Rob Green looked a forlorn figure sitting on the Queens Park Rangers bench against Chelsea on Saturday. All his hopes and dreams of joining the QPR revolution, breaking into the top 10 and restarting his England career came crashing down around him when manager Mark Hughes signed Julio Cesar.
Green let in five against Swansea on the first day of the season, and he looked shaky against both Norwich and Manchester City. So rather than risk another relegation battle, Hughes opted to sign Julio Cesar, whom Green probably secretly hoped would fall flat on his face against the European Champions last weekend.
However, it wasn't to be.
Hughes was cut-throat in his decision to appoint Cesar as the Rangers' No. 1 after only signing Green three months prior. However, as Hughes quite rightly stated (via Goal.com), "That isn't my concern. That may concern Rob in terms of his international standing but from my point of view I have got to make sure we are strong as a club."
Let's face it: Green doesn't really have much of an international standing any more. With Joe Hart, Jack Butland and John Ruddy looking like the top three goalkeeping selections for England manager Roy Hodgson, Green can only hope for fourth choice at best.
Even when he was playing weekly for West Ham United, Green could only muster enough recognizable performances to send him to the 2012 Euro Championships as a bench warmer.
Mark Hughes has said that Rob Green can leave in January if he doesn't want to fight for his place. But where would he go? The Championship is always an option, and Green may now not have a choice. At 32 years old and what looks like four or five months away from first-team football, he will not be high on a Premier League manager's shopping list.
All Green can do now is sit, wait and take his chance when it comes, whether that be in Cup games or should an injury befall Julio Cesar. If neither of these happen, then Green's Premier League days look to be all but over. And he will be left to play out the rest of his footballing days in the lower leagues or on foreign shores.