Football: Grobbelaar replaces James

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The Independent Online
BRUCE GROBBELAAR will return in goal tomorrow for a Liverpool team suffering their worst start to a season in 39 years.

The Liverpool manager, Graeme Souness, performed an about-turn when he announced that the 38-year-old-Grobbelaar would be recalled to shore up Liverpool's leaky defence against Wimbledon.

Grobbelaar's Anfield future seemed strictly short-term when he was left out several times last season, then Souness spent pounds 1.1m on Watford's England Under-21 goalkeeper, David James.

But James is apparently being made a scapegoat after failing to keep a clean sheet this season and conceding eight goals in the last two matches. Souness said: 'David was at fault for one of the goals the other night. I am bringing Bruce back in the hope that his influence will spread to those around him. I feel experience is invaluable at the moment.'

Nottingham Forest have lost out in the race to sign the French international sweeper, Laurent Blanc, from Napoli. The 27-year- old yesterday joined Nimes on loan for a year.

Gary Bannister has another month in which to prove he can safe Forest a substantial fee, the former Coventry, QPR and Sheffield Wednesday striker having had his trial period at the City Ground extended yesterday.

Gordon Durie's disciplinary hearing at the Football Association today is off because the Tottenham striker is recovering from surgery on his left knee. He will be out of the game for two weeks.

Derby have signed the Dutch midfielder, Richard Goulooze, from Heerenveen for pounds 100,000.

Aston Villa are set to offer a new contract to their goalkeeper, Nigel Spink. Lincoln yesterday signed the goalkeeper, Mike Pollitt, on loan from Bury to replace Ian Bowling, who broke his right ankle in Tuesday's Coca- Cola Cup tie at Crystal Palace.

Michel Vonk, Manchester City's Dutch defender, is to have an ankle operation and will be out of action for a month.

Juventus will probably retain David Platt, scorer of a late equaliser against Genoa last week, for their home game against Roma on Sunday. Ruud Gullit is expected to play his first league game of the season for Milan at Sampdoria.

Uganda, Mauritania and Sudan have withdrawn from the 1994 World Cup on economic grounds, Fifa said yesterday. They will not be replaced.

Non-League Notebook, page 35