Football

Given: Give Hart a chance Fabio

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Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given has urged Fabio Capello to begin England's European Championship qualifying campaign with Joe Hart in goal.

England boss Capello failed to use Hart at the World Cup despite two impressive substitute appearances in the run up to the tournament.

"Putting Joe in for the qualifiers would make sense, definitely," said Given.

The Italian, who looks set to stay on his role despite England's second-round exit to Germany, has highlighted Hart as one of the brightest prospects in the English game.

The 23-year-old, who spent a successful season on loan at Birmingham last year, will return to City's ranks this year to compete with Given to be Roberto Mancini's number one.

Given believes Capello must start his rebuilding process by replacing 39-year-old David James with Hart for England's qualifying campaign, which begins in September against Bulgaria after a friendly with Hungary next month.

He added: "Joe is a top young goalkeeper. David James is 40 next month so by the time the next World Cup comes round he'll be 44 so the chances of him playing in it would be small.

"People like Joe and Adam Johnson will be the future for England."

A howler from West Ham keeper Robert Green in England's opening match against the United States, and a nagging injury to James, led to suggestions Hart could have been handed a surprise fourth cap during the tournament. Given believes Capello made the right call in turning to veteran stopper James, rather than Hart though.

The Republic of Ireland stopper said: "Joe had a fantastic season but if what happened to Robert Green happened to Joe then it would have been him who was being lambasted around the country and maybe he would never have played again, similar to what happened to Scott Carson a few years ago."

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Topics:
Joe Hart
Football
Manchester City
Premier League
Shay Given
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