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English keepers prove elusive for Capello

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Chris Bevan | 13:11 UK time, Wednesday, 11 August 2010

If you thought solving England's goalkeeping problems were simply about cutting out the sort of mistake that Robert Green made when he allowed Clint Dempsey's shot to slip through his fingers at the World Cup in South Africa, you were wrong. The issues go a lot deeper than the odd individual error.

England manager Fabio Capello's limited options in that position have been made painfully clear in the last few days, firstly by Paul Robinson's impromptu international retirement and then by the back injury that forced Ben Foster to pull out of the squad to face Hungary on Wednesday.

With Green overlooked since that blunder against the United States and his immediate replacement in South Africa, the 40-year-old David James, having left Premier League football behind to join Bristol City, Capello is fast running out of top-flight candidates to play between the sticks - hence the call-up of Watford's Scott Loach as one of the men to fill in for Foster.

Only seven Premier League clubs could have an English keeper as their first choice in the forthcoming campaign - and that includes Foster as well as Manchester City's Joe Hart, who is not even guaranteed to start for his club this season but will face Hungary and is expected to be England's number one for their forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

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Of the others, Robinson (Blackburn) is now out of the picture, Green (West Ham) is out of favour, West Brom's Scott Carson has not played for his country since his own costly gaffe against Croatia in 2007, Wigan's Chris Kirkland has been hampered by injuries and has managed only a solitary appearance for England as a substitute against Greece in 2006, while Newcastle's Steve Harper is uncapped and 35.

It is not exactly a deep pool of talent for Capello to delve into and, save for Hart, the majority of those goalkeepers are more likely to be fighting relegation with their clubs than challenging for Europe over the coming months.

But at least they have top-flight experience. The next generation, including the likes of Loach, Blackburn's Frankie Fielding, who has also been promoted from the Under-21 squad for the game against Hungary, and Peterborough's Joe Lewis, who was called up by Capello in 2008, are all 22 and as yet completely untried at the highest level of club football, as is highly rated Nottingham Forest keeper Lee Camp, who is soon to turn 26.

It is an issue that is not lost on Foster, who himself spent most of last season warming the bench at Manchester United before making the £4m move to Birmingham this summer that he hopes will breathe new life into his career.

"I don't think there is a shortage of quality English keepers as much as there is a shortage of opportunities for them," Foster told me. "We haven't fallen behind other countries in terms of ability but there are a lot of foreign keepers in the English game now. Young English goalkeepers coming through are not getting much of a playing chance at the top level.

"I know what that is like. It is disheartening when you don't have anything to look forward to, when you train all week long and know you won't have a game on Saturday."

Sadly, the new home-grown quota rules and introduction of a 25-man squad for Premier League clubs are unlikely to change that situation in the way they might help English outfield players progress.

Most clubs also have a foreign keeper as their second choice. Some - Arsenal and Liverpool, for example - don't even have an English keeper at number three.

Even in the youth ranks, the squeeze is on, too. Foster told me he knows how good Birmingham's England Under-17 keeper Jack Butland is because he trains with him regularly. Yet many Premier League clubs have foreign keepers in their academies, who will count as 'home-grown' should they graduate to the senior squad.

What can be done? Well, from Bert Trautmann in the 1950s, Peter Schmeichel - Foster's favourite player when he was growing up - in the 1990s and Petr Cech in more recent years, dozens of foreign keepers have enhanced our game, so I am not suggesting that clubs should be forced to field inferior Englishmen between the sticks.

Birmingham Cty's Ben Foster
Birmingham Cty's Ben Foster is hoping to encourage the next generation of English keepers

But could and should tighter rules have been brought in to aid the development of English goalkeepers, even a separate regulation stipulating each top-flight club must have at least one in their 25-man squad?

Foster thinks such an opportunity was missed but is not surprised, and added: "When people talk about developing young footballers, they don't talk about goalkeepers. The emphasis is always placed on outfield players.

"Goalkeeping is a specialised area of the game and we don't really get the appreciation that we deserve. The attitude, even when you hear people talk about the England team, is often that you pick your outfield players and get that right before worrying about your keeper later.

"Maybe because there is not an established England number one at the moment, people are starting to realise that top-class, experienced keepers do not just appear. There are plenty of good English keepers about but they need to develop and be brought through in the same way outfield players do."

Foster is hoping to help young shot-stoppers get off to the right start in his work as a consultant for GK Icon, a string of goalkeeping schools that have been set up across the country by his friend and former Watford team-mate Richard Lee, now with Brentford.

Lee, a former England youth international, put a crowd of enthusiastic and talented young keepers (and me) through their paces on a wet evening in Watford last week with the help of Foster, Loach and Hornets goalkeeping coach Alec Chamberlain.

The less said about my own performance between the sticks the better, although I am now painfully aware that I lack all three of the ingredients that Lee thinks every top-class keeper needs; namely speed, agility and spring.

Foster did not stop smiling all night, probably because he was watching my efforts, but despite being one of the friendliest footballers I have met, he does not lack determination to reach the top - something that was apparent when I asked him about how he plans to win his battle with Hart for the England spot.

The 27-year-old, who started his playing career as a semi-professional with Leamington Spa when he left school aged 16 but has won four caps over the past three-and-a-half years, told me: "The first time I played for England was an unbelievable feeling.

"I've had a taste of it now and I want more. It was disappointing not going to the World Cup but you never stop being an England fan do you? Like the rest of the country, I watch them when they are playing and get behind them. It's as simple as that.

"Joining Birmingham is a new chapter in my career and I have got something to prove because some people doubted my ability when I was at United. I want to show them what I can do and getting into the England squad again is a great start. When I get my chance, I know I have to take it.

"The baton has been passed around a few times since Paul Robinson was dropped by Steve McClaren in 2007 and the national team has been crying out for an established number one. Will it be me? Well, I've always told myself that if you want something badly enough then you will find a way to get it."


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  • Comment number 1.

    not to be too keen but it was dempsey who scored the goal :)

  • Comment number 2.

    The shot was from Dempsey, not Donovan...

    But I have faith that Hart and Foster, given enough 1st team football will be good England GK's.

    Just down to Hart, either make the No.1 shirt at CIty his or go to where he will get 1st team footy.

  • Comment number 3.

    This further proves that Paul Robinson, in my opinion anyway, has made a huge mistake by throwing all his toys out of the pram and retiring. It looks increasingly likely that he would of at least had a decent chance to impress Capello.

  • Comment number 4.

