Lansbury: 'I'll go in goal!'
Wednesday, 17 November, 2010
Arsenal midfielder enjoyed standing in as keeper despite England's defeat.
By Jamie Bradbury in Wiesbaden
Arsenal midfielder Henri Lansbury stepped into the breach on Tuesday night and demonstrated his versatility as England Under-21s third choice goalkeeper in Germany.
Stuart Pearce's men ended up on the losing side, and were reduced to ten men when half-time substititute Jason Steele was sent off for a foul inside the box on German striker Boris Vukcevic just 13 minutes into his Under-21s debut. It meant one of England's outfielders had to take the gloves.
And Lansbury, who was starting his first game for Pearce's Lions, was more than happy to take over in between the sticks. And although his first action was to pick the ball from the net after Cenk Tosun made it 2-0 from the spot, the 20-year-old from Hertfordshire made a series of saves to keep out the Germans.
"I looked at everyone else and they were all looking over at the bench, so I thought, 'oh, I'll go in goal'," Lansbury told TheFA.com at full-time. "It would have been better if I'd saved the penalty but he stuck it away well.
"My reaction times are quite good, so it was quite nice to pull off that save and also deal with everything else. Going in goal has maybe added another dimension to my game.
"I've always wanted to go in goal and used to do it a lot down the park with my mates. I also do a bit after training, I'll go in goal and let the other boys take shots at me.
"I got a bit scared a couple of times when I thought a couple of shots were going to take deflections, but it was great to keep a clean sheet - other than the penalty.
"I've never played in goal in a game before, but I enjoy diving about. Gerry (Peyton) and Tony (Colbert) the coaches at Arsenal will be proud of my saves I'm sure."
It was a disappointing result for the team, despite Lansbury's heriocs, as they lost their first game since March. It was Lansbury's first start for Pearce, though, in what was his fourth appearance at Under-21 level and for the first hour he operated on the right of England's three-pronged attack.
But Lansbury says England are still confident ahead of the UEFA Eurpean Under-21 Championship in Denmark.
"I thought I started off well, I had a lot of energy and think I showed that on the pitch. But we sat back for a bit in the first half and they played the ball around us so we looked a bit vulnerable.
"We came out in the second half a goal down and we were a bit more positive, Nathan was unlucky not to score, and I think we were on top until Steeley was sent off. We're all disappointed to lose, but we're confident we'll be able to bounce back as we look towards the European Championship next summer."
You can follow England Under-21s during the build-up and throughout next summer's Finals right here on TheFA.com and also at www.facebook.com/EnglandU21s .