Green blunder will force manager to reassess goalkeeper options
Robert Green looked like he wanted the ground to swallow him up after allowing a long-range Clint Dempsey shot to slip through his fingers.
And the starting goalkeeper berth for the rest of the World Cup could also be out of the player’s grasp if Fabio Capello decides it would be safer in the hands of either David James or Joe Hart.
Capello would clearly have wanted to draw a line in the sand on the goalkeeper debate by going with Green but his costly error will open up the discussion once more.
Such uncertainty could affect England in the latter stages, they are 10/3 to go out at the quarter-final stage.
The England manager refused to publicly blame Green, but the Italian also failed to confirm the West Ham man would start in goal in England’s next Group C game against Algeria on Friday.
“The second half he (Green) played very well,” said Capello. “But the mistake remains a mistake.”
England find themselves in a unique position at the World Cup, in that all three registered shot-stoppers could make a viable claim for the gloves.
It’s easily forgotten that David James started the first five qualifying games for England, until injuries limited his involvement.
A question mark remains over the Portsmouth player’s fitness but the 40-year-old clearly has the experience and has long since banished his own ‘Calamity’ nickname.
Joe Hart looked confident in England’s friendlies and has completed a season full of match-winning displays for Birmingham City.
It remains to be seen whether he can make the step up to playing at World Cup so smoothly, though.
To his credit Green says he wants “stand up and represent my country”, but should Capello be a ruthless as he was with Theo Walcott it seems unlikely he’ll be given the chance.
Will Green’s blunder cost him his place and the England team their confidence? See the full England Specials betting market.