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Saturday, June 12, 2010
Top Six: England howlers

Soccernet staff

Robert Green's blunder against USA on Saturday means he joins an unenviable list of England goalkeepers who have made catastrophic errors in high-profile games. But how does Green's error in Rustenburg compare with England's other famous goalkeeping horror shows? • England 1-1 USA: Match Report
• Skipper Gerrard backing Green
• Jolly: Mixed fortunes for Capello PAUL ROBINSON (Croatia 2 England 0, Euro 2008 qualifier, October, 2006) In their crucial away fixture against Croatia, Robinson allowed Gary Neville's seemingly harmless backpass to roll over his foot - handing the home side a 2-0 lead and putting the game well beyond Steve McClaren's men, with a divot cruelly identified as the reason in replays. Robinson's error has seen him left in the cold ever since and, despite strong form for his club, he has never pulled on the goalkeeper's jersey for England again. DAVID SEAMAN (Brazil 2 England 1, World Cup, June, 2002) The Arsenal goalkeeper allowed a long-range free-kick from Ronaldinho to beat him for a goal which ended England's hopes of winning the World Cup in Japan and South Korea at the quarter-final stage. Seaman, who expected Ronaldinho to float in a cross, was left totally flat-footed as the ball sailed over his head, leaving him red-faced as the Brazil playmaker reeled away in ecstasy. Another England goalkeeper left embarrassed on the world stage. DAVID JAMES (Austria 2 England 2, World Cup qualifier, September, 2004) James, then at Manchester City, allowed a long-range shot by Andreas Ivanschitz to squirm underneath his body for the equaliser as England threw away a two-goal lead. James has recovered relatively well in the international arena, and has gone on to notch up 50 caps for his country, proving his nickname of "Calamity James" to be somewhat hasty. SCOTT CARSON (England 2 Croatia 3, European Championship qualifier, November, 2007) Scott Carson's competitive England debut began in horrendous fashion as he allowed Croatia midfielder Niko Kranjcar's speculative early shot to escape his grasp and trickle into the net, as Steve McClaren's side threw away their Euro 2008 qualification chances. Carson is another player not to have worn the shirt since his mistake cost England, and his manager's job, dear. PETER SHILTON (England 1 Poland 1, World Cup 1974 qualifier, October, 1973) All England had to do was beat unfancied Poland at Wembley in November 1973 to qualify for the World Cup in Germany. But as England laid siege, Norman Hunter lost possession near the halfway line, the ball was slipped to Jan Domarski who hit the ball first time. The shot was not hard but was low to Shilton's right; he tried to catch it rather than just block it and it slid under his body. Poland barely got out of their half again, England equalised six minutes later but couldn't add the second and were eliminated. Shilton later claimed it was the only mistake he made in 125 internationals. RAY CLEMENCE (Scotland 2 England 1, Home International, May 1976) More than 85,000 fans filled Hampden Park to witness the Liverpool goalkeeper and current England goalkeeping coach's biggest mistake. The match was poised at 1-1 when Kenny Dalglish's weak shot went through Clemence's legs and into the net. Clemence has gone on to spend many years coaching England's stoppers so his credibility remains intact.


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