David James will start in goal for England against Algeria tonight after a dramatic change of heart prompted Fabio Capello to drop Robert Green, Telegraph Sport understands.
By Jason Burt in Cape Town
Published: 9:32AM BST 18 Jun 2010
The 39-year-old will replace Green after England coach Capello decided he was unconvinced the West Ham goalkeeper had recovered from the howler he made against the United States last week.
Capello had intended to keep faith with Green if he was convinced that the 30-year-old was not mentally scarred by the mistake. However, after discussions, he has decided to restore James who had appeared to have slipped to third-choice behind Joe Hart after a series of unconvincing training sessions.
There had also been tensions between James and the England management even though the majority of the squad thought he should play.
However Green suffered a poor training session on the eve of England’s match tonight against Algeria and this appears to have proven a decisive factor in whether he retained his place.
Capello had indicated that he would not think twice about dropping Green if it was for the best of the team and he has now demonstrated his ruthless streak. It would also appear to cast doubts on Green’s ability to recover his international career.
In the final training session at the Greenpoint Stadium, Green made three bad fumbles. Capello then spoke to him this morning to inform him that he would be left out.
It is bound to be a crushing blow for Green who had felt he had done enough to convince Capello to retain him.
James’s relationship with the management has been tetchy for the past few weeks, with suggestions that he is not fully fit having been scotched by the Portsmouth goalkeeper.
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