Steve Lomas column: Capello should stick with Green

IT WAS the usual slow start from England against the USA on Saturday, but clearly their cause was not helped by Rob Green’s mistake.

The match will always be remembered for his spill, but it’s important he bounces back from that now.

I would not have selected him in the first place – I would have had David James – but the main thing now is that Fabio Capello sticks with Rob Green. It’s going to be key to get his confidence back up.

I remember playing for West Ham United when Stephen Bywater made his debut in goal, and he made two real mistakes, which both led to goals.

He was just a young player at the time, and you could see he was a bag of nerves – it’s bad enough to make one mistake, but to make two can really shake you. Fortunately, we managed to win the game 5-4, so we were all giving him plenty of stick after the game about having got him out of jail.

That at least made it a little bit easier for him, but the problem is that Green’s mistake was far more costly for England.

There were positives from the game for England however, �especially the performances of Emile Heskey and Glen Johnson, who played extremely well.

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It’s crucial that England build on those positives and up their game for the ties against Algeria and Slovenia.

Although England were not that impressive, I think Franz Beckenbauer could live to regret his criticism of England, when he said they had gone back to the bad old days of kick and rush.

If both teams make it out of their group and meet later in the competition, those comments are going to be all the motivation the England players need to get them fired up for the game.

Having said that, it’s easy for him to say after the way �Germany played against �Australia – along with Holland they have been the side to put down a real marker for the rest of the tournament.

So far the standard of refereeing has been fairly high, apart from Tim Cahill’s red card for Australia against Germany, which I thought was harsh.

I hope he only gets a one-game ban because it should have been a yellow at most.

If the UCL Premier matches were refereed like that, we’d end up playing eight-a-side!

Steve Lomas


St Neots Town