Parkes keen on Green

Phil Parkes has restated his firm belief that Robert Green should be England's No1 at the FIFA World Cup.

The former West Ham United goalkeeper insisted his successor is the right man to stand between the sticks when Fabio Capello's side face the United States in Rustenburg, South Africa, on Saturday.

Parkes, who made his sole England appearance against Portugal in April 1974, said Manchester City's promising youngster Joe Hart was Green's only serious contender for the No1 shirt.


"There is no debate in my mind," the 59-year-old told WHUTV. "It was always going to be a toss-up between Robert Green and Joe Hart and Greeny has got the experience advantage, albeit a slight one, at international level. We're going into the World Cup with probably the least experienced goalkeepers we've ever had.

"Both of them have got the tools - they wouldn't be there otherwise. Besides, who else are you going to put in? Paul Robinson [of Blackburn Rovers] has had a good season, but then so has Robert Green. The last two seasons in the Premier League, he has been fantastic.

"Joe Hart is one for the future - he is an up-and-coming lad. They deserve the opportunity to be in the World Cup and in the England squad on merit and on their performances and their ability. The fact we haven't got another six-or-seven goalkeepers fighting them for that position is an indictment on our goalkeeping situation at the moment.

"There is no doubt in my mind that they both deserve to be there."

While Parkes was upbeat about Green's chances of starting against the US, he is less optimistic about England's chances of winning the tournament for the second time in the nation's history.

"I must admit I don't share everyone's great belief that we're really one of the favourites. I spoke to [England goalkeeper coach] Ray Clemence, who is a good friend of mine, a few weeks ago, and told him I thought England were always going to be one of the teams that gets through the group stages to the knockout stages, then you need a couple of results to get into the semi-finals.

"Once you get to that stage, you need a little bit of luck, you can go all the way and anything can happen. However, I don't think we're one of the favourites, I think we're one of the outsiders but it would be fantastic if we did do it because of the boost it would give to the game in England."

To hear Parkes' views on media coverage of England's World Cup campaign and the other goalkeepers to look out for in South Africa, click here.