Grant shows confidence in Green
Green looked set to be Fabio Capello's first choice for England's FIFA 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 Barclays 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 UEFA 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 FIFA 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 . . . . 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."