England: The three alternatives to Joe Hart

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Joe Hart now faces his first big test at Manchester City for his goalkeeper spot since Shay Given left in 2011.

Hart was dropped for City's match against Norwich City in place of his usual understudy Costel Pantilimon.

Hart has been far below his usual standards this season which has outgrown City manager Manuel Pellegrini's patience.

But now could be the time to question if Hart is still going to be the England number No.1? It wouldn't seem to make sense if Hart was still starting for England when there are other English keepers starting for their clubs who are performing better than him. So here are three alternatives to Joe Hart:

1. Ben Foster

Foster made his debut for England on the February 7 2007 against Spain and since then he has only managed to achieve five more caps.

He has been injured a lot during this period and he even made himself unavailable for international selection from May 2011 until February 2013 due to his injury troubles. But Foster has always been seen as the back-up goalie when it comes to the England team.

During his time it has been tricky for him to get ahead of David James, Robert Green and Hart. However now could be Foster's chance to get the number one spot, but he'll have to ironicallu wait a bit as he is currently injured.

Foster has kept for Stoke, Man United, Birmingham and right now he is the first choice keeper at West Brom. He has only made 30 league appearances for West Brom since he joined in 2011 because of his injury woes and really it is because of his injuries that he has struggled for so long to really break into the England team.

In 2011, there was a point where at that time England manager Fabio Capello struggled to decide who England's number one GK would be. However, his decision was simplified when Foster said he wasn't going to play for England until he was ready.

2. Fraser Forster

The two metre tall Englishman from Hexham has been in the papers recently about rumours of a possible transfer bid coming in from none other than Barcelona.

Forster has been so impressive over the last two seasons that it has gotten him massive credentials for a potential goalkeeping star but the only problem is that he is being held back by playing Celtic.

I am certain that Forster would have already gotten his first England cap by now if he played in the Premier League. Rumours came out today that he was being monitored by the Manchester City staff after they lost patience with fellow Englishman Hart.

Forster was first called up to the England squad on October 4 2012, but didn't get a cap. Since then, he has been called up by Roy Hodgson three more times and there have been a lot of shout-outs from England fans to give him his chance. He really first advertised his abilities in Celtic's 2-1 defeat to Barcelona where he managed severely limit Barca's goal-scoring opportunities.

It seems to be Forster plays his best against Barcelona as once again he shone in their 1-0 defeat at Celtic Park this year. This was really when people started questioning Hodgson's decisions to pick Hart ahead of Forster as at this time Hart was making more blunders than saves.

I have been saying for a year now that Forster deserves a cap and now I think he should be placed above Hart on the 'depth chart' as he has been highly consistent for a full year now.

3. John Ruddy

John Ruddy has been at Norwich City since 2010 and in this time he has made 106 league appearances and has played a total of 45 minutes of football for the England first team.

He was originally called up for the 2012 European Championships but he had to pull out after breaking his finger. Ruddy has been like Foster this season, injured for the majority of this season.

Ruddy was heavily rumoured to have been lining up a move to sign for Chelsea in the summer but he turned down the offer because he knew that he would be the first choice GK for Norwich, whereas at Chelsea he would have had Cech and Courtois for competition. Ruddy has been a consistent performer for Norwich, which is why he has been called up to the team whenever he has been available.

Ruddy is someone who can be the England number one GK and he is just like Forster, a man who needs his chance to show what he's got in an international friendly before the World Cup.

Ruddy has been a bit in and out this season with injuries which is probably why Hart is still England's number one. Ruddy had to pull out of the England for their most recent World Cup Qualifiers due to injury.

I think now is definitely the time to change goalies and see what they can do as I'm sure all the England fans will want to see their nation do as well as they can, and they aren't going to do that if they don't have their best or most in-form players on the field in Brazil.

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England Football
Joe Hart
Fraser Forster
John Ruddy

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