Football

Joe Hart is not England's only hope

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Joe Hart's crown is slipping. (©GettyImages)
Joe Hart's crown is slipping. (©GettyImages).

After Joe Hart's poor display against Bayern Munich, many fans and pundits are wondering whether he is safe in his position as England's number one.

Hart's poor display against the German champions was not an isolated incident. Henry Winter in the Telegraph notes that, "Hart has been caught out before this season, notably when James Morrison struck from range for Scotland at Wembley and also failing to intercept a corner against Cardiff City, gifting Frazier Campbell his first.

"The list is lengthening, against Sunderland’s Adam Johnson at the near post, mistakes that led to goals for Jason Puncheon and Steven Davis at Southampton, and Tranquillo Barnetta’s free-kick for Switzerland that curled in at the near-post."

It has also emerged - according to City's former assistant manager David Platt - that former manager Roberto Mancini was going to replace the England keeper with Asmir Begovic from Stoke. 'If Mancini and I were still at Man City this year Joe Hart wouldn't be there. We made a decision to sign Asmir Begovic,' said Platt in the Daily Mail.

It is unlikely that Hart will be replaced by Roy Hodgson as England number one for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland. However, there are now a long list of English goalkeepers who want to play for the Three Lions.

Fraser Forster - whose heroics against Barcelona on Tuesday night earned widespread praise - is the most obvious candidate to challenge Hart. There is also Ben Foster, John Ruddy, Jack Butland, Alex McCarthy and David Stockdale. Robert Green has also made it clear that he is prepared to stay on the international scene.

Whilst all of the names mentioned are not necessarily number one material, Forster is a name that stands out. Since his move from Newcastle - where he never made a first-team appearance - to Celtic, the Englishman has shown a consistent penalty box presence, as well as a brilliant shot stopping ability.

Both Butland and Ruddy made an assured debut when they had 45 minutes each in a friendly against Italy in 2012. Ruddy is currently performing well for Norwich whilst Butland is a less likely bet for England duty as he is currently on loan at Championship side Barnsley.

Supporters of Hart might point out that he might just be going through a period of poor form, as all players do. However, if that is the case, Hart needs to ensure that he picks up his game quickly.

Not only could his errors eliminate England's chances of qualifying for the World Cup, there is also the strong possibility that Hart will lose his number one status with both England and Manchester City.

Who do you think should be England's number one?

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Topics:
Football
England Football
Manchester City
Joe Hart
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