    I think that although Capello is right to freshen up his squad, his decision to omit Robert Green completely despite this latest 'keeper crisis is a bit weird. Paul Robinson has thrown his toys out of the pram which is a shame because I would've taken him to South Africa over Green, and with no other experienced 'keepers available in any real sense, why not bring Green in but tell Joe Hart he'll get a full 90 minutes against Hungary?

  • Comment number 5.

    What's the problem? Joe Hart is by far the best english goalkeeper and was before the world cup. Fabio should have picked him in South Africa and things might have been different.

    Now he is going to get his chance and has the potential to be the no.1 for 10 years. I'm sure some other english keepers will have come through in that time to replace him.

  • Comment number 6.

    Slack reporting, I lost interest after this mistake. Poor.

  • Comment number 7.

    Its a shame that the best English keeper i've seen in the last 10 years has spent most of it injured - Matt Murray at Wolves. The fact most won't have even heard of Matt tells its own story but anyone that saw him play in the play off final against Sheffield United would understand. If he was fit then its likely Wolves would not have been relegated from the Premiership first time round and he would be an England regular by now

  • Comment number 8.

    Why not give Carson another bite at the cherry instead of calling up a Championship keeper and a Blackburn reserve keeper?

  • Comment number 9.

    If the press stopped slaughtering them EVERY time one makes a mistake, then we would have more keepers to choose from

  • Comment number 10.

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

  • Comment number 11.

    I feel very sorry for Paul Robinson. He made a huge blunder and was deservedley dropped but himself and Joe Hart were by a country mile the stand out keepers last season.

    James - I don't see what others do. Yes he has wiped out his error prone status but hes nothing special at all.

    Rob Green - Overrated, had a decent half season a while back and his reputation seemed to soar.

    Joe Hart - Plenty of promise and performed very well for Birmingham last season. Wouldn't be at all surprised if he replaced Given as City #1.

    Paul Robinson - His time is up internationally but his performences last season - saved so many points for Blackburn - I think deserved his England #1 jersey back.

    Being Scottish we have never ever had a problem with keepers. In fact ours are too good and I wish some of the quality was distributed around the team.


  • Comment number 12.

    Not sure why Lee Camp wasn't given a chance. Capello has to get over the fact he doesn't play in the Premier League at the moment. He's clearly good enough and a friendly is a great chance to take a look at him, even if it's just in training. The guy has been magnificent for Nottingham Forest.

  • Comment number 13.

    Where have all the commited, motivated skillful english, forwards, midmielders, defenders, goalkeepers gone! We have an excess of spoilt egotistical average players who believe their own hype.

  • Comment number 14.

    The reason fewer keepers are coming through is partly because goalkeepers are playing for longer. Look at the likes of David James, van der Saar, Friedel and Schwatzer who are all nearly 40. The reason they are selected is because of their wealth of experience.

    The problem is clubs do not wish to take risks fielding new players in the goalkeeping position, as Man City's request to get a keeper in on emergency loan last season proved. The stakes in the Premiership for survival and financially mean that managers are unwilling to take a risk. So young keepers have to learn the hard way in lower divisions or cup competitions, where the get experience but not of Premiership football, so clubs will then go out and purchase keepers who do have experience, who may have had the chance playing in a league abroad.

  • Comment number 15.

    AK wrote:

    " ...either make the No.1 shirt at "enter current club name here" his or go to where he will get 1st team footy. "

    This is the bottom line.

    This also goes for all those English goalkeepers who prefer to sit on the bench and fill their wallet rather than go and get into a team that let's them play. Don't blame it on foreign talent.

  • Comment number 16.

    Wot about Lee Camp why is he being overlooked???

  • Comment number 17.

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

  • Comment number 18.

    The best English goalkeeeper has just retired due to both Capello's and goalkeeping coach Clemences' ineptitude.
    Both should have been sacked after the World cup.
    Lets heres a few boos for them too tonight.

  • Comment number 19.

    I agree with a lot of the comments in that I struggle to understand Robinson's logic in deciding not to play for England. He is only 30 which is young for a goalkeeper, and there are no other goalkeepers head and shoulders above him in the pecking order. Alright Hart will be picked tonight, but there is no certainity that he will be first choice at Manchester City, and if he isn't it will be difficult for Capello to continue to pick him, which given the form of the other goalkeepers would have let Robinson in.
    If you look at David James attitude it is much better than Robinsons, he didn't walk away when Robinson was given the goalkeeping role in the 2006 world cup, he buckled down and got the position back in 2010 when he was 39.

  • Comment number 20.

    "Only 7 Premiership contenders". Blimey, thats luxury compared with every other position. What about Strikers or Centre Backs? We are still very well served for goalies. The trouble is the manager wont decide which one he wants.

  • Comment number 21.

    Everyone seems to be assuming Green was snubbed, maybe he didn't feel ready for this one, or the coaches thought it would be better to shield him from the vociferous atmosphere of the first game since the disastrous World Cup.

  • Comment number 22.

    Really think Lee Camp deserves a go ahead of Loach or Fielding, he proved last season how good he can be.

  • Comment number 23.

    Get Rooney in goal. Apparantly he's quite good at it. It's be nice to see him do something in a game for England anyway.

  • Comment number 24.

    So, Capello has dropped Green and James, Robinson has called it a day, Foster is injured, Hart is set to play and there are two more keepers joining the squad....

    Have I missed something or does this not seem like a wealth of available keepers with a good mix of experience and youth. Six players for the one position, it would be good to have the same choice and quality all over the park.

  • Comment number 25.

    No one seems to have pointed out your other mistake. The last time Carson played for England was in November 2008, when England defeated Germany 2-1. There was a miscommunication between him and Terry, which the Chelsea centre back took responsibility for but was still a mistake and cost England's goal.

  • Comment number 26.

    I'm probably much older than most who post on this board but if you wind the clock back 20 years or so and beyond goalkeepers were 'ten a penny'You could have selected a dozen goalkeepers from the old 1st Div. and they would have done the job.
    Now we have foreign keepers occupying most of the slots.However the biigest mistery for me is that every club now employs a goalkeeping coach and we end up with the worst goalkeeping situation that we've ever had. How comw ?

  • Comment number 27.

    Fabio should have pick Paul Robinson instead of Green, he is by far the best keeper we have.

    i agree with Robinson, if he cant get in against Green and James then Fabio really doesnt fancy him so he might as well concentrate on Blackburn

  • Comment number 28.

    ...while Newcastle's Steve Harper is uncapped and 35.

    But hes a great goalkeeper, regardless of age. Look at David James, he was 40 and still picked. Regardless of that, if Capello wanted to look at youth players, Fraser Forster won league 1 with Norwich and is definitely one for the future.

