A career already synonymous with humiliation, Robert Green’s suffered another blemish last night as he was sent off for West Ham against Blackpool. The punchline? The Hammers went on to extend their lead.
Green needlessly rushed out of his area like a prison escapee to flatten Tangerine striker Roman Bednar, before he received his first domestic red-card with the score at 2-1.
Sam Allardyce was left with the quandary of who to select as goalkeeper, having not selected either Marek Stech of Ruud Boffin – the two reserve ‘keepers – on the five-man bench.
On-loan Arsenal midfielder Henri Lansbury pulled on the gloves and jersey, as Gary O’Neil and Ricardo Vaz Te sensationally added gloss to leave the final score at 4-1 and send the Irons back to the Championship summit.
Henri Lansbury cheekily suggested that he may stick with the gloves in Green's absence:
That Green’s demise spurred his team on is emblematic of the ex-Norwich man’s calamitous proclivity.
Even before his Rustenburg aberration two years ago, Green struck a regularly hapless figure. His peculiar selection for the 2006 World Cup culminated in him feebly pulling out through injury during a pre-tournament B team match against Belarus.
On as a half-time substitute for David James, he nervily spilled a free-kick after just two minutes and then, taking a pathetic goal kick, ruptured his groin. Belarus equalised and Green was hauled off after eight minutes. The replacement goalkeeper was replaced. The World Cup ‘dream’ was over.
Slipping away: Robert Green claws at the ball in vain but cannot avoid committing his World Cup howler against the USA in Rustenburg
Alas four years later, he did travel. Again though, he failed. Up until his howler when feebly fielding Clint Dempsey’s strike, England were playing well. For the remainder of the tournament they played out a long, pathetic crash. Albeit without Green.
In the second half of that opening group draw against the USA Green then spooned a routine Jozy Altidore shot on to the post, as if to re-emphasise his fragility. That he was replaced by David ‘Calamity’ James for the remaining three games augmented his own personal humiliation. Green with envy.
Occasionally he has delivered possessed performances. Notably away at Arsenal and twice against Manchester United, as West Ham did the double over the eventual champions in the 2006/07 season to avoid relegation. And despite his mental delicateness, he should be commended for past self-deprecation at his international infamy. He wore gloves emblazoned with ‘England’s number six’ on them.
The likelihood is that despite the anxiety and constant flirting with disaster, the 32-year-old will travel to the European Championship this summer as Joe Hart’s understudy. Although ironically Green saved eight penalties during his Premier League career with the Boleyn Ground club, so could England’s ‘number six’ aid the quest for a first trophy since 1966? No, we thought not.
CORRECTION: This article first red card of Rob Green's domestic career, not his overall career, as was previously stated.