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,"
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
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
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
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."