    But just because a goalkeeper makes one mistake, he shouldnt be dropped. Green should still number one, we all make mistakes.

  • Comment number 29.

    What happened to the days when any youngster would give their right arm to play Professional Football let alone play for England?
    Capello does NOT have the nation at heart and it shows considerably in everything that he does.
    How does he even come close to communicating his thoughts when he cannot answer simple questions at news conferences?
    This England set up is so poor that it beggars belief and makes me angry to even think that we the public are paying large sums for incompetence at the very least.
    Gerrard the puppet or should I say muppet expresses his enthusiasm for the new breed that are in the Squad.
    Who does he think he is kidding?
    The players that have performed so badly for England over the past few years are still there and Gerrard is one of them!
    Capello will start with the majority of players that failed miserably in SA tonight against Hungary.
    The players that never actually played were dropped from this Squad!
    Make sense of that if you can.
    Gerrard, Lampard, Terry, Rooney and Ashley Cole should not be in the starting line up tonight and if Capello really means to start afresh with younger talent then tonight would be a good time to show his intentions.
    But NO we are stuck with those same players that failed in SA and Capello is a huge part of that failure.
    Pay him off asap and get an Englishman at the helm!

  • Comment number 30.

    Drop Gerrard, Lampard, Terry, Rooney and Ashley Cole?

    I don't think culling all our experienced players is the best plan... Dropping Terry would be a start, but where was Barry from the list? He was terrible...

  • Comment number 31.

    7 out of 20 is 35%. In the Premier League 38% of all players are English. This problem is not purely confined to goalkeepers; it is easier to pick on individuals. Surely the solution is not to clutter the game up with rules that clubs can bend easily but to encourage English players to go abroad. The talent would be spread so players would have more opportunities and they might even enlarge their skill-set.

  • Comment number 32.

    He should have picked Carson and Green , failing that due to his stubborness Camp and Lewis

  • Comment number 33.

    Can the media please stop this whole "Chris Kirkland suffers from injuries" rubbish!

    He has played 95 out of 114 league games in the last 3 years and has been a major factor in helping to keep Wigan in the Premier League in that time.

    I can't see how at 29 and coming into his best years as a goalkeeper can be overlooked by 2 players that have never even played in the Premier League!

    But it is not just the goalkeeper that Capello has made these choices with. Yes Wilshere and Gibbs are very good players, but there are players that have never played for their country that play week in week out for their clubs at Premier League level, yet have not even been considered.

  • Comment number 34.

    Lee Camp is the best goalkeeper in England and should be given the oppurtinity to play for his country. Just because he does not play in the premier division should be no barrier - he could be nurtured into the role...the premier clubs would then start chasing him...

    Having seen the likes of Rooney, Terry and Cole fail so miserably why should we be giving the premier league any credence. It is like pop music and charts - just because you reach number one does not mean your the best, most of the english premiership players do act a bit lady gaga sometimes. Just a bit sleazier.

    Capello should have the wisdom and resources to find the best players who can come together as a team to represent England.

  • Comment number 35.

    I Agree with most Robinson should not have retierd, has the ability if it was onlt not for Gary Nevilles Backpass Would we have this problem?!?

    one mistake and he's gone yet Wayne Rooney had a Terrible World Cup but still gets into the team? something wrong with that.

    also if you are looking for a top quality Goalkeeper outside the premiership:-

    Lee Camp
    Chris Weale
    Alex Mccarthy

    Capello Needs to get rid of the old i.e james and bring in the new now. get the team gelled together during the qualifying round's ready for euro 2012. there is no point putting James into the squad because he will be to old for euro 2012 get Hart in.

  • Comment number 36.

    You can go back to the end of Peter Shilton's era as to where the decline started. After Italia 90 clubs started finding foreign keepers and the rot began, only Seaman really took hold of the gloves after Shilts retired, people like Flowers, Coton were promising but never had that extra bit you need for international football

  • Comment number 37.

    Can someone explain to me why selecting an English manager will solve all our problems? Going back through all our last English managers -

    McClaren - The "Wally with the Brolly". Part of the FA's succession plan, too pally with the players and dropped Carson into the most important (and last) match of the campaign with little internation experience. I believe his success in Holland has proved he can coach and he was probably given the job too early.

    Keegan - A proud and passionate Englishman...who admitted that he could "Cry Hurrah For England" with the best of them...but had very little tactical knowledge, especially at International level.

    Hoddle - Fixed with one system, didn't rate Beckham or Owen (not a natural goalscorer he claimed) and dropped Ray Parlour when in the form of his career for taking the mickey out of Hoddles beliefs. Remember, we would have won the World Cup if his faith healer had been there with them!!

    Venebles - Sacked for his business interests, but apart from that, actually was able to adapt and adjust the same players to beat whatever system was put in front of them. A bit of luck against the Spanish, an inch more of Gazzas foot and we would have won the semi...

    In order to survive clubs want the finished article with players and managers. No one in the top flight will risk a youngster when it might cost them millions. Keegan said when England manager he could see a time when the England squad included players from the second flight..maybe that time has come.

    If you look around, to buy a player from an English club, you have to pay millions. Players want millions to play for you (when you hear Marlon Harewood has priced himself out of a move to a Premiership team!!! How much do these players want?!?!?) It's easier to go abroad, where the clubs charge less and the players ask for less.

    Unless a rule comes in like the old three foreigners rule of years ago (which is now illegal) I can't see any way of encouraging clubs to pay any attention to Englands needs. The rare English gem will come through naturally, but that's about it...

  • Comment number 38.

    Capello looks to have lost the dressing room and he has certainly lost my respect and support. Robinson retiring is a big loss as he in my opinion would be number 2 behind Joe Hart.

    I'm more angered that an appaling 'keeper in Fielding has been picked for our national side. He won't make it and will end up alongside Joe Lewis and Scott Flinders enjoying the lower end of the football league.

    What angers me more is the selection's in this squad and the under-21's of players who don't play much competative football ahead of promising players in the lower end of the championship and league one who show lots of promise and attract scouts from premier league clubs.

    Fielding is picked for England as he is currently at Premier League club, although his loan career has been at league 2 clubs and his back up in the u21's is Alex MCCarthy who spent last season on loan at Yeovil and from what i;ve seen of him he wont be good enough.

    Then you look at two young goalkeepers who impressed in league one last season in Declan Rudd who impressed at Nrowich and Alex Smithies who at the age of just 20 has been Huddersfield's number one for the past 2 seasons. Surely Smithies deserves a call ahead of the other two? Oh wait he plays for a league one club.

