One great thing about any big storylines in Britain is that the media there always takes things to another level, and Robert Green’s woeful bit of goaltending for England on Saturday is no different.
If you’ve already forgotten what happened: with the USA down 1-0 in the opening match for both clubs, American Clint Dempsey fired a low shot and Green absolutely sold the jersey allowing the equalizer in comedic fashion.
Green says it was just a fluke and others blame the unpredictability of the World Cup ball, but were there other factors at play? The Daily Mirror says yes.
The British paper says “Dodgy shots at goal are sadly not the only thing Robert Green has trouble hanging on to,” before going into detail about his recent split with Canadian lingerie model Elizabeth Minett, ending a 20-month long relationship.
The Mirror says a source close to the 30-year-old told them he’s totally focused on his game despite the breakup, but they wouldn’t have printed the article unless they wanted to imply otherwise, would they?
Meanwhile, Mexico’s national team is taking some interesting steps to ensure that what happened to England (and Algeria) doesn’t happen to them.
Goalie coach Alberto Aguilar hopes to keep his men sharp by bouncing ‘American footballs’ at them, as he did at practice on Monday. One of the main complaints about the ‘Jabulani’ ball is that it can bounce funny and cause trouble for goalkeepers - and if you’ve ever watched CFL or NFL players trying to track a bouncing football, you’ll realize what a solid exercise that truly is.
Then again, I don’t think the ball is so wild that it quite mimics the bounce of a football, but it’s an interesting story either way.
Since we’re on the topic of the official ball of the World Cup, did you watch Germany’s destruction of Australia on the weekend?
While some other countries are having trouble controlling the new ball, the Germans put on a clinic on Sunday, thumping the Aussies 4-0 and scoring some beautiful goals along the way.
What’s interesting about that is, as Britain’s The Daily Mail reports, the Germans have been using the World Cup ball for six months now! As far as I know, just about everyone else got their first taste of it in the lead-up to the tournament. The reason the Germans have been using it for so long is that clubs in the Bundesliga were allowed to use any ball of their choice last season, while the English Premier League is contractually obligated to play with Nike balls.
The way Germany played on Sunday makes you wonder how much of an advantage that was, doesn’t it?