HT: England 1 USA 1: Green-fingered calamity

usa fans

Darren Bent’s exclusion meant we weren’t really supposed to be too bothered. But an early goal does wonders for everyone’s moral. Doesn’t it? Well, not if followed by 40 minutes of abysmal football and a comic cuts equaliser. Best out of that lot, Darren! …

It would
not be quite right to say the French commentator could actually be heard salivating when Robert Green, for months linked with a move to a club with an infinitely better keeper (Sunderland), made his pathetic fumble to allow Clint Dempsey’s ordinary, somewhat hopeful long-range strike to spin away from him and over the line. All the same, the man from TF1 did sound a little excited (though Arsene Wenger, by his side, was altogether more level-headed).

Well, fair play to the French. After a dismal warm-up, and an opening game they dominated without ever really looking like winning, they needed something to cheer them up. The USA’s equaliser served that purpose.

Allowing that the French were strictly speaking neutral, there hadn’t been much else for the uncommitted to enjoy in the first half, save for England’s neat goal and a spirited response from the Americans, modest though their collective talents appear to be. But then modest talent was the order of the night.

No one will feel worse about Robert Green’s blunder than Robert Green. But BBC Sport’s chief football writer, Phil McNulty, can hardly be faulted for this damning verdict:

Forget the new World Cup footballs – that was simply an horrendous piece of goalkeeping. England’s lack of a top-class, undisputed keeper was one of the big pre-World Cup fears and we have just seen why. The United States’ supporters were almost as late in reacting as Green. It was that bad.

What else would you mention if ringing home to relatives without television about the first half? Milner’s crude challenges, eventually punished with a yellow? Misplaced passes that reminded me of the depths of our mid-season winless run? Rooney’s anonymity?

Let’s see how the second half goes. But Mr Green should prepare for his life to be made, temporarily, a misery …

Colin Randall (watching in France)

* Thanks to Shine 2010 for the image

4 thoughts on “HT: England 1 USA 1: Green-fingered calamity”

  1. You’re right Jeremy – Green should not keep net for England. After his gaff he shouldn’t play for the Pig and Whistle. But he made a mistake. He’ll be lambasted forever more for it, but what’s done is done. Like I said – we haven’t got a snowball in Hells chance of getting very far and I believe it is because we are mentally weak. We have the best midfield in the world and Rooney is masterclass. But when it comes to mental strength we are light years behind Germany, Brazil, Italy, even South Korea!! We always under-perform and “cave” under the pressure. Our media is the most vindictive and relentless in the entire world – bar none. That creates huge pressure and adds to the weight of expectation on our already fragile players and partially accounts for the dire performances and results. Sorry if that’s a little complex for you Jerry. I genuinely beleive that supporting rather than berating will bring results – but that’s not the English way. Yes – lets follow your example and tear Robert Green to bits. Yes – that’s the intelligent thing to do. Let’s ignore the disgraceful performance against a side with a quater of the talent, and focus on a mishandling incident. Good call.

  2. You would think that Germany and Brazil didn’t have any media reading this last comment.

    Most sensible people have very low expectations, based on their experience.

    If the media are interfering with Green’s ability to make a bread and butter stop then maybe he should be looking for a different occupation Has it crossed you mind Martin, that maybe Green just isn’t very good? He is by far the poorest of the three goalkeeers at Capello’s disposal. Thirty years old; how many caps? He isn’t up to the job. There’s no need for some complex psycho-social analysis.

    As for placing a MASSIVE expectation; yes it would have been my expectation that he should stop an effort like Dempsey’s without too much trouble. A pig in a passage may present further problems for Green.

  3. Do you know why Green made that “schoolboy” error. Allow me to explain. We in the UK (and thankfully I am no longer living there) put an unrealistic and huge expectation on the poor sods that represent our country. Why do the likes of “Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Stephen Gerrard and going back in time, John Barnes, Ian Wright, to name but a few. Why do they HUGELY under-perform in comparison with their club sides?? Here’s the answer. Because we put a MASSIVE weight of expectation on them. Why is it that England games are ALWAYS a let-down??? Is anyone ever satisfied after one of our pitiful displays?? Not likely!! It’s because we mentally cripple our players, mostly through the press. On paper (even though Capello made an unforgivable mistake in not including Bent in the squad), we have a formidable team. Yet we turn out against the US who have Altidore (who scored ONE goal in the Prem for HULL) And we only get a draw. Frank scored twenty odd goals from midfield – which speaks volumes. We should have ripped them up and spat them out. But I predicted a draw. Why – not because I think the US are as good as us, but because I am accustomed to mediocrity due to mental weakness. We have zero chance of winning this world cup. It’s Argentina, Brazil, or Germany – trust me. England will win it when we learn to LEAVE THEM ALONE AND NOT MESS WITH THEIR HEADS.

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