Burley happy to have Gordon

13 June 2010 02:48
George Burley believes England would be better off if they had Sunderland and Scotland keeper Craig Gordon in goal.

After weeks of speculation about who would be handed the number one jersey for England's World Cup Group C opener against the United States, boss Fabio Capello opted for Robert Green over Joe Hart and the more experienced David James.

However, recriminations have begun after the West Ham keeper made a calamitous error to gift the USA their goal in the 1-1 draw in Rustenburg.

With England cruising towards the break following captain Steven Gerrard's early opener, Green allowed Clint Dempsey's tame-looking shot from distance to slip through his hands and once again England ultimately found themselves undone by a goalkeeping error.

Burley feels the Scots have a genuine top-class goalkeeper in Sunderland number one Gordon who, according to the former Scotland manager, would be in South Africa with England if he had been born south of the border.

"If Craig Gordon was English he would be in the English team - no doubt about that," he said.

"I think 99% of people in football would say the same thing.

"Scotland are very fortunate to have him and they are the envy of every country in Europe if not the world.

"He missed a few key games for me when I was Scotland manager and we let a few goals in but when he played he always performed.

"When he went down to Sunderland at first I think there were some slight question marks but not now.

"I watched him a lot last season and he was outstanding."

Whether Green retains his place for the game against Algeria on Friday remains to be seen - and it is the question which will be debated all the way until the team sheets are handed in - but Burley is reluctant to hand out any advice to Capello.

The former Ipswich, Derby and Hearts boss insists coping with goalkeeping conundrums is as old as the game itself.

"The game has never changed," Burley said.

"Goalkeepers are humans and they make mistakes, sometimes they get away with it but if not it usually ends in a goal.

"As a manager you have to makes decisions game by game

"I had a young keeper at Ipswich, Richard Wright, who I played when he was 17 and he made some mistakes when I first brought him in to the team but you have to have belief in their ability.

"But it is up to each manager, other managers are not in the position to tell them what to do.

"And I'm not one of those manager who tell other managers what to do because everything is not black and white.

"He will see how he reacts, and see how he does in training before naming his team."

Source: Team_Talk