PBP: Capello Will Earn His $ For England

Prior to England’s first game in this 2010 FIFA World Cup, manager Fabio Capello probably had to make the biggest decision he has had to make since taking over the English National Team.

Who would be his number one goalkeeper? He had 39-year-old David James whose nickname is “ calamity," along with younger keepers Robert Green and Joe Hart.

It was said that Capello was waiting to the last moment to name his number one keeper because there was some doubt as to who the favorite was.

Capello chose Robert Green in game one, and anyone who saw the highlights from Saturday now knows that Capello has an even bigger decision to face for game two vs Algeria on Friday. Green gave up a goal to Clint Dempsey, a weak shot off Dempsey’s left foot from about 24 yards away that leveled the score in the 40th minute.

The goal allowed was a tabloid dream across the world, and no doubt received a large number of hits on YouTube. Was it the new Jabulani ball that caused the problem? Green took full responsibility, which he needed to do. It showed the maturity of a goalkeeper who, deep down, has to be hurting inside.

So what does Capello do for the next game? It’s not an easy decision, although I’m sure the English fans want to see a change in goal. I don’t think it will matter who plays vs Algeria in England’s next game, but it might in that third game vs Slovenia.

Capello can’t be worried about his goalkeeper’s feelings here, especially since he is not a clear number one choice. Capello’s decision has to be based on which goalkeeper will give his team the best chance to win the next game, and the games after that.

Reportedly, the man (Capello that is) makes some nine million dollars plus per year, the highest paid manager by a long shot at the World Cup. With just this goalkeeping decision alone, he’ll be earning his money.

As for some USA thoughts:

I was surprised at Onyewu’s performance, going the full 90 as hard as he did. No one really knew what to expect from a player who, because of injury, had not played a full 90 since last October. Thought that, overall, he and Jay DeMerit were a good central pair, although there were some shaky moments.

I have said all along that for the USA to advance, of the big 3 (Donovan, Dempsey, Howard), Tim Howard would need to have a great tournament. The team can win and advance without Landon or Clint at their best, but not without Howard in good form.

Howard made some huge saves to preserve the draw, playing in some pain because of a rib injury he had suffered earlier in a collision with England’s Emile Heskey. Luckily for the U.S., no further tests are required on his bruised ribs and he's cleared to play against Slovenia on Friday.