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It’s A Three Horse Race

I guess he'll have to wait for that knighthood

Being a goalkeeper is a thankless task where you are remembered for your mistakes, more often than not, rather than any outstanding saves or match-winning performances.

The position is widely seen as England’s weakest link and Capello has so far failed to settle on any one of the three wasters custodians we currently have in South Africa – none of whom he holds in particularly high regard.

The fact that as a nation we still do not know the identity our first choice ‘keeper is plain embarrassing. That there is some dispute over who to include and there is still a credible case for all three is not an indication of the huge pool of talent that Fabio has had to draw from but rather that in the absence of an outstanding candidate, he has had to make do with the best of a bad bunch. It’s all deckchairs on the Titanic.

Some would say he’s had a raw deal – Capello has been forced to take two men who were fighting relegation battles last season because England simply do not possess a decent ‘keeper in the domestic game. But, what about Joe Hart? He’s had a decent season but has played bugger all international football. That is a selection issue and Fabio should probably have taken a closer look at him in the six games between securing qualification and the start of the tournament.

This is all conjecture of course – we have one more game on Wednesday to avoid early elimination and have to ask ourselves who deserves to wear the Jersey?

Robert Green

Green has played in the majority of games for England throughout our qualifying campaign and has been reasonably consistent under Capello.

Unceremoniously dumped following his howler against the USA, Capello buckled under media pressure to punish him for his costly error. His shot-stopping had generally been flawless prior to this momentary lapse in concentration and he looks set to join the ranks of Beckham and Seamen as World Cup scapegoats.

He made a decent save in the second half and should not have been replaced for the pressing need of consistency. He unfairly bore the brunt of the criticism for what was a poor performance all round but doubts will remain over his ability to control his area.

Joe Hart

Man. City’s custodian has travelled to South Africa as a firm third choice.

He excelled during his season-long loan at Birmingham demonstrating his good reflexes and agility. He is possibly a victim of his youth and will quite rightly never dislodge James or Green (for the time being) for the simple reason of his inexperience. To choose a player at this stage of the tournament whose international career amounts to only three appearances would be extraordinary but stranger things happen at sea.

Capello has himself to blame as there were plenty of opportunities to give him a run out over the last few months. One for the future I guess.

David James

‘Calamity James’ earned his 51st cap against Algeria and was most people’s obvious choice to start the tournament due to his relative experience.

Fitness is still a concern after missing three months of Portsmouth’s campaign with a knee injury and it probably cost him his place against the USA. Nobody seriously thinks he will be dropped for our final group game but with only two appearances under his belt in the last 11 months, it will be interesting to see how he fares.

After all, he earned his unflattering sobriquet during his time at Liverpool for his unrivalled ability to concede goals in the most comical fashion.

Surely he will now be with us now until the bitter end bar a recurrence of his injury.

Who do you think should be England’s no1?

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