'I'm in agony' - Green

PUBLISHED: 13:35 26 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:27 14 September 2010

City goalkeeper Robert Green was today having to come to terms with World Cup heartbreak after a freak injury ruled him out of the finals in Germany.

The 26-year-old spoke of his "devastation" after his dream call-up to Sven-Goran Eriksson's England squad turned into his worst nightmare while on international duty at Reading last night.

City goalkeeper Robert Green was today having to come to terms with World Cup heartbreak after a freak injury ruled him out of the finals in Germany.

The 26-year-old spoke of his “devastation” after his dream call-up to Sven-Goran Eriksson's England squad turned into his worst nightmare while on international duty at Reading last night.

Green was stretchered off with a ruptured groin, an injury he suffered just seven minutes after coming off the bench for England B in last night's 2-1 defeat by Belarus at the Madejski Stadium.

Afterwards, he said: “I'm in agony. I felt it tweak as I made a save then it ripped. I'm devastated.”

Green came on at half-time for David James and appeared to stumble as he attempted to save a free-kick which almost trickled into the corner of the net.

Then his left leg gave way as he took a goal-kick and he crashed to the turf in agony. To make matters worse, the ball rolled out to Vitaly Kutuzov, who stroked it into the empty net for the Belarus equaliser.

Green was then stretchered off in some distress and replaced by Liverpool's Scott Carson, England's stand-by 'keeper, for the rest of the match.

Eriksson will bring Carson into his final squad of 23 as a replacement after swiftly writing off Green's chances of making the tournament.

“He's out for sure,” said Eriksson after the match. “They will do a scan in the morning but that's just to confirm he's out. It's a pity for him and a pity for us.

“That is bad news for him. It is a bad groin injury. But Scott Carson is a good 'keeper, he's played at Under-21 level and done well and he showed he is a good 'keeper when he came on.

"Maybe we will bring another keeper in on stand-by, maybe not. We are discussing what to do."

City's last World Cup 'keeper, Bryan Gunn, who was at Italia '90 with Scotland, heard the news while listening to the game on the radio.

He said: “I was guest speaker at a WI event last night and the very last question was about Robert and wishing him all the best for the World Cup.

“Then I got in the car to drive home and heard it happen on the radio. I was hoping at the time he would get up but it was clear after a few minutes it must be serious.

“It seems as if he had a bobbling shot to deal with and had to move his feet quickly and possibly that was when he first felt something.

“For the injury to occur now is devastating. Robert's never had problems with his groin and after getting himself fit after his ankle injury, to have it all taken away from him at the last minute, well, I'm gutted for him. And it's a great shame for Norwich City not to have representation at the World Cup.

“At least Robert is young enough to be in contention for future World Cups. Steve McClaren has worked with him a lot and knows what he is capable of.”

Craig Fleming, the Canaries' club captain, was among the first to offer his sympathy to his stricken team-mate.

Said Fleming: “I'm absolutely gutted for Robert. I haven't seen the incident, but he must be absolutely devastated. It's a horrible thing to happen.

“To miss out on the World Cup, which comes round only once every four years, knowing how much he was looking forward to it and how much he deserved it, is terrible.

“All I can say is that knowing Robert as I do, someone with his talent is sure to be around in four years' time and I'm sure he will get his chance again.”

Green's injury will increase the urgency for City to tie up their goalkeeping cover with the new season just 10 weeks away.

Scotland international Paul Gallacher, who played the last four matches of 2005-06, has yet to make a decision on the offer of a new contract from the Canaries, while Darren Ward was released at the end of the season after a back operation.

Former City physiotherapist Tim Sheppard described Green's injury as “a great shame” and said the recovery time would depend on the damage discovered by today's scan.

He said: “He's got the top boys looking after him and they will know more when they've done an MRI scan and ultrasound scan for more evidence.

“Without examining it, I can't really comment, but it depends whether it's a rupture, and the muscle has come away from the bone, or if it's seriously torn, which could be six to eight weeks. Let's hope it's not too bad.

“Groin injuries are very common in football and it often happens with dead-ball kicks.”

Green's despair will hand a chance to Carson, who only weeks ago was involved in a battle to survive in the Coca-Cola Championship.

The former Leeds player spent the second half of last season on loan from Liverpool to Sheffield Wednesday - who managed to stave off the drop into League One.

His future is in the balance, with Owls boss Paul Sturrock still waiting to find out if a permanent move can be clinched.

Most Read

Norwich City Video

Norwich City Audio

Norwich City Stats

The Pink Un magazine

cover
A must-read for any Norwich City fan with in-depth, straight-talking, analysis from the best writers around.
Purchase

Most Read

Latest from the Pink Un - Norwich City Football Club News