I asked England stars if they wanted Hart or 'Calamity James' after Green's World Cup horror show - Capello

Fabio Capello says he gave the England players a choice between Joe Hart or "Calamity" David James when it came to replacing Rob Green in goal at the 2010 World Cup.

Then Three Lions boss Capello was forced to make a change in goal after the first game of the competition against the United States when Green let Clint Dempsey's tame shot slip by him as USMNT secured a 1-1 draw.

With ex-Manchester City goalkeeper Hart - then just 22 years old - and former Liverpool player James in reserve, Capello left it up to the players to decide who would start the next games, and it was the man with the unfortunate nickname who got the nod. 

"You can’t say anything. Everyone makes mistakes. He made one, so I changed. I put in Calamity James," Capello told  The Guardian .

"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 were knocked out of the competition when they lost to Germany in the second round.

Capello's team felt hard done by as a Frank Lampard shot struck the bar and bounced behind the line, but was not given and Germany went on to extend their lead to 4-1.

And Capello says he knew such an incident would happen and pointed the issue out months prior.

“Everyone saw it. Besides, because of the effect on the ball, when it hits the bar, the floor – the pitch was dry – and goes up like that, it can only have gone in: it’s physics," Capello said of Lampard's effort.

“There had been a conference in Salt Lake City in February: an hour about the ball, 45 minutes about referees. The preparation was perfect, they said. This, that, the other. And I said to the referees’ chief: ‘Why not put someone behind the goal, a fifth official?’ ‘No, we’ve decided this way'."

After his side were eliminated, Capello made his anger clear.

He added: "Look! I said this would happen. We worked for two years and because of someone else’s mistake we’re going home. Because you didn’t put someone there. What’s he sitting in the stands for? Put him behind the goal. It was there! I told them that in February."