The doubts over the England goalkeeping position were increased on Saturday night when just one mistake from West Ham No. 1 Robert Green was enough to cost Fabio Capello’s men two points against the United States.
Although the points may not come back to haunt England World Cup betting in terms of qualification, with the two supposed easier games against Algeria and Slovenia still to come, the mistake did absolutely nothing to clarify who will be in goal against the first named of those two rivals on Friday.
Green seemed to have nothing to worry about when Clint Dempsey lined up to shoot with his left foot from 25 yards out, not long before half-time, but inexplicably the hitherto blemish-free goalie managed not to get his body behind the ball and fumbled it over the line, much to his embarrassment and England’s cost.
Having played as a goalie myself until a flab roll round my stomach stopped me from being able to get down very quickly, I’ll never forget my first lesson—just that, get your darned body behind the line of the ball and don’t get complacent.
With the doubts over this Jabulani ball, you would think Green was being extra cautious rather than making life difficult for himself, but he just seemed to make a complete hash of it—no blame on the light ball, no blaming the pitch, and nothing but a red face.
So what now?
Well, ideally Green will get a vote of confidence from Capello, for the rest of his game was pretty good including a reflex save from Jozy Altidore as the US pushed for a goal which would have been a winner in a fairly tight contest.
But it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise to see Joe Hart or David James between the posts against Algeria next time out, a game which more pundits will be expecting a win from than the tournament opener and possibly now a game with even more pressure on it, depending on the result when Algeria face Slovenia in their opening clash (this may well have been played by the time this article is published!).
Without a doubt, there are going to be plenty of column inches devoted to the subject in the next few days, more than this little article, but all will become clear in time. Big decision to be made by the man getting the big money to make them!
Elsewhere, Spain world cup betting pundits are looking ahead to their first game of the tournament as they aim to make a more convincing start than England.