    The same goes for other promising young players in the lower leagues. Jordan Rhodes whos just 20 is being scouted by Scotland

  • Comment number 39.

    Selection of goalkeepers has been a bit strange. If managers really believed that Carson and Green were the best, they should not have dropped them for isolated mistakes.

    Robinson was a bit different as he seemed to lose confidence and form at club and international level after that fiasco goal. Last season he got that back and had earned the selection for this squad. It would be good if someone interviewed him and found out why he has 'retired'. Surely he has a good 5 or 6 years to battle Hart and others for the slot.

    And now the selection of goalkeepers seems to be beyond strange. Surely Kirkland, Camp, Harper are far better and more realistic candidates than Loach and Fielding. We seem to be making a fetish of under-21 players. Just because the German under-21s were good enough for the national side it does not mean ours are.

    Capello is a worry. He seems to have gone through his management career with a rock-solid sense of conviction, unwavering in the face of criticism and doubt. During the World Cup, however, and now, he suddenly seems to be utterly without conviction. I wish I believed that he was deliberately trying to draw fire from the players...

  • Comment number 40.

    Obvious why there's no keepers. The media. One mistake from an england keeper in a big match and they're history, e.g. Robinson (although it was neville's fault), Carson and Green prime examples. Doesn't matter what else they did they're just remembered for that one mistake. Compare that with Terry who made countless mistakes at the world cup games, in a world cup press conference and even with bridgegate but whom yet again gets a call up.

    And given the way Robinson has been snubbed since by Capello and not picked despite playing far better than James or Green last season, i don't blame him for retiring - lets face it he's basically been recalled because green and james have made a mistake more recently than he has and therefore they go to the back of the line.

    It's a farce.

    What happens when Hart makes a mistake - and he will as it's natural - who'll replace him when the media lauch their undermining campaigns?

  • Comment number 41.

    Interesting article, certainly promotes a discussion.

    I felt a while ago that identifying and backing a number one was a priority for England, surely Fabio needs to be 'forkussed' on this.
    Hart is full of potential and has at least 2 years to develop further, he'll need to be a domestic number 1 somewhere though. Foster could well follow his lead at Birmingham and hopefully Green will come again but I would be tempted to pick a 'future keeper' at No3, to gain experience, in friendly squads at least.

  • Comment number 42.

    What is it with some of you English. You have one of the largest pools of talent to pick from and yet you still feel hard done by!

    Imagine having the pool of players that smaller countries such as Wales, Ireland or Scotland have to pick from.

    Joe Hart is your future keeper and he is ready NOW. Why the worry?!

  • Comment number 43.

    We in England have been spoilt by have great keepers in th past, we cant expect every keeper whole pulls on the number One shirt to be a Shilton! Personaly I'd bring in Steve Harper he is a solid keeper not spectacular and not in the same league as Shilton or Seaman (But who is?) he would do a good job for England for a few years while some of the youngsters are developed.

  • Comment number 44.

    Why has Capello overlooked Steve Harper? He may be 35 but he still has a good few years to go yet. He is easily talented enough and only hasn't been called up before because he was stuck behind Shay Given in the Newcastle pecking order. He has been punished for his loyalty thus far and I think he should be given a chance.

    If Capello is determined to go for youth then look no further than Fraser Forster who was Norwich's player of the season winning promotion to the championship and is certainly premiership/future international material.

  • Comment number 45.

    a few questions firstly

    does it matter if they dont play for their clubs regularly if they are good enough when they have played?

    i mean the players we pick who play week in week out for their clubs have failed miserably every single time so how can it be bad to play a team of inexperienced players against hungary at home? its not like the experienced players have done good is it for england.

    oh and what does it matter if they select someone outside the prem
    ? again when ever have the players who play in the premier league week in week out ever produced for england? simple answer is they never have.

    lampard and gerrard need to retire theyve never produced for england EVER. they cant play together and have never been good enough for england.

    also should be cut are barry and glen johnson both weak. micah richards when he plays is a far better right back than johnson both going forward and in defence.

    keep rooney and ashley cole because despite their poor tournament they have at least done their job previously and are the only world class players we have and are for us irreplaceable.

    the likes of gibbs, wilshere, shawcross, hart, etc may not be playing regular in the case of wilshere and gibbs right now but they have so much talent they will be by time the next tournament comes around.

    england need to think about what theyll be doing at their clubs by the next tournament rather than right now considering we have no major tounament for 2 years. wilshere for one will be the best midfield england have by time the next world cup comes

  • Comment number 46.

    Players like Terry, Lampard, Gerhard, Carragher and co. have blundered over and over again (or just not bothered to "show up") often costing goals and entire games, yet they seem untouchable. Green, like Carson, makes one mistake and he's banished forever. OK when the 'keeper makes a mistake it inevitably costs a goal, but there are 11 players out there. Strikers are supposed to score goals and defenders are supposed to stop the opponents from getting into shooting positions - you can't blame England's entire failure on one goalkeeping error! This is a meaningless friendly and a great opportunity for Capello to give Green a chance to make amends and show what he can do. It would help the guy regain some confidence and maybe help the fans to be a little less hostile too. By ignoring Green (as he did Carson), Capello is sending a harsh message: "Make one mistake and you are banished from the kingdom forever". No wonder Paul Robinson retired rather than risk that kind of humiliation. Capello alone is the one responsible for the goalkeeping crisis. Up until now I have been on the side of "don't fire the manager" but this blatant display of his lack of man-management skills makes me wonder.

  • Comment number 47.

    36. At 3:11pm on 11 Aug 2010, Harry_Potts wrote:
    You can go back to the end of Peter Shilton's era as to where the decline started. After Italia 90 clubs started finding foreign keepers and the rot began, only Seaman really took hold of the gloves after Shilts retired, people like Flowers, Coton were promising but never had that extra bit you need for international football


    Shilton was excellent in his prime but he was awful at Italia 90, by the way. He hardly got near to saving any penalties and looked like he could barely move. Bobby Robson kept him as No.1 for far too long. There's his horrific blunder for Baggio's goal in the 3/4 play off match as well.

    Although I would say that Chris Woods never established himself as Shilton's successor and we never replaced Shilton properly until Seaman hit his peak.

    But I don't agree with your general point.

    In the mid-1990s, England had Seaman, Martyn and Flowers who were a trio of very respected english keepers. There was an established pecking order because Seaman was so consistent and kept the gloves but Martyn and Flowers never let England down when they were called upon.

