No place for Robinson in England’s preliminary World Cup 2010 squad

Paul Robinson missed out on Fabio Capello’s 30-man provisional squad for the World Cup , and so it seems he will not be on the plane to South Africa. Robinson has had an excellent season with Blackburn Rovers and will undoubtedly be disappointed at the decision, but in reality Capello has not shown any signs of giving the former England No 1 his place back in the team.

With 12 clean sheets to his name this campaign, Robinson will have been quietly confident Capello would call him back into contention for the prestigious tournament. Indeed, Robinson’s club manager Sam Allardyce has been calling for his goalkeeper to be included in the squad. Unfortunately, the competition has proved slightly too tough this time, particularly with the emergence of Joe Hart. The 22-year-old has had a magnificent season and unquestionably deserves a seat on the plane to South Africa. The young goalkeeper has been immense at loan club Birmingham City throughout the season and his place in the squad is unsurprising. As for the other two, Robert Green has been Capello’s main choice for a while now and David James is too good a goalkeeper to leave out. There is still yet hope for Robinson. Should any of the three current goalkeepers get injured then he could be in with a shout of replacing them. Certainly, David James has had his injury problems this season, so the chosen three are not certainties just yet.

Robinson has qualities not possessed by the three names ahead of him, namely his excellent distribution. Throughout the season, Robinson has been a key factor in Blackburn’s success, particularly when they play the long-ball style with a target man. When Rovers faced James’ Portsmouth earlier in the season, Robinson outshone his counterpart when it came to distribution. The former Spurs keeper is also a good shot stopper and has shown his handling and saving qualities all year, even during the final game against Aston Villa, where he made some great saves in front of the watching Capello. Robinson’s positioning can be a slight flaw in his game at times, although every goalkeeper has their faults and Robinson is no exception. His mental strength has also been called in to question at times, after a series of high-profile mistakes, but the excellent year he has just enjoyed at Ewood Park should quell those doubts.

Some may feel Robinson deserved to be named in Capello’s squad due to his brilliant performances this season, but in reality he has been out of favour for a long time now and the three goalkeepers named are largely there on merit. Nevertheless, expect to see Robinson to continue to fight for that jersey for a long time to come.

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