England Blushes with Shades of Green

Heading into their first 2010 World Cup match-up against the United States, many people thought England would cruise to victory. On paper, this team is full of extraordinary talents, most notably the PFA Player’s Player of the Year, Wayne Rooney.
But every team has a weakness and in the 40th minute of the match, a weakness was exposed on the English side: goalkeeper Robert Green struggled to make a simple save on a shot from Clint Dempsey and suddenly the game was tied at one a piece. Up until that moment, England had control of the match-up though some of its star players seemed to be in hiding.
Green made a couple good stops in the second half but his highlight reel moment will be the goal that shouldn’t have been. Now, Coach Fabio Capello has a choice to make before the team’s next match-up: Stay Green or Go James?
Some people think the switch should’ve been made at the half, given how horrible the goal was. Capello gave Green a chance to redeem himself and he played well in the second half. However, the team’s back-up goalkeeper, David James isn’t much better.
James has a lot of experience at the international level but he is no stranger to embarrassing errors. In a 2004 World Cup qualifying match against Austria, James caused an error which allowed Austria to tie the game at 2.
Basically the English team doesn’t have much hope in goal but they do have the offensive ability to compensate. Frank Lampard and Rooney had fairly good performances today but the team’s spark fizzled after the Dempsey goal.
There’s no quick fix for a struggling goaltender and England’s troubles in net could mean a surprise early exit from this tournament.

Day 2 Results
Group B
South Korea 2-0 Greece
Argentina 1-0 Nigeria

Group C
England 1 –1 USA

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Raptors Devotee
Raptors Devotee
June 12, 2010 5:40 pm

I am far from a soccer officiado, but how England was predicted to be along with Argentina the next two choices to win the World Cup after Spain and Brazil is beyond me. When your last line of defence is so suspect there is no way you can go all the way.

I just don’t understand how a soccer mad country like England with so many players to draw from are incapable of producing a goalie that at a minimum will not blow a game for them.

Using hockey as an analogy, the Flyers got to the Finals with suspect goaltending that for the short term managed to play above expectation levels, but inevitably came back to earth, and could not finish the job.

They made the right decision to leave Green in since their back-up is known as “Calamity James”, and also not to completely blow his confidence should they have to go back to him.

They are screwed though. No way can they go all the way IMO.

June 12, 2010 9:20 pm

Your pts about the English keeper situation is well made, but if you take their press and bookmakers out of the equation, I think they’d drop significantly down the favourties list pretty quickly. Besides James – who has a history of similar brain cramps on the biggest stages – their other option is a promising but unproven kid in Joe Hart.

I seem to recall another hockey example earlier this year, when a certain nation won Olympic Gold in spite of the overrated, nervous nellie in their goal, doing his best Michael Jackson impersonation (a glove on his left hand for no apparent reason).

June 13, 2010 5:00 pm

The thing about both goalies are they are considered good goalies (I don’t know much about Green but I have seen James play) But they both play for bad teams in the Premiership league, who’s teams play in the bottom of the league (James, Portsmouth team finished last and got relegated to a second division, coolest concept I wish we can do here lol)

So playing for bad teams they are forced to make spectacular saves and are many times considered the only great talents in the team and have a decent save percentage even with the poor teams in front of them.

So a lot of thought is you put them in a strong national team, they should have it easy, the problem is playing for lower teams in the league, you never really have the pressure situations. Sure you have pressure of your hometown fans not wanting to lose and get relegated but the pressure of a nation and even world watching is something very different.

If these goalies did play in the top teams of EPL (Manchester Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal etc) then they would have more experience playing in big pressure world viewing compeitions (not just in EPL play buy champions league play against other Euro club teams) but Premiership has become such an “import” league especially for the top teams that they don’t wait to develop goalies, they just grab other nations big money established goalie to play for the team while England goalie are stuck playing in the middle to lower teams.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x