England's Goalkeeper Situation Moves From Embarrassment To Calamity

↵ ↵

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↵Robert Green, we have some lovely parting gifts for you in the back. ↵

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↵Green rather surprisingly got the World Cup nod in goal for England against the United States and, well, was immortalized in the headlines (and in Legos) after letting in a softie to help the U.S. register a tie against the Three Lions. ↵

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↵To his credit, Green took full responsibility for the gaffe – and for the result – despite a game-saving stop in the second half and the fact that his team had ample chances to put the ball in the net but continually shot right at U.S. keeper Tim Howard who, by the way, didn't do Green any favors with a stellar performance of his own. Alas, the Hand of Clod and other tabloid headlines took over the story, leaving Green with little chance for redemption. ↵

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↵In fact, the only real way that Green could redeem himself would be to go out and record two shutouts to help England get through the group stage. Unfortunately, Fabio Capello has other things in mind. Green has been sacked: ↵

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↵⇥David James [pictured above] will start in goal for England against Algeria tonight after a dramatic change of heart prompted Fabio Capello to drop Robert Green. The 39-year-old will replace Green after England coach Capello decided he was unconvinced the West Ham goalkeeper had recovered from the howler he made against the United States last week. ↵⇥

↵⇥Capello had intended to keep faith with Green if he was convinced that the 30-year-old was not mentally scarred by the mistake. However, after discussions, he has decided to restore James who had appeared to have slipped to third-choice behind Joe Hart after a series of unconvincing training sessions. ↵⇥

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↵That report in The Telegraph indicates that most of the team wanted James to be the keeper but internal politics may have prevented that from happening. There was word from the England camp that James may not have been fit enough to play, but as the story indicates, that report was "scotched" by the keeper, which I'm going to assume either means it was dismissed, refuted or carefully distilled with water and barley. Any of those definitions works, really. ↵

↵The Guardian reports that Green may have been replaced because of a few fumbles in drills during a recent training session: ↵

↵
↵⇥Furthermore, Green appeared nervous in front of the media at open training at the ground yesterday, fumbling two shots from Ray Clemence in one of the early drills. While the youngster, Joe Hart, has been consistently the most impressive of the three goalkeepers in training since the squad first convened in Austria ahead of the tournament, Capello has now opted for the 39-year-old James's know-how in the hope he will provide surety as England attempt to kick-start their World Cup campaign. ↵
↵So, the first guy didn't work out, and Capello has ostensibly ruined his confidence to the point where he can't go back to him. The next guy is 39 years old and coming off an injury and has the nickname "Calamity James." All this while your third guy has been the most impressive during training. ↵

↵This is a recipe for disaster. It's the English fans who are going to need to get properly scotched. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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