    The group after that from the late 90s onward- David James, Paul Robinson, Scott Carson, Rob Green et al- have been shocking. Inconsistent and error-prone. We haven't produced a world class keeper since Seaman, and I don't know the reasons for that.

  • Comment number 48.

    Only just read the article and I think #20 Al and #31 mpchappell beat me to it really.

    We have 7 keepers plying their trade in the top division, to fill one shirt. Do we have 14 centre backs to chose from to fill 2 shirts?

    You might have an argument that the keepers aren't at the 'top' clubs but that argument would be better directed at the managers of those clubs. At Man U, for example, Ferguson kept bigging Foster up (on belief rather than fact I always said) and then when Foster was given his chance for the club, he made something of a mess of it. Answer? He's not good enough.

    Ultimately, whilst depth would be nice, as long as we have a couple of keepers that have ability, then the rest are just fillers anyway. The consensus seems to be that Hart is the one for the job so it is up to Hart to take his chance and, if needs be, get a number one jersey somewhere. Maybe it depends how he sees his future panning out. Stay at Man City, get into Champions League, get top level experience and prove he is number one perhaps?

    (p.s. I think #9 Jesus the Teddy Bear also has a point. Perhaps some players can't be bothered with the nationwide grief that seems to be pointed in their direction if things don't go well.)

    Well Chris, do you think you have over egged the point and perhaps misjudged the mood in the same way that David Bond did yesterday or do you think there is an issue that goes alot deeper than the odd individual error?

  • Comment number 49.

    Lets all get Real about this we have no great keepers, one or too may turn into great keepers but i'm not banking on it.

    Most of the candidates you tak about are good shot stoppers etc and have the raw material to get them on the ladder.

    A true great has presence and judgement, a quality few are blessed with. Presence turns a back four into a formiable unit, the level of trust and confidence gained enhances the teams sum of its parts.

    You have to go back to Seaman/Shilton to get some who is close to that description, both had two career defining moments which ruined their reputations (Maradonna and Ronaldinho)

    any keeper you care to mention a the moment has neither the presence or judgement to make them great. if was Cappello my next No1 would have that quality, regardless of age......

  • Comment number 50.

    Harper may be 35 but he would only be 37 at Euro 2012...what's wrong with giving him a go? He has always been reliable for Newcastle and I believe he will have a good season in the Premier League for Newcastle this season...surely we can at least look at him in a friendly?

  • Comment number 51.

    ..just find it amazing that Harper and Kirkland have been overlooked, whatever the perceived "issues" with age and frailty.

  • Comment number 52.

    England's problems keep getting worse. No English coach has ever won the EPL. No English coach in the Top Three for nearly a decade. England have never played in the final of a major tournamenet, apart from 1966. No Euro final, not once. No English player has been World Player of the Year. The problem is bigger than Erickson and Capello, obvioiusly. Shame.

  • Comment number 53.

    Love the article, but i think the goalkeeping school set up by richard lee is called GK Icon and the website is

    Great blog though and certainly makes you think about how we need good young keepers

  • Comment number 54.

    What we see here is considerably ignorance on the part of people. Scott Loach is a fine young keeper who has just racked up his 100th first team appearance at Watford plus a dozen or so under 21 appearances. Seems good credentials to be included in the senior squad.

    Whereas Wilshire and Gibbs have barely two dozen first team appearances between them, but they play for Arsenal so that apparently counts for something extra.

    There is a natural aversion these days to appointing players from outside a handful of teams. Historically England have picked players from across the teams and leagues and not been so narrow as to pick players simply because of who they play for.

    The bigger issue is that the Premiership is where the money and desire lies these days. There is no pride in playing for England anymore - it is easier to walk away and take the club cash than stand up and be counted and play with pride and passion for your country.

  • Comment number 55.

    48. At 3:49pm on 11 Aug 2010, MrBlueBurns wrote:
    You might have an argument that the keepers aren't at the 'top' clubs but that argument would be better directed at the managers of those clubs. At Man U, for example, Ferguson kept bigging Foster up (on belief rather than fact I always said) and then when Foster was given his chance for the club, he made something of a mess of it. Answer? He's not good enough.


    This is exactly the kind of ignorance that winds me up. Maybe thats the reason our keepers are failing or are turning their back on England- the criticism is ridiculous.

    Foster is a 26/27 year old keeper- he had two good seasons with Watford in the Premiership but then got a knee injury when he returned to Man Utd. He was out for an entire season and didn't play any football.

    When he came back he had hardly played for a year, Van der Sar got injured and Ferguson threw Foster in at the deep end.

    He played, what, 5/6 games? Five or six league games for Man Utd after coming back from injury, and suddenly he's 'not good enough'.

    You can't judge a player on that and to be fair Ferguson would have kept him if he could have. Foster wanted to play first team football at Birmingham and challenge for an England spot. At 26 or 27, David Seaman was not the keeper that he eventually became. People look at people like Casillas and Buffon who were goalkeeping prodigies at 20, but many keepers get to a high level through relentless hard work and experience.

    Ben Foster has been very unlucky with injuries, I think you must be a genius if you can pick half a dozen games from his career at Man Utd last season and say he's not good enough.

  • Comment number 56.

    "It is not exactly a deep pool of talent for Capello to delve into and, save for Hart, the majority of those goalkeepers are more likely to be fighting relegation with their clubs than challenging for Europe over the coming months."


    Why should a 'keeper battling Premier League relegation be less up to the task of performing in the national side than one in a title-challenging side? Arguably they are more suited as they will have more shots / crosses / one-on-ones to face in the pressure situation of a match, against the same teams a top-of-the-table side would be facing.

    Unless the argument being made is that a 'keeper in a relegation-threatened team could find himself playing against Championship, and therefore, less talented opponents next year, there is no basis for making this point. Even then, you'd have to consider the likelihood of a highly rated English 'keeper being snapped up by a side managing to avoid relegation.

  • Comment number 57.

    English clubs are just scared, probably do have the keepers but no one has the guts to give them a chance. Scotland have better keepers and a deeer selection at that aswell

  • Comment number 58.

    Why doesn't Capello look in the Championship? There are some good English keepers in one of the most competitive leagues in the world. Lonergan and Grant to name two who are just as good, if not better, than anyone in the current England set up.

  • Comment number 59.

    Why don't more English players look for opportunities abroad. If the lack of chances is hindering their progress surely by broadening their horizons they could get what they desire. The few English players that have left these shores have all developed as players. I think a culture change is needed there is no point complaining about opportunities if you are not going to look for them!

  • Comment number 60.

