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England goalkeepers will shatter World Cup hopes

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Ten games into the Premier League season and Norwich goalkeeper, John Ruddy is the only English shot-stopper to have appeared in every game so far.

The same man who was humiliated at the weekend in a 7-0 drubbing, courtesy of Manchester City, in a match where England counterpart, Joe Hart watched from the sidelines.

The latter dropped after last week's abysmal showing against Chelsea, whose mistake cost City the match, and his place in the side. These are England's best goalkeepers.

Arguably, the goalkeeper position has become Roy Hodgson's toughest challenge, in preparation for the World Cup, just over seven months away, and the last few weeks won't have impressed him.

Only three English keepers have played in over half of this season, one being Fulham's David Stockdale, with no international caps to his name, the years of great home-grown goalkeepers have been embarrassed.

Come June, Hodgson will need to have found his real number one, or else England's World Cup will bring more tears.

Although, as they say, form is temporary, class is permanent, and this doesn't apply better to none other than Hart, whose dip in form has come at a shaky time for England.

Nevertheless, the lack of goalkeepers almost secures Hart his place, by default, as no matter bad he plays, it's more than likely Hodgson will stick with him.

The 'pick a player and stick with him' strategy has always proven the best one, and in the most important position, it will be important. Saying this, if Hart's performances keep dropping, or if he can't retain his place at City, Roy could be reluctant to play him.

Who could replace Hart? Should the unlikely happen, which three goalkeepers will fit the bill?

If we remember the last World Cup, the lack of quality between the posts proved to cost England, the switching of keepers mid-tournament, as mentioned, provided the most tension that summer.

The inclusion of Rob Green raised eyebrows, and what happened in South Africa will never be forgotten.

The 33-year-old was replaced by, at the time 39-year-old, David James, whose mediocre performance against Germany put the nail in the coffin for the Three Lions. Most won't remember that Hart was in the squad, and the fact he was third choice three years ago, doesn't help England's cause.

Green never played for England again, like failed England keepers Scott Carson, currently at Wigan, who ultimately destroyed his country's Euro 2008 qualification in another day to forget for goalkeepers, and England in general.

These examples would make anyone reluctant to become a keeper, and maybe this is the reason the position hasn't progressed like outfield spots, the recent events surely put off youth and could explain the lack of young goalkeeping talent.

The best of which who can't secure first-team football over foreign imports in the modern day, Jack Butland being one, who would be benched behind Asmir Begovic at Stoke if he wasn't on loan.

Even Stockdale, aged 28, hasn't protected his starting place, now below Maarten Stekelenburg. In short, all faith in English goalkeepers have been demolished in the Premier League.

The only other option comes from Scotland, Celtic's Fraser Forster. At 6ft 6in, the mighty English goalkeeper has proven himself against the likes of Barcelona in the Champions League recently.

Of all the goalkeepers I have mentioned, this player could be England's saviour, an answer to Roy Hodgson's selection headache, a January transfer to the Premier League, trusting he is granted a guaranteed starting place will increase his chances massively.

However, he has not played once for the national side, questions have been asked of Hodgson's reluctancy to select him, maybe he will get a chance in a few friendlies, or maybe not, we'll wait and see, but Forster could be the dark horse to be England's number one in Brazil, so watch this space.


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Topics:
World Cup
Football
England Football
Joe Hart

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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