

    All goalkeepers have howlers at some time. Rob Green was just unlucky enough to have his moment in the glare of a media army who need things to do whilst on their freebies in South Africa. Let him keep his place, or switch the team around; it really doesn't matter what Capello does as long as England perform on Friday.

  • Comment number 100.

    The media will always be on your neck whatever decision the coach makes,
    as long as it doesn't work out its the coach's fault, let Green start against Algeria

 

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