WORLD CUP 2010: Robert Green a million times sorry for blunder that cost England victory against USA

14 June 2010 08:31
  Lonely figure: Hapless Green

Rob Green has apologised to millions of England fans and urged FabioCapello to give him the chance to make amends for his howler againstthe USA.

Green made no attempt to seek excuses after his costly slip inSaturday's 1-1 draw, aware that the lot of a goalkeeper means suchsetbacks must be taken squarely on the chin.

He left others to complain about the unpopular Jabulani ball andrejected the idea that Capello had piled unnecessary pressure on histhree 'keepers by waiting until less than two hours before kick-off onSaturday to confirm who would start in goal.

'I walked in at half-time and said sorry to the chaps and Iapologise to however many million people at home as well,' said theWest Ham No.1.

'It was a mistake, a genuine, horrible mistake. Games go at 100mphand these things happen. People don't need to say much. I made amistake and that's life. You deal with it and move on. I'm not blamingthe ball. I should have stopped it, there's no two ways about it.'

Capello revealed his team at 5.45pm on Saturday, just an hour and 45minutes before kick-off and five minutes before the team climbed aboardthe bus for the short journey from their World Cup hotel to the RoyalBafokeng Stadium.

The Italian's tactics made for a tense and nervous day for thegoalkeepers, aware that the manager had concerns about each of them,for differing reasons.

'You prepare for every game as though you're playing, even if you're not,' said Green, familiar with Capello's routine.

VIDEO: Green on his clanger. Gutted: Green buries his head after conceding Dempsey's shot


'If you don't prepare right and you're not ready to play, thenthat's the mistake. The other guys prepared as though they were playingand we will again for Friday.

'Then it's not a surprise when you are playing. It's not a problem,it's not an issue, you deal with it. It's fine, you carry on.

'I prepared mentally, I prepared well, I prepared for trauma in agame. That's what happened and I'm pleased with the 50 minutes afterthat. I stood up and I was pleased to make a good save. If my head hadstill been in the clouds or in the crowd, then that would have been themistake.

'It's easy to be confident when times are good. It's when times aretough - that's when you've got to be confident, that's what I preparefor mentally.'

Back in the swing: Green plays a round of golf in Sun City on the day after his howler

Green's horror moment came five minutes before half-time. ClintDempsey twisted away from Steven Gerrard in midfield, was not closeddown and tried his luck with his left foot from 25 yards. The effortwas straight at the goalkeeper.

'At the last second it moved a bit,' claimed Dempsey, although theball did not appear to deviate far from its course as Green spilled itover the line.

'It is one of those goals everyone else seems to get,' addedDempsey. 'You watch them and think: ''Why can I never get a goal likethat''.'

USA and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard felt Green's pain and joked that 'a lot of alcohol' was the best way to get over it.

England players did not rush to pat their goalkeeper on the back.

Frank Lampard gave him a 'chin up' sign from midfield and substitute goalkeeper Joe Hart waited to console him at half-time.

After the game, however, there was more solidarity among the squad and Hart joined Green for a round of golf yesterday.

'Rob's come out and faced up to it,' said captain Gerrard. 'We haveto rally round and support him and make sure he is right mentally forthe next game.

'He can overcome it. He's a strong character, a great lad. He made afantastic save in the second half which showed his character. I'm surehe will be very important for us the further we go.'

        HAVE YOUR SAY.     Should Capello drop Green after his howler against USA? Robert Green made an awful mistake to hand the United States a draw in England's opening Group C match at the World Cup. Fabio Capello left it until the last moment before picking him ahead of David James and Joe Hart but should he now be dropped for the match with Algeria? TELL US WHAT YOU THINK Green's terrific save in the 65thminute deflected Jozy Altidore's shot on to the woodwork.

It kept England level but the 'keeper was not about to be rescuedby the outfield players, who missed a string of chances to win the gameand minimise the impact of his blunder.

Capello must now decide whether to stick with the West Ham man, turnto 23-year-old rookie Hart or 39-year-old veteran David James forFriday's game against Algeria in Cape Town.

'The manager has to answer whether he will stick with me,' added Green. 'But this makes me more determined to play next time to right the wrong.'You want to be a man about it and you want to stand up. You want to betested. Playing lovely football and making wonderful saves is not achallenge. This is a challenge and this is why you are a footballer.It's how you bounce back.

'I'll be ready and be prepared just the same, wanting to play. I'm desperately keen to play, I want to play every game I possibly can. This is the biggest stage in the world. I'll be twice as determined for this not to happen again.'

 Sign up for our daily World Cup emailNo excuse! Robert Green can't even find friends in the goalkeepers' unionCalamity! Green faces England axe after his howler hands Americans a drawFrank Lampard: Green's World Cup howler was 'just a freak'Piers Morgan: Blame England's Robert Green if you want, but Capello needs to raise his game tooVIDEO SPECIAL: Green joins James, Robinson and co to drop clanger


Source: Daily_Mail

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44