When your country calls: Green reveals phone call from Pearce brought him back into the England fold
Published 09:18 28/02/12 By John Cross
Rob Green has finally broken his silence about his England nightmare under Fabio Capello.
And Green says Stuart Pearce's personal touch has given him fresh hope for his international career two years after his World Cup howler.
The West Ham keeper, 32, has not played for England since his mistake against the USA in Rustenburg in June 2010 which made him public enemy number one.
Green was unceremoniously dumped, Capello gave him the cold shoulder and his international career looked over following a bizarre mix-up over a call-up last year.
It left England facing a keeper crisis as Green and Ben Foster looked to have given up because of Capello's man management.
Manchester City's Joe Hart is the outstanding No1 but England still need back-up and in one phone call Pearce undid much of the hurt and disappointment inflicted upon Green.
"He (Pearce) said some kind words to me. He phoned me up, which was a promising start, and had a chat," said Green.
"It doesn't take a lot but it means a bit. It is something with Stuart Pearce that he is probably trying to get across. On a working level we will wait to see what he does."
It has been a difficult two years for Green. He went into the World Cup as England's No1 but his howler against the USA saw him dumped and has never been given another chance.
David James played in England's next game and the first Green knew about being dropped was when he read it in the paper.
While Green may not have many complaints about being dropped, Capello's man management clearly has alienated more players than just the West Ham keeper.
West Brom keeper Foster has quit England, Micah Richards was frozen out and the captaincy farce was an embarrassment to Capello.
But the keeper situation was just as bad last year. England called up Fulham's David Stockdale for the Wembley qualifier with Switzerland last June - only for him to cry off because it clashed with his wedding.
Green told the FA after England's friendly with Ghana last March that he did not want to be considered for Switzerland because had wanted to be present at the birth of his son.
That was seen in some quarters as Green turning his back on England but he answered the call and reported up after Stockdale pulled out.
The keeper situation became one big mess under Capello and the lack of communication only made the problem worse.
"My son was born, that was it," said Green. "I wanted to be there for that. That was it. I think it was blown out of all proportion and that was the end of it really.
"Yeah, he (my son) was a bit earlier than expected. After that, the world didn't end and nothing else happened so it's another one of them stories.
"Once you are in it, you are in the eye of the storm and it's quite nice. Go along, play football, work as hard as I can, play as hard as I can and then go home spend time with my wife and kids.
"If the phone call comes, it comes. If it doesn't, I'll still be with my wife and my child at the end of the day."
Green, who has 11 caps, found himself in the eye of the storm after his USA howler and will always be remembered for his World Cup mistake.
He spoke immediately after the USA match but has kept his counsel ever since partly due to frustration and partly because he was left in the dark about his England career by the previous regime.
But Pearce's appointment has awoken Green's determination and ambition for England again as he insists the motivation is still there even if he is behind Hart in the pecking order.
Green admits that he will have to get back into the top flight to be taken seriously but says West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is the man to get them there. And he could not resist another pointed remark about man management.
"The motivation is there," said Green. "For me at West Ham we have got to get promoted.
"Whatever else happens happens is out of my control. I'll get on with affecting what I can affect.
"This season has been different, in an ironic way its been nice to not be on a team getting a pounding every week.
"But obviously it's not Premier League football and that's where the aim is to be. We will see where the season takes us.
"If by the end we are not promoted then you'd say its been rubbish and I wouldn't want to do it again. It's the end outcome really.
"It's been good working under the manager (Sam Allardyce), he's turned around a pretty depressed place and got it going in the right direction. One thing you can do is man-manage people.
"It's been good so far under him. It's not where we want to be, it's life. If I spend my time worrying about that, I'll be pretty old by the time the end of the season comes."
Rob Green was talking at the England Footballers' Foundation Lions and Roses charity dinner.