Burley happy to have Gordon

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.”