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Robert Green

Norwich Career: 1997-2006 (241 appearances)
Current Club:
Date of Birth: 18/01/1980
Nationality: English


Progressing through Norwich's schoolboy and youth teams, Chertsey born Robert Green made his first team debut in the 0-0 home draw with arch rivals Ipswich on 11th April 1999, keeping a clean sheet and pulling off some spectacular saves.

In May 2000, Robert and colleague Danny Gay traveled out to Parma to train under their goalkeeping coaches as part of the agreement between Norwich and the Italian side to share resources, exchange training tips, loan players etc. This added to the international experience he gained whilst playing for England's Under-18s

With Andy Marshall's departure in July 2001, Robert took over as Norwich's first choice keeper, missing just 5 games in 2001/02. His fine performances between the sticks was a major contribution to Norwich's play-off place, and his one-handed save from Birmingham's Geoff Horsfield in the Division One Play-Off final at Cardiff was maybe the most impressive.

Impressive form in the 2002/03 season led to rumours of an international call-up, especially after Liverpool's Chris Kirkland was ruled out of the friendly clash with Australia due to a torn posterior cruciate knee ligament sustained in the FA Cup fourth round tie at Crystal Palace on January 26th. England scouts Ray Clemence and Ken Brown have already watched Green, with Clemence commenting in a national newspaper article to pinpoint the three young keepers he felt had a bright international future ahead of them."We have good keepers around 30 like David James and have fine young lads coming through like Kirkland and Robinson and Robert Green at Norwich but no one in between," said Clemence.

Former Norwich favourite Bryan Gunn was quite happy to stake a bet on Green winning international honours in the next five years with bookies offering 20-1. "I think that's easy money," said Gunn, ideally placed to judge Green's claim to the England No 1 throne after his own long and illustrious reign as Norwich's No 1."I've watched him over the last two seasons since he came in for Andy Marshall and he's just gone from strength to strength," said City's corporate sales chief."He's definitely got all the qualities you need to be a top goalkeeper. Should he be in the England squad? I think he should be and, hopefully, he will be..."

Gunn firmly believes that a change of guard is afoot and that Green is ideally placed to benefit. "For a long while you had David Seaman, Nigel Martyn and David James one-two-three in the England set-up. Now all three must be looking over their shoulders," said Gunn."I know Ray Clemence has been up here to watch him on a number of occasions and Ken Brown is one of the England scouts, so there must be good reports on Robert getting back to Sven at Soho Square."

Robert was ever-present in 2002/03 adding another 50 appearances to his career total.

Robert's form saw him linked at the end of October 2003 with a £3million move to Manchester City to replace David Seaman who intends to retire at the end of the 2003/04 season. Supposedly an exchange for Darren Huckerby was part of this agreement. Green was also linked with a move to Leeds to replace their highly marketable young keeper Paul Robinson.

Robert's fine form in the 2003/4 season saw him called up to the England squad for the friendly against Sweden on 31st March 2004, although he didn't play. The following month saw Norwich win promotion to the Premiership and Green named in the PFA Division One Team of the Season.

Norwich fans were horrifed to read in The Mirror on June 15th that Arsenal were preparing a £4million bid for Green. This was quickly denied by both Green and Nigel Worthington. Robert's impressive clean sheets against Tottenham and Aston Villa in September 2004, saw him linked with a multi-million pound transfer to either Manchester United or Arsenal. Middlesboro were also linked in November 2004 with Green supposedly lined up as a replacement for Mark Schwartzer. On Boxing Day 2004, the Sunday Express renewed the link with Arsenal suggesting a move for Green during the January transfer window although Green then denied that he was looking to move from Norfolk. On 3rd April 2005, the People reported that Manchester United were lining up a record-breaking bid for Tottenham's Paul Robinson and that Spurs would replace him with Green.

Called up for England's tour of the USA in May 2005, his high profile could result in a transfer with Everton, Aston Villa and Wigan all linked according to the Sun on May 20th 2005. His international debut came as a half-time substitute in England 3-2 victory over Colombia in New Jersey on 31st May 2005 - with Green conceding one goal. He was later linked with Fulham, to replace Old Trafford-bound Edwin Van der Sar, and with Celtic whose new manager Gordon Strachan was linked with a double swoop on Carrrow Road which would see Green and Huckerby head to Celtic. Both the News of the World and the People linked Green on 19th July with a switch to Everton but this was denied by David Moyes who was content to keep fielding Nigel Martyn and Richard Wright. The following weekend saw both papers linked Green with a £3million switch to Portsmouth whose manager Alain Perrin admitted Green was on their list of targets. However the following day saw Pompey linked more closely with free agent Ian Walker.

In November 2005, Robert and colleague Dean Ashton were linked with a January 2005 transfer to Everton after David Moyes was spotted in the crowds during Norwich's 2-0 defeat to Wolves. At the beginning of 2006, The People suggested that Robert Green was Charlton's prime target during the January 2006 transfer window with the Addicks needing to strengthen in that position. The Mirror reported on 7th January that Charlton would offer £750,000 plus former loan signing Kevin Lisbie in return for Green. The following week saw plenty of speculation in the media suggesting that Portsmouth would attempt to sign Green.

On 16th March 2006, the Daily Mirror linked Everton with a double Championship swoop for Green and Crystal Palace striker Andy Johnson.

On May 9th 2006, Green was named by Sven Goran Eriksson in the England squad for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany. He made his second appearance for his country coming on as a half-time substitute in the B international against Belarus on 25th May 2006. Unfortunately he suffered a groin injury within the first fifteen minutes of the second-half, was substituted and will be out of action for a number of months missing the start of the 2006/7 season and of course the World Cup.

