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UK press slams Green

2010-06-13 07:27
John Terry consoles Robert Green after the final whistle. (AFP)

London - Britain's Sunday newspapers blasted Robert Green for the goalkeeping blunder that cost England a victory in the opening World Cup game against the United States.

The weekly press printed frame-by-frame images of Green's error, with the front pages of the News of the World and the Sunday Mirror both reading "Hand of Clod", accompanied by a giant picture of Green.

Any England goalkeeper guilty of a clanger is given merciless treatment by the national newspapers, with international careers usually then brought to a shuddering halt.

David Seaman, David James, Paul Robinson and Scott Carson can all testify to that.

Green was not spared.

Has to go

"Cock-up keeper Green wrecks dream start," said the News of the World, adding: "Stars and tripe".

"It's back to the drawing board after this, with Capello forced to reconsider his options after Green's mistake."

"Tainted Glove", said the Sunday Mirror. "Worst Howler Ever", said another headline.

"Calamity keeper Robert Green gifted one of the all-time blunder goals last night as the jinx of the England goalies struck again.

"Hapless Green somehow managed to parry the softest of soft strikes into the goal behind him. It was agonising to watch."

The editorial said: "Poor Robert Green will take a long, long time to live down the goal."

The Sunday Express meanwhile said of Green that "for all our sakes, he's got to go - now."

Death knell

The Sunday Telegraph said Green's howler had "cost England dear".

Former England defender Graeme Le Saux wrote that if England manager Fabio Capello was to axe Green, "he may as well send him straight home.

"He will certainly not play again in this tournament, and that could even be the death knell for his international career".

The Mail on Sunday said it was a "nightmare start".

"There was endeavour aplenty and flashes of quality but a fragility remains at the core of the side," it added.

"The calamitous goal which will threaten the international future of goalkeeper Robert Green was a catastrophe."

Improvement required

The Independent on Sunday said it was "one of those frustrating opening games the country often produces after all the build-up to a major tournament".

"An improvement will be required in the second game in Cape Town on Friday against Algeria."

The Sunday Times referenced the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, saying Green's error was "one disastrous spill the Yanks won't complain about".

It was a "howler that will haunt him for the rest of his career".

The broadsheet compared Green to a "pub cricketer misfielding on the boundary.

"A scrappy, uncomfortable draw against the second-ranked side in Group C may not stop Capello's men topping it but it is hard to see England going too far in the knockout rounds if they fail to improve."

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