We couldn’t believe it when we saw Robert Green was the starting goalkeeper for England last night, and as soon as we saw him in the tunnel before the game we thought ………trouble,
Robert Green – cost England the game
We weren’t sure why David James wasn’t starting and we even preferred Joe Hart to Green, so it was a surprise that Green started , although in the warm-up games we though he did OK.
But we remembered a few years ago when he was playing for England and took a goal kick and not only completely mis-kicked the ball to an opposing forward who easily put the ball into the back of the net, but Robert also seriously injured himself, and was out for a few months.
At the time we thought playing for England must have been just too much for the player, and last night he proved that he we were absolutely right that first time – and he should never play for England – ever again.
Now we don’t want to be too hard on the man, but his mistake last night was the worst mistake we have ever seen from an England goalkeeper – ever – in such an important game.
Captain Steven Gerrard had given England an almost perfect start with a good goal after just 4 minutes, and we should have been able to glide home if our goalkeeper hadn’t tried to collect a half-hit shot and somehow managed to turn it into his own net.
England had looked to be closing down the game fairly easily but on 40 minutes a half hit shot by Clint Demspey was amazingly muffed by England goalkeeper Robert Green – and to call it a schoolboy error would be too kind.
We talked yesterday about the often brittle mental strength of England players, and if this doesn’t show that – nothing ever will – it was a terrible error of concentration – to be sure.
But we don’t really blame Green for his mistake, but the responsibility lies with England manager Fabio Capello for placing his trust in a goalkeeper who had looked far from safe for West Ham over the last season, when the London club came so close to relegation from the Premiership.
We would have preferred young Joe Hart in goal, but there’s no way Fabio will now trust a 22 year-old after what Robert did tonight, and therefore we have to hope the experienced David James will be in the nets on Friday in our next game – which we now have to win.
Fabio Capello is big enough and strong enough to recover from this set-back and England can still win the group – but he may have nightmares with what Robert Green did last night.
England used to have the best goalkeepers in the world, but alas that seems not to be the case these days.
So England should have picked up all 3 points as they were so superior to a US side that looked like it played – devoid of ideas to get past an experienced England eleven.
But you suffer when you give weak opponents stupid goals.