Steve Harper Backs Green To Retain England Place


Steve Harper made very few mistakes in the Newcastle goal last season and is one of the safest goalkeepers around.

Steve Harper – solid and safe goalkeeper

Steve has today surprisingly urged England manager Fabio Capello to stick with goalkeeper Robert Green,  despite his tragic mistake against the USA last Saturday.

All goalkeepers make mistakes and you could take any goalkeeper and put together a film of the errors he has made, and make him look hopeless – and on the other hand you could do the same thing with his best saves to make him look great.

That’s just one reason why we are not big believers in seeing highlight films of players – of course they look good.

Steve  talked to the Newcastle Journal today:

“You can either go and sit in a dark corner of a room somewhere and beat yourself up about it, or you can get out there on the training pitch and get on with things. I’m sure Rob is doing the latter.”

“He also showed great mental strength after the game to come out and speak to the media. He is a strong character and I would like to see him keep his place against Algeria.”

“I would stick with him. If Fabio Capello drops him on Friday then it will destroy his confidence and it is something he may never recover from as an England player.”

“He’s a good goalkeeper and we must not forget that just because he has made one high-profile mistake.”

“If he takes him out of the firing line now that will be it for him at this World Cup and it is going to be a long wait until he gets the chance to put it right, probably when West Ham play their first game in the Premier League.”

That’s true and personally I think he shouldn’t play for England again, and have been a little surprised at the comments received because of that view.

Some readers think I’ve been vicious about Robert – but hey – to make a mistake of that proportion in one of the biggest games of his life, tells us he just doesn’t have the right temperament.

You have to applaud Robert for facing the cameras after the game – that showed a lot of courage and he got a lot of support because he did that.

Unfortunately that’s not the first daft mistake Robert has made in England colors as he also completely mis-kicked a goal kick a few years back (May, 2006) whilst taking a goal kick during the England B international against Belarus on 25 May.

The ball was presented the ball to an opposing forward who stroked the ball into the net and Robert was taken off after he had seriously ruptured his groin and had to be withdrawn from the 2006 England World Cup squad because of that injury.

The Newcastle 35 year-old goalkeeper knows Green will not need to be told what he did wrong, but we’d be surprised – make that shocked – if Fabio Capello sticks with this goalkeeper on Friday against Algeria.

Steve Continued:

“From a technical point of view, he got his hands stuck underneath his body a little bit. He probably should have dropped down on to his elbows and taken the ball earlier.”

“But as a goalkeeper there are always goals you regret and wish hadn’t happened. He has to move on from it. He would have saved it 999 times out of a 1000, but it’s gone now and let’s move on.”

“It can be a very lonely place when something like this happens. It has happened, though, and there is nothing he can do it about it now.”

“I’m sure he didn’t have much sleep that night, and he’s probably struggled all week, but he went out and played a game of golf the next day and tried to forget about it. What I liked about Rob was that he didn’t let it affect him for the rest of the game and he made one very important save in the second half.”

“Will he wish it hadn’t happened? Of course he will, but he will also know there is nothing he can do about it. He will just want the next game to come along as quickly as possible.”

“If you miss a penalty you want to take another one straight away and that’s how a goalkeeper feels when you let in a bad goal. You just want to erase the mistake by playing well in the next game.”

In other words, if you fall off the horse get straight back on – but if we see Green in the tunnel before the game against Algeria, I may even have a heart attack.

The Easington-born keeper, who now has 173 total appearances for his home-town club,  continued:

“I felt for him, but unfortunately it comes with the job, these things can happen. It’s just very unfortunate for him that it happened at a World Cup.”

“When you start out as a goalkeeper you know that, if you make a mistake, it’s likely to lead to a goal. It comes with the territory.”

“Every player makes mistakes, it’s human nature, it’s how you bounce back from those mistakes that’s important.”

Good words from Steve, which is one reason we’d love to see the man become a coach at Newcastle one day – maybe a goalkeeping coach but he could also coach in other areas of course.

We’ll have to wait and see what Fabio does, but that’s one reason the man earns big bucks for England – £6M a year, but this man may even earn it if he can get the England lads together and get a decent win on Friday – as a first step to winning the whole thing.

It’s possible.

I’ll put a poll up so you can vote on whether Green should play on Friday against Algeria – please vote.

Comments always welcome.



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3 comments so far

  • toonboyjake

    Jun 16, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #1

    Ed you cant use the England B game as an example of a mistake, he ruptured his groin as he kicked the ball, its almost impossible to get a decent strike on the ball if your in that sort of pain and its in an area that affects your leg, so its no fault of his at all that they sored he was on the floor in a heap.
    Also it was bad handling and he admitted that, every goalkeeper has done it, i would know i am a keeper, sometimes you just misjudge the balls path or speed and with the jabulani ball its more than likely thats what happened as every goalkeeper has complained about it.
    Everyone should get behind Green and support him, 1 mistake has cost several England keepers there place in the team, and disrupted there form, i.e. Foster.
    Green is one of the best goalkeepers in England and we need him in goal until Joe Hart has a bit more experience.
    Get behind him and all of the lads and hope England can end 44 years of hurt

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  • Ericles

    Jun 16, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #2

    I agree that we should stick with Green. We all make mistakes. However, without wanting to appear biased, I would rather have Harper in England’s goal.

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  • peterktoon

    Jun 16, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #3

    Steve is a very good keeper and I think he is beter than Green but Steve is 35 years old.. Sadly it might just be too late late for him to ever make a England debut

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