Grant shows confidence in Green

Green looked set to be Fabio Capello’s first choice for England’s

World Cup campaign but he lost his place between the posts after

costing the team an opening win against the United States by

failing to stop Clint Dempsey’s tame effort in Rustenburg. It was

an uncharacteristic error for the 30-year-old, who had kept goal

well throughout West Ham’s troubled Premier League campaign last

season which ended with the Londoners only narrowly avoiding

relegation. Green is not the first England goalkeeper to be guilty

of making a big error for his country. Veteran David James has been

haunted by the “Calamity James” tag he picked up when he made

errors at the start of his career while Scott Carson and Paul

Robinson have struggled to make it back into the England reckoning

thanks to their blunders during the country’s unsuccessful Euro

2008 qualifying campaign. Grant is confident Green will recover and

insists that even the best goalkeepers in the world make big

mistakes during big competitions, citing errors made by Germany

stopper Oliver Kahn in the 2002 World Cup, and Iker Casillas’

blunder which caused 2010 finalists Spain to lose their group match

with Switzerland, as examples. “I spoke with Robert Green on the

phone and I was very happy with what I heard,” said Grant. “I spoke

only about the future and what will happen. He looks very strong

and very intelligent. “I don’t think it will have an effect on him.

I can give examples, I was at the World Cup in 2002 and I saw the

goalkeeper (Kahn) who didn’t stop a ball that my daughter could

stop. “They lost the World Cup and after this he was still the best

goalkeeper in Germany. “I saw on the television this year Casillas,

the best goalkeeper in the world in my opinion, concede a goal and

everyone said it was his fault or the fault of his girlfriend or

mother or whatever. He was the best player in his last three games.

“This is the life of a goalkeeper. “For me Robert Green is a great

goalkeeper, I watched him in the last year and I’m looking forward

to seeing him in the first training.”