With the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup only about a year away, England looks like they have found the right man to get them back to the promise land. Fabio Capello has seen England back to the days of not underachieving.
Since his signing with England, Capello and company have only lost one match. That match came in a friendly to France who scored off of a penalty kick for the 1-0 win. Since his arrival, he has made plenty of great decisions over team choices and has went as far as giving players like Jimmy Bullard a chance to play. With this system, Capello always gets the best out of his players and this can only help England in the long run.
Capello's turning over of players has kept players on their toes and it really looks like he might have found something. A Rooney/Defoe pairing actually works well because of the quickness of Defoe and the toughness of Rooney. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard actually can play together (although they still need some more work on that). That much-maligned defence has been put together well now and it looks that Joe Cole can play a good game too. But Capello has one big choice to make in fielding a successful roster.
England, much like Brazil, doesn't really have a goalkeeper and haven't had a very good one since the retirement of Gordon Banks. This year, Capello has tons of guys that can play decent goal but decent won't cut it for World Cup winners (unless you're Brazil). But I think it might be the guy that no one sees that could be the best candidate of all. Here are a few guys that are vying for the title of England's best goalkeeper.
1. Paul Robinson (Blackburn, 41 caps)- the incumbent from the previous World Cup, Robinson hasn't been on form for much of the season. But in the last few weeks he has started to come back to form.
2. David James (Portsmouth, 48 caps)- the Pompey goalkeeper has been in essence a transition between Robinson and his successor. He is a great shot saver, but he known for making some stupd errors to cost his team dearly.
3. Ben Foster (Manchester United, 2 caps)- the backup goalkeeper of United has been Capello's favorite of late. The kid is a shot stopper but one can't be so sure that he is quite ready to play for England. He really needs to play more for United so we can see. Next year will probably be his year to take the United throne.
4. Robert Green (West Ham, 2 caps)- every month or so you see West Ham play one of those matches where they are just awful and give up too many shots. In those games, he makes tons of saves and keeps his team in the match. A good goalkeeper, but he really does make a very good backup goalkeeper. He'd be good for friendlies, however.
5. Chris Kirkland (Wigan, 1 cap)- the former Liverpool man has been money for his side in recent years. Kirkland is great with one-on-one skills but he also would be a good backup unless he goes to a little bigger club.
Those are the five Englishmen that Capello really has to take a look at. But is it? There is one more candidate in my eyes. This man has stated that he'd love to play for England and can receive his British citizenship in July of this year. This man is a caliced, hard-working man that has had his troubles. This past Wednesday, Manuel Almunia went on a saving spree against Manchester United.
The shoddy defence of Arsenal allowed far too many chances and Almunia came up huge to make some big saves (actually about 8 in the first half). This man is a great goalkeeper and it is shown by Arsenal's play. When Fabianski is in there, he makes mistakes. I think that Almunia has proven just how good he is and Fabio Capello should be open to all that are good enough for his side. Almunia will probably not play for Spain, so England should have a look and at least let him play a couple of friendlies. I will leave you with one of Almunia's save reels.