Who would have believed it?
Going in to Euro 2008, the Czech Republic must have thought they had one of the safest pairs of hands between the sticks in the competition, in Chelsea stopper Petr Cech.
And yet, even the best make mistakes. And when that howler is largely responsible for your sides early departure, you can be sure that the subject of goalkeeping clangers will be reported and regurgitated all over the world.
Not to be left out, and just to remind everyone that England do play football (though sadly not at the moment), here’s the Footy Boots list of England’s top 5 goalkeeping disasters.
David Seaman v Brazil, June 2002
Was it a cross or was it a shot? No matter. Ronaldinho’s free-kick in Shizuoka left Seaman stranded ? and sent England crashing out of the World Cup. On the bench, manager Sven Goran Eriksson shows no emotion or indeed any tactical nous whatsoever waiting until 10 minutes before the end of the game before making an attacking substitution.
Paul Robinson v Croatia, October 2006
The seeds of England’s failure to make the European Championships were sewn on 67 minutes in Zagreb. Gary Neville passes back to Robinson. Robinson misses ball. Ball goes in net. Robinson looks accusingly at the grass. Steve McClaren writes something down in his notebook. Probably “must remember to buy umbrella for return fixture.”
Scott Carson v Croatia, November 2007
Same opposition, different keeper, same disastrous result. Carson’s England career was set to start on this rain-swept Wembley night. Unfortunately for him Niko Kranjcar’s early shot slipped through his hands and that career stalled before it had begun. The result saw Steve McClaren get the sack. So not all bad news then.
Peter Bonetti v West Germany, June 1970
The Cat, as he was known, was in for Gordon Banks and all was going smoothly in this World Cup quarter-final. England were 2-0 up against the team they beat in the Wembley final four years earlier and more success looked around the corner. But then Bonetti failed to deal with an innocuous Franz Beckenbauer shot, Germany scored twice more and England had made their last World Cup appearance for 12 years.
Peter Shilton v Poland, October 1973
Even the man with more goalkeeping caps than any other was guilty of the occasional cock-up – and no less crucial. Needing to beat Poland to reach the World Cup finals in 1974 Shilton made the job much, much harder when he dived over a tame Jan Domarski shot to put the Poles one up. Unfortunately for Shilton and England, the Polish stopper Jan Tomaszewski had a blinder, England missed a hatfull of chances and Sir Alf Ramsey’s side stayed at home the following summer.