Actually, this won’t be quite the last word on Robert Green’s fumble. Indeed, Jeremy Robson argues, it will haunt the poor man forever – though he feels the blame actually lies elsewhere. Step forward, Mr Capello. …
Quite why English players and managers wait until they reach a World Cup finals to press the self destruct button, who knows?
Robert Green has committed himself to cameo clips for the next several decades.
As Pete Sixsmith has most eloquently reminded us of telling and memorable moments which defined previous tournaments, the world’s public will need no prompting to recall Green’s career defining error. It will feature alongside Maradona’s handball, the Zaire player hoofing the ball away at a free kick in West Germany in 1974, Cruyff’s turn, Zidane’s head butt together with a host of other comical, ridiculous as well as wonderful moments.
You can try and forget about it Robert, try all you want, but you won’t.
Even if there was the slightest chance that you can put it behind you, then you will be constantly reminded of it every time you look at youtube or when the World Cup comes around.
Green is arguably the poorest of the three goalkeepers that England have taken to the World Cup. The pundits have been harping on about the lack of an English goalkeeper who is “world class.” They are frankly missing the point.
The hundreds of millions, watching the England v USA game must have wondered where this clown had been unearthed. It didn’t require a “World Class” goalkeeper to stop Clint Dempsey’s shot.
A pub goalkeeper would normally be adequate, or the bloke who plays in the stiffs for Dagenham & Redbridge, or even the bloke who keeps goal for the Black Horse on a Sunday morning after half a dozen pints of Stella the night before.
All sorts of excuses have been trotted out already. “But what about his save in the second half?” some have said.
Sorry folks, but it doesn’t wash, and whatever he did for the remainder of the game, or achieves in the rest of the tournament will not assuage this national embarrassment.
If it is any consolation to Robert Green, he can rest assured that his is not the first howler committed in a World Cup, and he can be pretty sure that it won’t be England’s last, either. That is why he is there. It’s rather like praising the linesman for being able to lift his flag.
Apologists for Green have thankfully been few in number, as there is no excuse for what happened. Neither Capello nor the England back four could possibly have any confidence in Green after what happened yesterday. As I once heard a Sunderland fan comment many years ago during a game in which Gordon Chisholm was having a particularly bad afternoon: “It’s not you son, it’s them that pick yer!”
There are those who may blame Capello, If you’re taking three goalkeepers to the World Cup with a combined age just under 70, without either of them being the established number 1, then it is probably time to look elsewhere. He handed it to Green. Unfortunately both the responsibility as well as the ball was too hot to handle.