    The fact of the matter is England didn’t exit the world cup because of any goalkeeping errors, sure there was an obvious one, but in the end it didn’t really cost England anything apart from not finishing top of their group, but to win you are going to have to prove yourself against top opposition at some point anyway, they did with Germany and were well and truly beaten, and were pretty abysmal in all previous games.

    You could have had a lad from a local Sunday league side in goals and it wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference. When the team are playing so badly as they were with no confidence, no wonder any goalkeeper at the back wouldn’t have confidence either, I think a goalkeeper raises their game and confidence by having similar confident players playing in front of him whom he can trust and rely on also.

    It’s pretty lame that Green got dropped in the world cup in my opinion, sure he made one error who doesn’t from time to time, and Capello must have seen something to make him his #1 to start with (I really do question this guy as a manager in regards to decisions he makes), and if I remember correctly Green finished the 2nd half of that game with a few good saves. To then drop him was ridiculous, why not drop Rooney and all the other underperformers, every time he touched the ball it was a terrible first touch, he clearly wasn’t up for the games and shouldn’t have been starting.

  • Comment number 61.

    #55 Subterranean

    He ended third choice, behind Kusack, at Man U when previously he was first choice.

    What does that tell you Ferguson thought of him once he had seen him in the flesh, so to speak?

    It's fine that Foster wanted first team football and he's gone elsewhere for that, good for him, and maybe he will prove himself, but, as #54 Chris L suggested of players, perhaps he was only ever picked in the first place cause he was at Man U rather than on his own attributes.

  • Comment number 62.

    59. At 4:02pm on 11 Aug 2010, jinius12 wrote:
    Why don't more English players look for opportunities abroad. If the lack of chances is hindering their progress surely by broadening their horizons they could get what they desire. The few English players that have left these shores have all developed as players. I think a culture change is needed there is no point complaining about opportunities if you are not going to look for them!


    Obviously english people in general are afraid to broaden their horizons, we don't tend to learn foreign languages and we don't adapt to different cultures.

    Another issue is the attitude that we have to english players playing abroad. When Chris Waddle was in his pomp with Marseille, Graham Taylor didn't pick him for England. He probably never even went to watch him.

    Unless you're playing in La Liga and on Sky every weekend, or your name is D Beckham, I reckon people here would forget you exist if you're playing abroad.

  • Comment number 63.

    61. At 4:03pm on 11 Aug 2010, MrBlueBurns wrote:
    #55 Subterranean

    He ended third choice, behind Kusack, at Man U when previously he was first choice.

    What does that tell you Ferguson thought of him once he had seen him in the flesh, so to speak?

    It's fine that Foster wanted first team football and he's gone elsewhere for that, good for him, and maybe he will prove himself, but, as #54 Chris L suggested of players, perhaps he was only ever picked in the first place cause he was at Man U rather than on his own attributes.


    Oh come on, this isn't Chelsea v Man Utd.

    He first got called up to the England squad when he was at Watford.

  • Comment number 64.

    From what I've seen Hart is by far the best keeper England have. I have to say that after Seaman there hasn't been a regular stand out world class keeper England always used to have.This foreigner rule sounds like a bit of a joke to me and with all the money flying about in the Premiership its sad to see that clubs don't even look at English keepers.The goalkeeping situation just sums up whats wrong with all the money in the Premiership and how it is clearly destroying England internationally. The same thing happened in Scotland in the SPL in the late 90s with Rangers, Celtic and pretty much every other club buying foreign players instead of playing young home grown players.Internationally, we still haven't recovered and only now are clubs starting to produce more home grown players. England seem to do well in the under 19s and 21s but after that the players just seem to disappear into Arsenal reserves when 15 years ago Arsenal had 4 or 5 first picks for England.

  • Comment number 65.

    Fabio Capello's goalkeeping problems for England are entirely of his own making.

    He deliberately left out England's best goalkeeper - Paul Robinson - for the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa and I can't say I blame Robinson in the least now that he's told Capello where he can shove his 3rd choice inclusion in England's squad.

    England's goalkeeper records & statistics 1872-2010:

  • Comment number 66.

    44. At 3:34pm on 11 Aug 2010, Exogenesis wrote:
    Why has Capello overlooked Steve Harper? He may be 35 but he still has a good few years to go yet. He is easily talented enough and only hasn't been called up before because he was stuck behind Shay Given in the Newcastle pecking order. He has been punished for his loyalty thus far and I think he should be given a chance.


    I believe Capello actually called Harper some time ago and offered him a place in his squad, but unfortunately he couldn't understand a word Harper said in reply and is yet to be convinced that he is in fact English....

  • Comment number 67.

    on the face of it this is a waste of a blog. fact joe hart is head and shoulders above the rest of englands choices, if the writer is saying there is a problem appointing a deputy for joe he may be right
    one thing is certain joe deserves to be number one choice tonight and throughout our euro cup campaign.
    had he been allowed to play in south africa, particularly the first game, england would have advanced and the dressing room would have been a happier place. good luck england and joe hart floreat salopia

  • Comment number 68.

    Goalkeeper is one position that requires experience, which the players now simply aren;t getting and it has nothign to do with the quality of keepers around, it is just too easy to go out and buy a proven foreign player rather than persevere with a young English one.

    The other issue is the pressure put on young players when they come in to a first team and the fact that they are expected to perform as a seasoned pro with no games under their belt, and as soon as they make one mistake they get criticised in the media (the bane of sports in this country) and duely dropped from the first team, completely denting their confidence.

  • Comment number 69.

    #63 Subterranean

    Oh come on, this isn't Chelsea v Man Utd.

    He first got called up to the England squad when he was at Watford.
    This isn't anything to do with club colours at all and to think so is more of an insight into you rather than what I'm saying. Chelsea don't have a keeper in the frame, and rightly so!

    By the way, who was England manager when he was picked? Yep, you'd probably usually have a go at Mclaren as well!

  • Comment number 70.

    Personally I think its a no brainer

    Joe Hart.

    If he can replicate the same form this season, be it for Man City or whomever decides to buy/loan him, as he did for Brum, he should be given the England No.1 Jersey no questions asked.

    Steve Harper should get a call-up for some friendlies too I think. He played understudy to Given for so many years and stayed loyal, but has always done a good job for Newcastle when required. However now we shall see if he can cut it in the Premiership week in, week out. Although, looking back at history, he's going to have a very tough year.

    Ben Foster and Chris Kirkland should get an opportunity again. Both are good keepers but both have unfortunately not been able to play regularly be it lack of first team football or injuries.

    All four goalkeepers are likely to play a large percentage of this season, and so these four keepers will hopefully give Capello a headache on who to pick. Lets just hope the headache is due to which keeper is best, as opposed to which keeper is the least worst.