After being publicly linked with Charlton Atheltic on 14th August 2006, Green was snatched by West Ham manager Alan Pardew for a fee that will rise to £2m. “I'm delighted to have secured Robert's signature,” said Hammers boss Alan Pardew. “He already has Premiership experience and is an established member of the England squad, so it is obviously fantastic to have him here. At 26, he still has his best years ahead of him, and we are all excited about what he can bring to the club. He is another young English talent who will be pushing to continue his international career this season, and I am sure he can achieve that aim at West Ham.

Speculation in the News of the World on 7th September 2007 suggested that Arsenal had been impressed with Green's form and would seek to sign him as cover / competition for Jens Lehman and Manuel Almunia in a deal that would see Justin Hoyte head to Upton Park.

Reports in The Sun on 12th January 2008 suggested that Tottenham were preparing a £6million bid for Green to replace the error-prone Paul Robinson. Rob was called up to Fabio Capello's second England squad on 23rd March 2008.

In July 2008, it was speculated that Martin O'Neill's Aston Villa were preparing a £6million bid for Green. In mid November 2008, Green was named as a target for new Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp following the erratic form of Spurs' Brazilian keeper Heurelho Gomes.

Green made his first international start for England in the 4-0 away win over Kazakhstan on 6th June 2009 and followed that up with a second clean sheet in the 6-0 win over Andorra on 10th June 2009 at Wembley. After retaining his place throughout the summer and into the new season, Robert hit the headlines when he became the first England goalkeeper to be sent off following his red card against Ukraine on 10th October 2009 (the Ukraine side won 1-0)

Robert was included in England's squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. On 24th May 2010, it was reported that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been made the favourite to land West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green with a deal set to be announced when the World Cup concludes in July. The Gunners boss is ready to sign a goalkeeper after a troublesome season balancing both number one Manuel Almunia and reserve team keeper Lukasz Fabianski. it is believed that Green's age and cost have proved attractove to the French coach

It was unfortunate that the Pink Un headline ahead of England's opening World Cup game with the USA was "Green's got the whole world in his hands" suggesting that a good World Cup could prompt a big money move for Green. However his howler in England's opening game on 12th June, with the ball squirming out of his hands into the net, allowing the USA to equalise. The West Ham keeper was then dropped for the remainder of the tournament.

Unselected by England during 2010/11, it was suggested on 13th May 2011 that Green might retire from international football, following the example of Ben Foster.

In June 2011, Rob was linked with a move to Arsenal following West Ham's relegation from the Premiership. Instead he stayed with the Hammers who returned to the top flight in May 2012 following victory over Blackpool in the play-off final at Wembley on 19th May 2012. He left the Hammers at the end of May after failing to agree a new contract, and was quickly linked with moves to QPR, Fulham, Tottenham, West Brom and Spanish side Malaga. He had made over 200 appearances for West Ham.

Robert signed for QPR on 21st June 2012, on a two year contract. QPR boss Mark Hughes said: "He's got all the characteristics of a top keeper and he'll be a huge addition for us." Green added "It's an exciting period for everybody connected to QPR and I can't wait to get started. I'm excited about the challenge ahead and hugely encouraged by the direction in which the owners and Mark Hughes are looking to take the club."

Green and QPR were relegated to the Championship on 28th April 2013 following a goalless draw with Reading, who were also relegated.

Green and QPR returned to the Premiership on 24th May 2014 beating Derby in the Championship play-off final with Bobby Zamora scoring the vital goal. He played 48 games in the 2013/14 season

They spent just one season in the Premier League, relegated on 10th May 2015 losing 6-0 to Manchester City. They finished bottom of the table. Despite this Green was linked with a move to Chelsea to act as back up to Courtois.

In January 2016, he was told that he was free to leave QPR as future games would trigger a clause in his contract giving him a new one year deal.. Liverpool were linked with a move for him as back-up for Simon Mignolet whilst Crystal Palace were also said to be interested. He was released by QPR on 9th June 2016.

On 6th July 2016, Green joined Leeds United on a one year contract. "This is one of those opportunities where the first call asking if you want to come and play for Leeds is very quick. It was a 'yes' straightaway" said Green. He played every Championship game for Leeds in 2016/17

On 2nd July 2017, The Sun reported that Green could be joining Arsenal saying Gunners boss Arsene Wenger could be in need of a new second choice keeper this summer with Wojciech Szczesny likely to make a permanent switch to Serie A, and David Ospina’s and Emiliano Martinez’s futures both in doubt.

On 27th August 2017, Green moved across Yorkshire to join Huddersfield after his Leeds contract was mutually terminated. The 37-year-old signed a one-year deal with the option of a further year's extension. "He is a very experienced guy. He knows the role I expect from him. I think it makes total sense to bring Rob in because after Jonas Lossl, who has done an excellent job so far, we have very young goalkeepers with Joel Coleman and Ryan Schofield" said Huddersfield manager David Wagner.

Green was released by the Terriers at the end of 2017/18 without having played for them. Green surprisingly then signed for Chelsea on 26th July 2018 on a one year contract to provide back-up to Thibaut Courtois and Willy Caballero at Stamford Bridge. He said "It has been a whirlwind 24 hours. You are thinking about your career and where you want to go and then you get a phone call like this - and it is a short conversation. It has been a pretty dramatic time for me and it is a thrill and an honour to be here."
At the end of the season, Green was part of the Chelsea squad that won the Europa League beating Arsenal 4-1 in Baku. He was pictured with the trophy although he hadn't played. for the Blues. On 31st May 2019, he announced his retirement from football. He said in a statement: "Following an incredible evening in Baku on Wednesday and after a 23 year career spanning three decades, I've decided that now is the right time to announce my retirement from professional football. Being part of the group and celebrations with such a special squad of players after winning the Europa League seems a fitting way to end what's been an amazing journey for me in the game."

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