Former England boss Fabio Capello admits he is still haunted by Frank Lampard’s ‘ghost goal’ at the 2010 World Cup that he believes would have given Germany a “psychological problem”.
Lampard’s infamous long-range ‘goal’ in England’s last-16 defeat against Germany was not given despite the ball bouncing over the line after hitting the underside of the bar.
Had the goal been given, England would have been level at 2-2 just before half-time but Capello’s side went on to lose 4-1 in Bloemfontein – a result the Italian feels may have been different if Lampard’s strike had stood.
“One thing I do think, Germany was a young team, very young,” the Italian told The Guardian. “A young team that goes from 2-0 to 2-2 has a psychological problem. For us, that’s a tremendous boost.
“But that wasn’t to be [because Lampard’s goal wasn’t given] and I can’t get it out of my mind. It’s still there, still there.
“I would have liked to see the second half then. We hit the bar, had chances, and on the break they score the third, then a fourth.
“I could see it: we were growing, getting better, and then [Lampard’s goal was not given]. We worked for two years and because of someone else’s mistake we’re going home.”
England faced Germany in the knockout stages after finishing second in their group behind the USA, whom they drew 1-1 with after Rob Green’s embarrassing howler from a weak Clint Dempsey effort.
Capello revealed he chose David James over Joe Hart to replace Green after the opening game in Rustenburg following persuasion from his squad.
The 73-year-old added: “Everyone makes mistakes. He made one, so I changed. I put in Calamity James. I had Green and I had Hart, just a kid. I asked the players. Hart or Calamity? ‘Calamity.’
“I put Calamity in because of the players’ trust. John Terry and the defenders had more faith in James. Hart had played only once.”
England exited the tournament in South Africa having managed just one win with only three goals scored in their four games.