James injury increases England's keeper crisis

Capello's concerns about No 1's long-term shoulder problem puts underperforming stand-ins on the spot

Fabio Capello has sounded the first warning that David James' injury problems are now so acute that he may not be able to take him to the World Cup finals next summer, leaving England with a goalkeeper crisis that could seriously undermine their hopes of success in South Africa.

Capello said after England's 1-0 defeat to Brazil in Qatar on Saturday night that James now requires two days' recovery after matches because of problems with his shoulder, a difficulty that precluded him from being selected for this month's squad. The 39-year-old had an operation on his shoulder during the summer but does not appear to have resolved the problem that affected him last season.

In James' absence, not one of his understudies has stepped up to the mark to make the position their own. Ben Foster admitted he was "lucky" to escape being red-carded by the Qatari referee on Saturday for a clear denial of a goalscoring opportunity when he brought down Nilmar in the area. The Manchester United goalkeeper spoke about his "weird" situation where he is first choice for England and third-choice for his club.

On James, Capello said that when it came to the World Cup final he had to take players who were fit. Capello said: "If he [James] is fit, he will be with us – probably. We can take him. When we choose the players they have to be fit.

"Some players are really important. We hope they will be fit at the right moment when they arrive at the World Cup. Sometimes one or two players make a difference. We spoke with David James. He needed more time after every game. He can't train for two days after each game. We preferred that he stayed at home."

The goalkeeper's position has been a major problem for Capello since he took the job almost two years ago. Foster was picked in the last World Cup qualifier against Belarus because Robert Green, who had played the previous six games, was suspended for a red card against Ukraine. It was telling that, in James' absence, Capello stuck with Foster despite the fact his last game for United had been on 27 October against Barnsley in the Carling Cup.

Foster said he thought he was a "definite goner" when he fouled Nilmar. "As soon as it happened, I thought: 'That's what happened to Greeny [when he brought down Artem Milevskiy against Ukraine] and he was a goner.' But the ref saw it as a friendly, he gave the decision and I was happy to stay on the pitch.

"I'm not playing at United, which makes it a lot more difficult for myself. Ideally, I'd like to be playing. That's not happening but the England boss is giving me a few chances. I'm really grateful for the chances and I've just got to show what I can do and, hopefully, that will keep me in the squad.

"It's difficult at United with Edwin [van der Sar]. He's one of the best keepers in the world. It's as simple as that. You can't go knocking on the manager's door and say he [Van der Sar] is not doing his job, because he's doing his job. It's very, very disheartening. I've not been on the bench lately and you have to keep your head up.

"I'm third choice for Manchester United at the moment and yet I'm playing for my country. It's a weird one. I'll see what happens. I can't go saying that I want to leave or anything like that, I'll see what happens. You never know in football, do you?"

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
Life and Style
life
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?