Either it’s a harbinger for the misery to come or the prologue to one of the greatest sports upsets ever, but England will arrive in South Africa next summer brandishing new lows in their quality of goalkeeping. Never before have the Three Lions been represented at the World Cup by a keeper who has just finished the season with a side that got relegated. But that streak looks set to be broken.
The Number 1 shirt is currently being contested by three men: veteran David James, who is playing for relegation-certainties, Portsmouth; Robert Green, who plays for West Ham United, currently languishing one place above Portsmouth in 19th; and Ben Foster, who will be demoted to the Manchester United bench as soon as Edwin Van der Sar regains fitness.
Not exactly a group that inspires confidence, eh?
Nine men have kept goal in England’s 12 World Cup appearances since 1950. Peter Shilton, who is the only English goalkeeper to play in three World Cups, went to Italy in 1990 having just finished in 16th place with Derby County. And in 1950 keeper Gilbert Merrick represented England having just finished the season with Birmingham City, who were in the then-First Division.
2006 Paul Robinson (Spurs, finished 5th place the season before)
2002 David Seaman (Arsenal, 1st)
1998 David Seaman (Arsenal, 1st)
1990 Peter Shilton (Derby, 16th)
1986 Peter Shilton (Southampton, 14th)
1982 Peter Shilton (Notts Forest, 12th)
1970 Gordon Banks (Stoke, 9th) & Peter Bonetti (Chelsea, 3rd)
1966 Gordon Banks (Leicester, 7th)
1962 Ronald Springett (Sheffield Wed, 6th)
1958 Colin McDonald (Burnley, 6th)
1954 Gilbert Merrick (Birmingham, 7th in First Division)
1950 Bert Williams (Wolves, 2nd)
Tags: 90, Ben Foster, David James, David Seaman, Edwin Van der Sar, england-goalkeeper-1950s, Gilbert Merrick, gilbert-merrick-goalkeeper, goalie-colin-mcdonald, Gordon Banks, iraqi-footy-com, Peter Shilton, petershilton, petershiltonengland, petershiltonenglandteamfootball, petershiltonwestham, Robert Green, southampton-goalkeepers-1950-to-1970, Three Lions, World Cup
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