Keep­ers turn into buf­foons

Eng­land 1, USA 1 ... dis­ap­point­ing start for Capello’s

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - World Cup -

WHAT is it about be­ing Eng­land num­ber one that turns great goal­keep­ers and grown men into fum­bling buf­foons?

Peter Bonetti, David Seaman, David James, Paul Robin­son and Scott Car­son all came, saw and ca­pit­u­lated - and now Rob Green can add his name to the list af­ter his Satur­day night shocker.

Amer­i­can ace Clint Dempsey’s low trundler barely looked to be reach­ing the tar­get, but it was helped on it’s painfully slow way across the line by the mother of all goal­keep­ing gaffes.

Mil­lions of men across the coun­try will have de­spair­ingly tried to claw the ball back into their grasp along with Green. But it was to no avail. We were all left with our heads in our hands.

Slam­ming our fists onto the bar or hurl­ing a cof­fee cup across the room, we all felt his pain be­fore point­ing the fin­ger of blame.

From now on, Green will al­ways be known as the man who made that mis­take – even though he did some­what re­deem him­self when turn­ing a Jozy Alti­dore shot onto a post.

The lanky Amer­i­can had em­bar­rassed sub­sti­tute Jamie ‘Liver­pool is more im­por­tant than Eng­land’ Car­ragher on a sec­ond­half charge into the box be­fore be­ing de­nied.

So while Green will never be able to for­get his 40th minute fum­ble at the Royal Bafo­keng, we should re­mem­ber that only his right glove saved Eng­land from go­ing down to de­feat at the hands of a striker who man­aged a princely sum of one goal and one head-butt while on loan at Hull City last sea­son.

So any­one who took odds of 7/1 on Eng­land win­ning the World Cup won’t be sit­ting very com­fort­ably right now, but there’s no need to panic quite yet.

Eng­land’s best two World Cup cam­paigns both started with dis­ap­point­ing draws and I once lifted the great tro­phy on Foot­ball Man­ager when in charge of Fin­land af­ter only man­ag­ing five points in the group. We went on to beat Brazil 5-1 in the fi­nal, if any­one cares.

While we’re on the sub­ject of com­fort, I couldn’t help notic­ing how awk­ward a lot of the Eng­land play­ers looked dur­ing the na­tional an­them on Satur­day.

A paltry five of them could be seen sing­ing along to God Save The Queen while an­other five didn’t bother at all. But the best pre-match moment came cour­tesy of Glen John­son who sud­denly started mov­ing his mouth in a slightly strange way when re­al­is­ing he had a cam­era in his face.

Price­less stuff, but his per­for­mance just got bet­ter and bet­ter to the point when he was a clear Eng­land man-of-the-match.

On the other hand, I could hardly be more com­fort­able. Af­ter all, I’m the man whose blos­som­ing ca­reer has taken him to, er, his sit­ting room.

Four days into the Great­est Show on Earth and I’ve barely missed a thing – apart from Eng­land’s goal.

Thanks to some tech­no­log­i­cal twit­tery from an ITV in­com­pe­tent, the mil­lions like my­self tun­ing in to watch in HD were ac­tu­ally view­ing an ad­vert while cap­tain mar­vel Steven Ger­rard fired Eng­land ahead.

So no ma­raud­ing run into the box and fine low fin­ish for us. No, we were watch­ing a bunch of bloody Hyundai cars hav­ing a half-time orange.

“So you paid an ex­tra ten­ner a month for that, did you?” chipped in my ra­zor-sharp wife. “Glad to see you’re get­ting value for money.”

It was in the sec­onds that fol­lowed that I be­gan to un­der­stand why in­ci­dents of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence are ex­pected to in­crease by as much as 30 per cent dur­ing the World Cup.

LIONS LEAP­ING: Frank Lam­pard dodges a tackle.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.