Clemence: Green can reclaim jersey

Green was axed by Fabio Capello after his blunder gifted United

States midfielder Clint Dempsey an equaliser in the World Cup

opener in Rustenburg and he was replaced by David James. Joe Hart

is Capello’s current first choice and is expected to start the Euro

2012 qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley on Tuesday. But Clemence

has been impressed with Green’s form in recent games after a

difficult start to the Premier League campaign and he has been

included in the England squad for the first time since South

Africa. England goalkeeping coach Clemence said: “Robert is

obviously a good keeper otherwise he wouldn’t have gone to the

World Cup in the first place. “I have seen the last two games and

he has played very well. “It was a difficult summer for him and a

difficult start to the season which you could understand because

there was an awful lot of pressure on him. “But he looks to be

getting back to where he was before the World Cup.” Clemence added:

“Only Robert can say how much affect it had on him being dropped

after the United States game. But he is a strong character. “Only a

strong character would have done what he did after the game in

facing up to all of the media. “A lot of people would have skulked

away and not wanted to speak to anyone but he was strong enough to

come out and say I’ve made a mistake and we get on with it. “Three

or four days later Fabio decided to go with David James but Robert

is a strong lad and he will come back from that. “Robert is one of

those lads who will do everything they can to be the best they

can.” When asked if Green could be England’s number one again,

Clemence said: “He didn’t let England down in all the games he

played going up to the World Cup. “There is no reason why he can’t

be number one. “The problem he has got now is that Joe Hart has

come into the squad, Ben Foster is playing regularly and playing

well at Birmingham, and Scott Carson is also playing well for West

Brom. “All of a sudden, from not having a lot, we’ve got four

keepers who are going to be battling it out and Joe is the one at

the moment who is in possession. “Having been there myself,

possession is nine tenths of the law. “But Rob is only 29. Good

keepers play to nearly 40. Lots of things can happen.” Clemence had

confidence in Green not to go to pieces after his first-half error

against the USA after speaking to him at half-time. He said: “The

first thing I do is look at the player in the dressing room at

half-time and see whether I think he is in control of everything.

“What I didn’t want to do is walk across a dressing room of 23

players and make a big fuss of him. “He knows what he has done. I

looked at him. I could see the disappointment on his face but he

wasn’t in a mess. “I just had a quiet word with him when he went to

the loo on his own basically. I got the response I expected from

him and in the second half he did well. “He made a save at the end

which no-one ever speaks about. We could have lost the game 2-1.”

Clemence added: “Was I surprised Capello dropped Green? It is

Fabio’s decision and we had to win the next game and he felt it was

the right thing to do. “There was so much pressure on the boy that,

god forbid, if he had made another mistake his life would have been

in tatters.”