A Year In Goalkeeping - 2010
It may not feel like it given the November start, but 2022 is a World Cup year.
Although crowding around the fire and watching games wearing Christmas jumpers may not feel like an international tournament, we will get you in the mood by transporting you back to the year of a classic.
We have fired up the machine to take you back to the year of the first ever African World Cup and indeed a winter one (for the hosts) 2010.
Kit- England, Umbro
The 2010 World Cup was a pretty underwhelming one for England, who scraped past a seemingly straight-forward group before a dismal round of 16 exit to Germany.
However, they looked good while doing it! The tailored by Umbro range was a huge success and the goalkeeper shirts also embodied the beautiful simplicity of those kits.
The green edition with the same colour trim (incidentally worn by Rob Green in England’s opening game against USA) was a throwback to the classic goalkeeper kits of the 60’s and 70’s .
Transfer - Asmir Begovic, Portsmouth to Stoke City
2010 was a difficult year for Portsmouth, who along with suffering financial difficulties were relegated from the Premier League following a points deduction.
The FA Cup finalists of that year also suffered a mass exodus of their best talent, one being Asmir Begovic leaving for Premier League rivals, Stoke for a fee of £3 million.
The Bosnian was a revelation on the Potteries and was their number one for five very successful seasons, keeping an impressive 50 clean sheets in just over 170 appearances.
Such was the quality of his performances, he left for Chelsea for a fee of £10 million in 2015 and is still in the Premier League with Everton.
Performance - Julio Cesar v Barcelona, Champions League Semi Final
Despite losing 1-0 against Barcelona, Inter Milan’s Champions League final second leg of 2010 is still THE point of reference for defensive performances in big away matches.
Having won the first leg 3-1, Inter were still slight underdogs for the game at the Nou Camp, facing Guardiola’s Barcelona in their pomp.
However, despite having the bulk of the ball, it took Barca 86 minutes to get on the score sheet, much to the work of Julio Cesar, his defence and fantastic shape.
In a defining moment, Cesar stretched to his bottom right corner to keep out a curling Messi effort that was destined for the back of the net and would have sent Barcelona to the final.
In other news..
David James waves goodbye to international football
David James was the oldest player at the 2010 World Cup and indeed called it quits for England after the sorry 4-1 defeat to Germany.
James started three of England’s four matches in South Africa, but probably wouldn’t have if not for Rob Green’s calamitous error in the opening match against the USA.
An international career spanning 13 years, James was England’s number one at various times, but ultimately could not cement his place in the starting eleven down over a sustained period of time.
Nevertheless, he earned an impressive 53 caps for his country.