At last all the 32 spots for the 2010 World Cup had been decided with few surprises. Only Slovenia & New Zealand can be termed as a surprise. Don't worry fellow Malaysians, Malaysia are not in the qualified list .. as usual and as consistent as we wish for (hehehe) . How on earth can we qualified if we were ranked 6th in the soccer weak-Southeast Asia. Lets the so-called experts in Malaysian football deals with it. I rest my case.
Now, back to the topic. England, one of our ex-colonialists (By the way, all our colonial powers managed to qualified ... Portugal, Holland and even Japan). The one and only title was way back in 1966, as the host. Can Cappello able to add what have been Sir Alf territory? Only Sir Bobby managed to get so close to the title in Italia 1990.
For the generation of Nevilles, Lampard, Terry, Gerrard and Beckham, the 2010 edition will be their last opportunity. After the failure to qualify in USA 1994, penalty losses in 1990 and 2002 as well as defeat to Argentina in 1998 ... the 2010 edition must be won at all cost.
Lets briefly analyze the goalkeeping department.
Since the day of Banks, Shilton-Clemence, Woods-Seaman, England seem unable to find a world class keeper in the mould of Buffon (Italy), Van Der Sar (Holland)and Casillas (Spain - they also have the world class Reds in Pepe Reina!). The first choice gooalie list of BPL consists few English. The top four for so long depend on non-Englishmen as goalkeeper in the likes of Van Der Sar (Man U), Cech (Chelsea), Reina (LFC) and Almunia (Arsenal). The remaining BPL does not look encouraging withe likes of Friedel of Villa (USA), Howard of Everton (USA) and Given of Man City (Irish). Worst still, even the reserve goalie are non-English.
The only notable English goalkeepers were James (Portsmouth), Green (West Ham), Kirkland (Wigan), Robinson (Blackburn) and Man U's 3rd choice, Ben Foster. One can imagine the task faced by Capello to prepare a consistent and world class goalkeeper for South Africa.
The choice ?
A. the aging David James, the keeper for bottom of the league's Pompey
B. Robert Green in a struggling Hammers team
C. McLaren's favorite, Paul Robinson who played for leaking Blackburn
D. Injury prone Chris Kirkland
E. Error-prone Ben Foster (hey, where's the gadget you used during the penalty shoot-out of 2008 Carling Cup Final?)
F. The much travelled, ex-Reds, Scot Carson at WBA
G. Non of the above
Its up to the manager but the choice is not that encouraging. Good luck Fabio Capello.
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