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Behind The Lines: Paul Robinson

 • by Football Whispers
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During his playing career Paul Robinson experienced both the highs and lows of professional football.

While at Tottenham Hotspur he enjoyed the rare goalkeeping moment of scoring in normal time – a 95-yard goal against Watford. He was also the sole occupant of the England No.1 shirt during a World Cup, in a team that many considered to be the best in a generation.

Not long after he was one game away from equalling Gordon Banks’ record of seven consecutive international clean sheets.

But in the 69th minute of a Euro 2008 qualifying game against Croatia, in which Robinson had been otherwise excellent, a Gary Neville back pass struck a substantial divot that caused the ball to evade Robinson’s swinging right boot, and eventually settle in the back of the England net.

This would form the first of two defeats to Croatia in a disastrous qualifying campaign for Steve McLaren and his England side, the result of which was an unexpectedly long summer break in 2008, while the rest of Europe’s best players were eating at UEFA’s top table.

And while Robinson had owned that England number one shirt several years prior to, and indeed after, that night, it is “that mistake”, as it is has been in the similar cases of Rob Green and David Seaman, which is often front and centre when his England career is mentioned.

In the latest episode of Behind The Lines, Robinson speaks about that moment, how he only volunteered to try his hand in goal so as to get into the team as a young boy, and how stoppers need a resilient mindset to combat the inherent loneliness of their occupation.

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