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Who should be England number 1?

For time and time, England goalkeepers have been unable to cement the permanent number one spot. Regardless of the teams back four, the goalkeeper is a very important figure in a football match. With a good range of goalkeepers available, only three can be chosen. In this blog, I will highlight three individuals who I think are the best candidates and also those that stand a strong chance in being selected.

David James (Portsmouth)
To this day, we have seen David James put on the England shirt 48 times. James has been Fabio Capello’s number 1 keeper since the Italian was appointed in 2008. He had previously been dropped by former manager Steve McClaren in favour of current Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper, Paul Robinson.
James – currently with Portsmouth – is now seen as England’s number 1. However, recently, injuries have hit the Portsmouth goalkeeper and Capello has strongly stressed his worry over the goalkeepers ongoing knee injury.

David James on England duty.

Ben Foster (Manchester United)
The Manchester United keeper has been seen as one for the future. Solid performances for United and Watford in previous seasons have seen Foster claim his stake for the England number 1 shirt, with Steve McClaren calling him up for his first cap against Spain two years ago.
However, Foster’s 2009/2010 season has seen him take a few ups and a few downs. Due to Edwin Van Der Sar’s finger injury for Man United, Foster was given the opportunity to shine and give Fabio Capello something to watch. However, a few strong performances by the former Stoke City goalkeeper have been matched by a few poor performances for United – particularly against Manchester City and Sunderland. Foster’s England chances haven’t been as bad though, with the 26 year old filling in for the injured David James and the suspended Robert Green. The Manchester United goalkeeper claimed his 4th cap of his career against Brazil on Saturday. Prior to the Brazil game, Foster showed his potential with some stunning saves in the World Cup Qualifier against Belarus. Everyone has their mistakes, but I think Ben Foster has enough to see him being selected for the England team, for the World Cup and for the future.

Ben Foster in goal for England.

Robert Green (West Ham United)
The West Ham United goalkeeper has proven in recent games that he is a top class goalkeeper. Until his recent suspension against Ukraine, Green played 5 consecutive games for England, where he accumulated 2 clean sheets and conceded 3 goals in them 5 matches. Until his recent dismissal against Ukraine, he was number 1 for England (in James’ absence). However, due to his absence, Ben Foster has taken the role of number 1 keeper, sparkling a potential rivalry between the pair for the number 1 goalkeeper status.  For many years, Robert Green has been mentioned plenty of times to England managers and staff, and that couped with excellent performances for his club, West Ham, makes Robert Green surely, one of Capello’s top 3 goalkeepers.
Robert Green playing for England.
There are more keepers that will be linked with an England spot, so here are a few more names who will definitely catch the attention of Fabio Capello.

Joe Hart (Birmingham City)
Currently on loan at Birmingham from Manchester City, Hart has been recognized as possibly a future goalkeeper for England. The 22 year old is still young and has been sensational for both Birmingham and Man City.

Paul Robinson (Blackburn Rovers)
After seemingly losing his England career due to several mistakes during Steve McClaren’s England era, Robinson has put himself back into the spotlight with a move to Blackburn, followed by a good run of form.

Chris Kirkland (Wigan Athletic)
Kirkland has always been an ever lasting figure in the Wigan team. He has only appeared for England once, but with his performances for Wigan in the Premiership, he definitely has put his name forward with some performances, nothing short of outstanding.

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