    Then again, there's always Almunia

  • Comment number 71.

    65. At 4:12pm on 11 Aug 2010, MyFootballFacts wrote:
    Fabio Capello's goalkeeping problems for England are entirely of his own making.

    He deliberately left out England's best goalkeeper - Paul Robinson - for the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa and I can't say I blame Robinson in the least now that he's told Capello where he can shove his 3rd choice inclusion in England's squad.


    Well I blame Paul Robinson because the England No.1 spot is clearly up for grabs.

    There's no guarantee that Joe Hart will play first team football this season, unless he goes on loan- because Mancini clearly rates Shay Given ahead of him.

    That No.1 spot was there for Robinson to fight to win back- the fact that he chose to throw his toys out of the pram and focus on midtable obscurity with Blackburn tells you a lot about his character and tells you why he had to be dropped from the England team in the first place. That's why he's not the right player for that spot anyway. Instead of making a point to Capello on the pitch, he's thrown a wobbly off it- part of the problem with the modern day player and why we are failing to produce players with the right character.

  • Comment number 72.

    Yet again Steve Harper has been overlooked...What is Capello's problem? Harper is an excellent keeper who has been left out of the England team time and time again!!!

  • Comment number 73.

    The bottom line is that David James should still be the number one, who cares if he doesn't play in the Prem any more?

    Joe Hart will get there, but when depends on the situation at Man City. Harper should be in the squad as well to be honest.

    I'm all for young players in the England Squad, but for Loach and Fielding to be selected over Kirkland, Green, James, Harper, and even Joe Lewis is extremely strange.

    I'll be shocked if David James isn't in the squad when it comes to the first qualifier.

    Regardless of the position they play, the best players should be picked, and not the ones who play for the most glamourously clubs.

  • Comment number 74.

    Why have there been so many pointless blogs/articles on England stating the bleeding obvious?

    How about

    - Why do so many average English players claim right to superstar wages?
    - Why does the media think England have a divine right to success?
    - Why do so many English players p*** away their talent by not wanting to play on a regular basis and instead take the money?
    - What makes English players so afraid to try another country?
    - Why are English players so stupid?

    And finally, if our "golden generation" didn't make it pro, what type of career do you think they would have today?

  • Comment number 75.

    69. At 4:18pm on 11 Aug 2010, MrBlueBurns wrote:
    #63 Subterranean
    This isn't anything to do with club colours at all and to think so is more of an insight into you rather than what I'm saying. Chelsea don't have a keeper in the frame, and rightly so!

    By the way, who was England manager when he was picked? Yep, you'd probably usually have a go at Mclaren as well!

    Eh? I haven't mentioned McClaren at all, whats that about?

    How is Foster not good enough from judging him on just the 6 league games he played last season? What about when he's played for England- in his few England appearances has he let the national team down?

    What about his 2 seasons at Watford or the MOM in the Carling Cup Final v Spurs the season before?

    Why do people try to undermine the players we have instead of building them up?

  • Comment number 76.

    The best keeper too miss out for england since i was born was Nigel Martyn, now its time to let Foster and Hart to battle it out for a season till 1 makes a mistake then the others in and we'll still not have a settled number 1 cause they are only human and humans especially goalkeepers make mistakes. All keepers make mistakes jst wen its high profile everyone gets on there case.
    Gomez for spurs terrible for first seasn and 3 months then he turns it round nd is playin out of his skin. Keepers all need support and confidence its that simple

  • Comment number 77.

    #75 Subterranean

    The reference to Mclaren was in respect of the fact that the general consensus is that everything he did was wrong and therefore, by extension, the decision to pick Foster would have been wrong. Foster was picked during Mclaren's tenure wasn't he? (And that is an 'I think'!)

    The point I was making a few posts ago is that why should Foster be considered good enough when his experience at the top level showed that he wasn't up to that particular job? With a good season at Birmingham, he could prove his worth, but right now I don't see a reason to pick him above other options.

    It's got a bit over blown now, but I think the original point I was making was valid.

  • Comment number 78.

    Sorry to jump in here Subs but I agree with MrBlueBurns, Foster right now just isn't good enough. If he hadn't of made those silly errors you would say he's good enough because he can step in now and do the job, but maybe in 6 months once he's got form and confidence he will deserve a spot.

  • Comment number 79.

    @Steven Chandler

    Wayne Rooney in goal

  • Comment number 80.

    MrBlueBurns, Paul Robinson was McClaren's first choice keeper but Carson played in the crucial game against Croatia. I think Foster may have won his first cap in a friendly under McClaren.

    Foster had two seasons with Watford playing first team football in the Premiership. If we're talking just about experience, he has more than Joe Hart. If top level experience is just being picked for a big four club, then Hart, Robinson, Green, Steve Harper etc don't have it either.

    Foster's experience at the 'top level' (big club experience) amounts to being Man Utd's reserve and playing about 10 games for them in 3 seasons, mainly because of injuries too. I repeat again: it's not enough to judge a player. Diego Forlan was once a much maligned Man Utd reserve too. Who won FIFA's Golden Ball for best player at the last World Cup again?

    On Joe Hart: like Foster at Watford 3 years ago, he was the man on form and playing first team football at Birmingham last season. Is he going to get football at Man City this season? if Hart plays only 6 games for City and makes a mistake in one of those games, will he be not good enough as well? You've got to give players a proper chance, thats what I'm saying. if we have more english keepers playing regularly and keeping fit and on form, the national team will have a good pool and maybe a world class keeper will develop from that group. But you can't be writing keepers off as not good enough after a handful of matches in whatever context.

  • Comment number 81.

    He's done this before with Lewis. He should have called up Kirkland and Harper both experienced top flight keepers who would relish a chance or at least a lad like Camp who's impressed for a number of seasons.

    I can't blame Robinson but think he's been rash. If Given starts the season at City then the number 1 shirt is up for grabs and he'd only have to outperform Foster who's at a club due for a second season wake up call.

    The earlier poster isnt the only one who remembers Murray - I recall him looking very impressive and it's a real shame he's having problems still.

    What will disappoint me is if Hart doesn't play for City and we get to September and he's still calling up Green and James having wasted the opportunity to look at others. It's a hallmark of his tenure not giving people a go when he can and being forced into using the same old such as his refusal to play Dawson and Parker in friendlies before the WC.

    As far as young goalies go Man Utd's Ben Amos is one who has a lot of raw talent but he'll need a loan or a move to make it.

  • Comment number 82.

