With England facing two crucial World Cup qualifiers at Wembley over the next week - Montenegro on Friday and Poland next Tuesday - their number one goalkeeper, Joe Hart, is being placed under severe pressure due to his inconsistent club form with Manchester City.

There is no doubt that Roy Hodgson believes Hart is his number one choice at the moment but that may have to change if City decide to leave him out of their side. The problem Hodgson has is the depth and quality of English keepers available to him.

Is Hodgson only sticking with Hart due to the lack of competition for his jersey at international level? Hodgson will not want to risk an untried keeper in these forthcoming crucial games but will equally need Hart to up his game.

In truth, Hart has been very good for England and has earned the number one spot through some fine displays and consistency - not least his brilliant display against Brazil earlier this year.

Unfortunately for goalkeepers, their mistakes invariably lead to goals being scored and therefore these mistakes are scrutinised and criticised more because of that. Hart has had an unfortunate time at City recently.

He was probably at fault for two of the three Bayern Munich goals in their 3-1 home Champions League defeat and was also potentially culpable for Romelu Lukaku's early goal for Everton on Saturday which led to his side going behind. The finger of blame has also been pointed at him for goals conceded in earlier games against Aston Villa and Cardiff City.

Hart's potential replacements at international level still have a lot to prove. Fraser Forster is performing well at Celtic and certainly looks a great prospect for the future but perhaps needs a move to an English Premier League club if he is to further his ambitions and gain more exposure.

John Ruddy has played well for Norwich over the last couple of seasons and looks to be one for the future. Both of these 'keepers need to sustain their form for a long period of time in order to oust Hart from pole position.

The highly-rated Jack Butland is on loan at Barnsley at present where he is gaining some valuable first-team football and plenty of practice in a struggling Championship side. He is one for the future.

Although each of these players have experience of being in an England squad they still
seem some way short of ousting Hart from his number one spot at present.

Are there any other potential goalkeeping stars that we should keep a look out for in the future?

Hart will have been pleased with the backing he has received from his fellow players at City and manager Manuel Pellegrini's decision to stick with him for the Everton game. However, he will have been slightly concerned by the time it took his club manager to decide that he was still his number one for that game.

Hart will need to be aware that everything he does in a game is under so much scrutiny now but I am confident he will come through this phase of his career with flying colours. Hart, I am sure, is very proud to pull on an England shirt and will be doing his very best to ensure that England qualify for the World Cup next year.

Let's hope in a week's time this is the case and we are not mourning another English footballing failure.

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Topics:
Football
England Football
Joe Hart
Fraser Forster
John Ruddy