Capello must name first choice goalkeeper once and for all

By Michael Owen
robert green

Green made a costly error during England's 1-1 draw with the USA (Photo: City College Norwich)

Fabio Capello will once again wait until two hours before kick-off to reveal which of his three goalkeepers will start against Algeria on Friday.

The England manager was hesitant to name a first choice goalkeeper ahead of the tournament and the decision will not have been made any easier by Robert Green’s costly mistake during his side’s opener against the United States last Saturday.

Many, however, blamed Capello after Green’s blunder, suggesting his decision to name a goalkeeper just hours before kick-off had a negative impact upon the three hopeful candidates.

It is perhaps true that players under-perform when uncertain of their position in the team and Capello’s failure to rule out any of the three shot-stoppers until just before kick-off suggested he himself was still unsure about who he wanted in goal. It is hardly a confidence-inspiring situation for any of the hopefuls.

Nerves almost certainly played their part for Green last Saturday—an uneasiness that perhaps arose because the West Ham goalkeeper was wary of losing the place he had fought so hard to earn.

David James has been very vocal about his position within the England camp. The Portsmouth man had some injury issues upon his arrival in Rustenburg, but he now says they are not a problem—something Capello and his staff do not agree with.

If the Italian manager wants to avoid any more major blunders and friction within the England camp, he surely has to give a vote of confidence to one of the three goalkeepers he has taken to South Africa, or it may prove to be another summer of disappointment for England.

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