Football

Green: Lust for strikers costs keepers

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Robert Green believes the lack of English goalkeepers at the leading Barclays Premier League clubs is down to more accent being put on buying top class strikers and not a lack of ability.

The top six clubs for the 2008-2009 campaign all had foreign goalkeepers but Green, who just missed out on a Europa League spot with west Ham, is adamant the cost of goalkeepers in this country and the preference to instead bring in proven goalscorers is the reason rather than a drop in standards.

Green said: "If you are a manager with a budget and you can pick up an experienced keeper on the continent for a little amount, then you are going to do it because you need your budget to go towards your forward who can score goals."

He added: "That is where you as a manager earn money and keep your job. That is the real over-riding factor. I don't think it is a statement on English goalkeepers' ability.

"People point out there are no English keepers in the top six clubs but that is the Premier League now and I think there are a number of factors involved in that.

"You look at the keepers who moved to the top-six clubs. Van der Sar cost a couple of million pounds, Almunia cost nothing. Then you look at English goalkeepers and the cost of them.

"Chris Kirkland moved to Liverpool for £6 million and Scott Carson has moved for big money before. That is the element within clubs now - and the emphasis is to put the money on forwards."

Green is also adamant he is happy with life at West Ham despite missing out on European football for next season.

He said: "There are no problems at West Ham. I love it there and enjoy playing in front of the fans and for the manager. Realistically that's all there is.

"Playing football in the Premier League, you are up against the best players in the world. Realistically you are getting tested every week in that respect. It's enough of a challenge in the Premier League as anywhere else."

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Topics:
Chris Kirkland
Football
Premier League
Scott Carson
Robert Green
Liverpool

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