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Green shoots of recovery as West Ham keeper earns Capello's respect
Published : 04 Jun 2009 07:37:08
The first time Fabio Capello watched Robert Green play for West Ham he was not convinced he was good enough for England. The second time he was sure of it. West Ham's keeper has come a long way since November 2007, when a mistake in the London derby against Tottenham along with another error, when he was lobbed by Everton striker Andy Johnson from 30 yards the following month, counted against him. Capello left him out of his first squad for a friendly against Switzerland in February, prompting Green to wear 'England's No 6' on his goalkeeping gloves. However, he has recovered and performed well enough for West Ham to be considered for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan in place of the injured David James. Green said: 'There is no point turning up if you think you're going to be the understudy. David James has done tremendously well since getting back into the side. His form is something I aspire to. 'Under the new regime, or not so new now, there is a belief that people will be picked on merit.' Green is part of a long line of England players who felt hard done by under Sven Goran Eriksson, who picked him for the World Cup 2006 before an injury in a B game against Belarus ruled him out, and his successor Steve McClaren. The prospect of playing against Kazakhstan on Saturday is recognition for a decent season at West Ham, yet he accepts he is unlikely to play for a top-four team. 'The emphasis in England is to spend money on forwards,' he said. 'If you can pick up an experienced keeper on the continent for a little amount, you are going to do it. I don't think it's a statement on an English goalkeeper's ability.'