    Another finger on the pulse blog from the BBC - it's only been 8 years since this discussion started

  • Comment number 83.

    Another point, would people be annoyed if Almunia received a call-up?

  • Comment number 84.

    Oh and for the record, there are no top English goalkeepers, cos the young keepers are ridiculed for mistakes to such a point it becomes impossible to play them.

    Who's to blame? Who cares anymore...."what's going on then lads? Where's all our managers? Our goalies? Our midfielders? Our forwards?"

  • Comment number 85.

    #79 RocketToeRonaldo

    The Rooney marketing machine strikes again.

    Shame really, people might take Rooney more seriously as a player if his marketing team didn't spend so long telling us how good he is.

    I'm growing rather tired of all this 'Roy of the Rovers', boy who just wants to play football nonsense.

    Keep out of the limelight except for when playing football Wayne. Would probably serve you better in the long run.

  • Comment number 86.

    # 38 don´t worry. Next year Town will be in the Championship, and by the time Alex Smithies is prime age for international keepers, either he or the club will be in the Premier League !

  • Comment number 87.

    #80 Subterranean

    Firstly, I though Hart did better at Birmingham than Foster did at Watford. It is my belief that Foster was lauded on reputation as being a Man U player. That is not anti-Man U, before you start beating that drum, it is just my opinion.

    It's only a feeling, an opinion, my judgement if you will, but I just didn't see anything special in Foster when I saw him play. Hart on the other seemed to be most commanding an impressive whenever I saw him.

    This goes back to the original point that I would question just how good Foster was when his reputation was being cultivated. This reputation was largely shot down when he had his chance at Man U.

    Hart, by comparison, has performed better in his opportunities so far and therefore, a mistake might be considered more of a blip than the norm.

  • Comment number 88.

    Keep out of the limelight except for when playing football Wayne. Would probably serve you better in the long run.


    That advert's about 3 years old. But at least he's staying out of his players wives houses

  • Comment number 89.

    #85 MrBlueBurns

    Are you trying to make the point that he should be more like Paul Scholes and just do the talking on the pitch?

  • Comment number 90.

    Surely the blame lies firmly at Capello's door ?

    Rob Green made a mistake - he's a goalie - name me one who hasn't, but has he forgotten the two excellent saves he made in the game after he'd made the mistake - anyone else think that show's a strong character ?

    Rob Green - mistake or not is one of the best 3 keepers in England, and after this who'd blame him if he was the next to walk away?

    Now Capello's created a situation whereby if you make a mistake you're out - that's so unhealthy for confidence and taking the pressure off the young keepers - its farcical, like all things England that involve the over-hyped Italian.

  • Comment number 91.

    Surely the blame lies firmly at Capello's door ?


    Capello shouldn't have dropped him, but the media wouldn't shut up about dropping him. Like they never let Carson forget his debut, or ease up on Foster when he was trying to make it at United.

  • Comment number 92.

    #88 Kapnag - I just get bored, or fed up, of Rooney being hailed as this that or the other. He failed for England just like everyone else.

    #89 RocketToeRonaldo - Yes!

  • Comment number 93.

    In a few years time, and under certain conditions, Fraser Forster will definitely be England's goalie. Unbelievable, almost single handedly acted as the entire defence for Norwich last season. Just to put that in context, I would watch our outfield defence play and we were seriously pants :), but we still conceded hardly any goals, and we won the league!

    I just hope the revolting vice-city money haemorrhager that is the Premier League doesn't prevent his chances, leaving him in the cold in favour of some foreign ageing super-star keeper. However, that's what'll probably happen. It always happens.

    I say scrap the Premier League -- the Football league is much more exciting anyway.

  • Comment number 94.

    People go over the top with him, only cos he's done a lot for United, and was England's top scorer in qualifying. Just seems to make sense that people will look towards him, especially with Lennon and SWP out wide.

  • Comment number 95.

    I'm suprised Lee Camp hasn't been called up. Someone like him or Alex Smithies of Huddersfield. also im happy with Zamora being called up but why has defoe and crouch been dropped. It wasn't their fault we didn't do well. I do think Cappelo has lost the plot

  • Comment number 96.

    Other countries have better goalkeepers than us and I think that's the main point.

    If you see the likes of Casillas or Buffon making a mistake, they may get slaughtered back in the papers, but the manager knows that he is a quality goalkeeper and will stick with him. Imagine how Robert Green must have felt knowing he'd let his team down and the country, and then doesn't play again.

    The problem is that, in our country, if a keeper makes a mistake then he has to immediately be replaced. (Namely Scott Carson v Croatia, Robert Green v USA, and I can't remember this fair back, but was there any calls for David Seaman after South Korea against Brazil?)

    Buffon Mistake :

    Casillas Mistakes :

    We jump on the back of our goalkeepers after one mistake.

  • Comment number 97.

    #94 Kapnag

    It's off topic but nah, he's been considered boy wonder and an agents dream for ages.

    Turn your back on your boyhood club and mentor? Have 'realtions' with a senior citizen? Want a payrise? All forgotten.

    Ashley Cole. Leave your boyhood club? Infidelity? Want more money? Let's hammer him till we drive him out of town.

    The difference is shocking and says as much about the lack of objectivity in our media as the celebration/castigation of sports stars etc

    They don't report news. They report what is going to make them money.

  • Comment number 98.

    We only have 3 strikers... why didn't we call up Charlie Austin for a cameo role at the end of the game? He's a natural goalscorer, he'll be the next Michael Owen!

    Also, there's no problem with goalkeeping, Capello has just chosen the wrong ones.
    I'd have had Hart, Foster and Kirkland, with Carson replacing whoever gets injured (in this case Foster). Lee Camp is a good and safe bet. Remember guys, club and international football ARE NOT the same thing.

  • Comment number 99.

    I cant see what the big fuss is, its quite simple really...

    All club managers hate this friendly, its awful timing and can lead to injuries just days before the season begins, see Senderos as an example.

    So Capello named his squad, then Robinson retired, so he didnt call up a replace to risk annoying another manager, which in my book is a good move, he kept the two keepers who in all fairness were prob 1st an 2nd choice anyway, and they were more than likely going to get a half each.

    So then Foster drops out with a back injury leaving just one keeper, so he does the simple thing and calls up the two keepers who were already away from their club, they wont play, but are just there for the training pretty much similar to Joe Lewis against T&T.

  • Comment number 100.

    England only need 1 keeper in the squad if Phil Jagielka gets picked. He's actually a very good goalie, and was the reason why Neil Warnock NEVER named a reserve goalkeeper when he was manager of Jags at Sheffield United


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